Becoming, Part 2

Written by:  Joss Whedon
Directed by:  Joss Whedon
Transcribed by: AleXander Thompson

Copyright  1998 Alexander Thompson

                   ~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to 
the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". They were created by 
Joss Whedon and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui 
Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB Television Network.

This is not a novelization or a script. It is a straightforward and dry 
transcript of the episode "Becoming", part 2. It also includes 
descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where I 
felt they were needed.

I made every effort to accurately transcribe the dialogue from this 
episode. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please 
let me know and I will post an update.                     rev 98.10.10

This episode was originally broadcast on May 19, 1998.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against 
the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

The library at Sunnydale High School. Buffy is crouched over Kendra 
after finding her dead. Behind her a police officer comes in and aims 
his gun at her.

Officer#1:  Freeze! (Buffy faces him) Put your hands up. Back away from 
the girl slowly.

Another officer comes in behind the first, gun drawn and surveying the 
scene. Buffy slowly gets to her feet and raises her hands.

Buffy:  Look, I didn't do anything.

Officer#1:  Do it! Now!

The second officer holsters her gun and crouches down to feel for 
Kendra's pulse, but can't find one.

Officer#2:  This one's dead.

Officer#1:  What about up there? (nods toward the mezzanine)

Buffy and Officer#2 look up at the stacks and see Xander lying 
unconscious on the floor behind the railing.

Buffy:  Xander...

She starts to go to him, but Officer#2 grabs her and pushes her back.

Officer#2:  Get her out of here!

Buffy:  Wait! Just see if he's okay! Please!

The second officer hands her off to the first, and then goes to check on 
Xander. Buffy offers no resistance, and lets herself be led out. 
Officer#2 crouches down by Xander to check him out.

Cut to the hall outside the library. Officer#1 leads Buffy out.

Buffy:  Please. You don't understand.

Officer#1:  You'd do well to keep your mouth shut, missy.

They turn down the hall and see Snyder coming down followed by two more 
officers.

Buffy:  But I didn't *do* anything.

Snyder:  Why do I find that so very hard to believe?

Officer#1:  (to the other officers) In there. (to Snyder) You know this 
girl?

Snyder:  Buffy Summers. If there's trouble, she's behind it.

Buffy:  (angrily) You stupid little troll. You have *no* idea!

Snyder:  Attitude problem. Serious.

Buffy:  (faces the officer) Look, I just wanna know if my friends are 
okay.

Officer#1:  All right, that's enough.

He spins her back around and gets out his handcuffs.

Officer#1:  You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can 
and...

Buffy glances over her shoulder, and without warning backhand punches 
the officer in the face. He grunts in pain and stumbles backward into 
the lockers. She grabs him by the neck and pushes his head down, 
flipping him over onto his back. Snyder takes a shocked step back. He is 
too stunned by what he just saw her do to move, and just lets her run 
down the hall without even looking. Officer#2 comes out of the library 
and sees her partner on the floor and Buffy running away. She raises her 
gun and takes aim at Buffy.

Officer#2:  Stop!

Now Snyder turns around to see Buffy running away, but he's still too 
shook up to have the sense to get out of the officer's way.

Officer#2:  Get down!

Buffy looks back and turns down an adjacent hall, and the officer takes 
a shot. The bullet shatters the window of the hall door. The other two 
officers come out of the library, guns drawn and ready, and she waves 
them in Buffy's direction. They run in pursuit. She grabs the radio mic 
at her shoulder and puts out a bulletin on Buffy.

Officer#2:  All units, we have a fugitive on foot at the high school. 
Homicide suspect. Female, blond, approximately sixteen years old. 
Suspect is *very* dangerous.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~

The hall outside the Emergency Room at Sunnydale General Hospital. Buffy 
comes into the hall wearing a wool cap and a long, dark coat. She averts 
her eyes from the doctors and nurses. On the wall she finds a slot with 
a few patient histories and checks the names on them. There are none 
she's interested in. She continues slowly down the hall, avoiding the 
eyes of a passing doctor. She checks another series of slots for names 
on paperwork, but finds nothing. Further down the hall she turns down 
the left passageway. Behinds her Xander walks up and touches her on the 
back. She gasps and spins around, but is very relieved to see him 
standing there.

Buffy:  Xander! (hugs him tightly) Ohhh...

He hugs her back, and they hold each other for a long moment, then Buffy 
lets go.

Buffy:  I was so worried, I didn't know if you were okay. The cops 
were...

Xander:  Yeah, I, I heard them chase you out. I was just coming out of 
it. (holds up his arm in a cast) Souvenir.

Buffy:  Well, what about the others?

Xander sees two police officers come into the hall behind her.

Buffy:  Are they okay?

He grabs her in another tight hug. Buffy goes along with it, but wonders 
what's up. When she glimpses the cops she hides her face in Xander's 
shoulder while they head down the hall in the direction that she came 
in. When the police have gone they separate again.

Buffy:  Okay. That was about equal parts protecting me and copping a 
feel, right? (smiles)

Xander doesn't smile back. He turns his face down looking sad and very 
worried.

Buffy:  What is it?

Cut to Willow lying unconscious in a hospital bed. She has a bandaged 
cut on her forehead and a black eye, but otherwise seems unhurt. The 
camera pans up from her face to Buffy and Xander standing next to the 
bed.

Xander:  The doctor said it was head trauma. She can wake up at any 
time, but, um... the longer it lasts, the... less likely it is.

Buffy:  I never should've let her try to do that curse. Angel must've 
known.

She reaches up to Willow's face and brushes back a few stray hairs.

Buffy:  Where are her parents?

Xander:  With relatives in Phoenix. I gave them a call. They're... 
they're getting on a plane back.

Buffy:  Does Oz know?

Xander:  (realizes his omission) Oh, man. Um... I didn't even think. 
Um... I'll call him.

Buffy hears some footsteps behind her and turns quickly to see who it 
is. Xander looks over his shoulder, too, and they see Cordelia come in. 
He goes over to her.

Xander:  Hey.

Cordelia:  (whispers) Hey.

They kiss and hold each other close.

Cordelia:  (sighs) How is she? (they separate and look at Willow) The 
doctor told me that...

Xander:  Yeah. We're, uh... still waiting.

Buffy:  You okay?

Cordelia:  I ran. I think I made it through three counties before I 
realized nobody was chasing me. Not too brave.

Buffy:  It was the right thing to do.

Xander:  Did Giles keep up with you?

Cordelia:  I didn't see Giles.

Buffy:  You mean he's not in the hospital?

Xander:  No.

Buffy gives them a very concerned stare.

Cut to Angelus' mansion. Giles is lying on the floor. Angelus lies on 
the floor facing him and waiting for him to regain consciousness.

Giles:  Mm... (stirs a bit and exhales) Ohhh... (lifts his head)

Angelus:  Hi, Rupert. I wasn't sure you were gonna wake up. You had me 
worried. (hops to his feet)

Giles:  (standing up slowly) What do you want?

Angelus:  I wanna torture you. I used to love it, and it's been a *long* 
time. I mean, the last time I tortured somebody, they didn't even *have* 
chainsaws.

He strolls past Giles over to Acathla. Giles turns to watch him and sees 
the stone demon with the sword protruding from its chest. Angelus 
notices Giles' stare.

Angelus:  Oh, yeah. Acathla. He's an even harder guy to wake up than you 
are. I mean, I performed the rituals, said all the right phrases... 
blood on my hand. Got nothing. Big doughnut hole for my troubles. I 
figure you know the ritual. You're pretty up on these things. You could 
probably... tell me what I'm doing wrong. (approaches Giles) But 
honestly, I sorta hope you don't... (stops in front of him) 'Cause I 
*really* wanna torture you. (stares evilly)

Cut to the Summers house. A police officer comes down the stairs to 
where Detective Stein is questioning Joyce and goes to stand next to 
him.

Joyce:  No. I-i-it's impossible. There... there's been some terrible 
mistake.

Det. Stein:  And you have no idea where your daughter is.

Joyce:  She said she was going to her friend Willow's house. (shakes her 
head) Maybe she slept over.

Det. Stein:  Is that Willow Rosenberg?

Joyce:  Yes.

Det. Stein:  (to the officer) Second victim.

Joyce:  (confused) What?

Det. Stein:  Your daughter has a history of violence. Doesn't she, Ms. 
Summers?

He nods for the officer to leave the house, and he goes.

Joyce:  Well...

Det. Stein:  (smugly) You call us. (pulls out his wallet) Okay? (digs 
out a card) If she decides to stop by. (hands Joyce the card) Be best if 
she just comes in.

He exits the house leaving Joyce very worried and confused.

Cut to Giles' apartment. The door is ajar, so Buffy just comes right in.

Buffy:  Giles! Giles!

She looks around, but doesn't see him. Behind her Whistler comes down 
the stairs from the loft.

Whistler:  I don't think he's here.

Buffy:  (pivots around to face him) Who are you?

Whistler:  Whistler.

Buffy:  What are you doing here?

Whistler:  (reaches the base of the stairs) I'm waiting for you.

Buffy:  Why?

Whistler:  'Cause I-I-I need a date to the prom.

Buffy is *not* in the mood for jokes right now, so she takes the two 
steps over to him, grabs him by the throat and shoves him up against the 
wall.

Buffy:  I have had a *really* bad day, okay? If you have information 
worth hearing, then I am grateful for it. If you're gonna crack jokes, 
then I'm gonna pull out your ribcage and wear it as a hat. (lets go)

Whistler:  Hello to the imagery! Very nice. (seriously) It wasn't 
supposed to go down like this. (moves away from the wall) Nobody saw you 
coming. I figured this for Angel's big day. But I thought he was here to 
*stop* Acathla, not to bring him forth. Then you two made with the 
smoochies... now he's a creep again. Now, what are you gonna do? W-what 
are you prepared to do?

Buffy:  Whatever I have to.

Whistler:  Maybe I should ask, what are you prepared to give up?

Buffy:  (exhales) You don't have anything useful to tell me, do you? 
What are you, just some immortal demon sent down to even the score 
between good and evil?

Whistler:  (impressed) Wow. Good guess. (grins)

Buffy:  (steps up to him) Well, why don't you try getting off your 
immortal ass and fighting evil once in a while? 'Cause I'm sick and 
tired of doing it myself.

Whistler:  In the end, you're always by yourself. You're all you've got. 
That's the point.

Buffy:  (disgusted) Spare me. (starts to leave)

Whistler:  The sword isn't enough. You gotta be ready. (raises his 
voice) You gotta know how to use it!

She goes out the door and slams it behind her.

Cut to the park. Buffy walks through it with her head down. A car drives 
by. She steps into the street and watches as the car goes. When she 
turns back she sees a police car coming, but doesn't run, instead hoping 
that the officer won't notice her. He does, though, and turns on his 
lightbar and lets the siren give a brief loud tone. He pulls the car 
aside, stops and gets out. Buffy ignores him and keeps walking right 
past the front of the vehicle. The officer draws his gun.

Officer#3:  Hold right there! (slams his door)

Buffy spins around to face him.

Officer#3:  Put your hands on your head! Do it!

She stares at his gun, frightened, and begins to raise her hands. 
Suddenly the gun gets kicked out of the officer's hands. He gets kicked 
in the face and in the shin, then grabbed and thrown onto the hood of 
his car, where he lies unconscious. His attacker faces a surprised 
Buffy.

Spike:  Hello, cutie. (smiles)

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~

In the park. Spike takes a step toward Buffy, and she immediately decks 
him twice in the face. He grabs her by the shoulders to restrain her, 
but she brings her knee up into his gut.

Spike:  Now, you hold on a second!

He gives her a good shove away from himself. She reaches into her coat 
and pulls out a stake. Spike jumps back and holds up his hands in 
surrender.

Spike:  Hey! White flag here. I quit.

Buffy:  Let me clear this up for you. We're mortal enemies. We don't get 
time-outs.

Spike:  You want to go around, pet, I'll have a gay old time of it. You 
want to stop Angel... we're gonna have to play this a bit differently.

Buffy:  (still holding the stake) What are you talking about?

Spike:  I'm talking about your ex, pet. I'm talking about putting him in 
the bloody ground.

Buffy:  (chuckles) This has gotta be the *lamest* trick (lowers her 
stake) you guys have ever thought up.

Spike:  He's got your Watcher. Right now, he's probably torturing him.

Buffy:  What do you want?

Spike:  I told you. I want to stop Angel. (snickers) I want to save the 
world.

Buffy:  Okay. You do remember that you're a vampire, right?

Spike:  We like to talk big. (indicates himself) Vampires do. 'I'm going 
to destroy the world.' (looks at the officer) That's just tough guy 
talk. (steps over to the car) Strutting around with your friends over a 
pint of blood. (sits on the hood) The truth is, I like this world. 
(pulls the cigarette pack from the officer's shirt pocket) You've got... 
dog racing, Manchester United. (pulls one out and drops the pack on the 
officer) And you've got people. (exhales) Billions of people walking 
around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. (lights the 
cigarette and takes a drag) But then someone comes along with a vision. 
With a real... (exhales) passion for destruction. (takes another drag 
and looks at Buffy) Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Picadilly. 
Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?

Buffy:  (nods) Okay, fine. You're not down with Angel. Why would you 
ever come to me?

Spike:  (stands and takes another drag, but doesn't look at her) I want 
Dru back. I want it like it was before he came back. The way she acts 
around him...

Buffy:  You're pathetic.

He punches her in the face. She punches him right back.

Buffy:  I lost a friend tonight!

Spike:  I wasn't in on that raiding party.

Buffy:  And I may lose more! The whole earth may be sucked into Hell, 
and you want my help 'cause your girlfriend's a big ho? Well, let me 
take this opportunity to *not* care.

Spike:  I can't fight them both alone, and neither can you!

Buffy punches him hard in the jaw, making him flinch. He straightens 
back up and feels his jaw, checking for blood.

Buffy:  I hate you.

Spike:  And I'm all you've got.

The police officer begins to stir on the hood of the car.

Buffy:  (looks down briefly) All right. Talk.

Spike:  (turns to the officer) I'm just gonna kill this guy.

Buffy clears her throat loudly. Spike faces her.

Spike:  Oh, right.

Buffy:  (raises her eyebrows at him) Let's get inside.

They leave as the police officer begins to wake up and feel his head.

Cut to Willow's room at the hospital. She is still unconscious. Xander 
is sitting in a chair and watching her while Cordelia stands.

Cordelia:  Do you want some coffee?

Xander:  I don't wanna leave. She might, uh...

Cordelia:  I'll get it.

Xander:  (looks up at her) Thanks.

They clasp hands briefly, and Cordelia goes to get some coffee. Xander 
looks at Willow again, deep in thought. He leans over to the bed and 
gently takes her hand in his.

Xander:  Come on, Will. Look, you don't have a choice here. You gotta 
wake up. I need you, Will. I mean, how am I gonna pass trig, you know? 
(chuckles) And who am I gonna call every night... and talk about 
everything we did all day? You're my best friend. You've always...

He looks at her for a long moment, looks away for an instant and then at 
her again, struggling with his emotions.

Xander:  I love you.

Her face twitches and her hand gives his a squeeze. Xander's eyes widen 
in hope.

Xander:  Willow?

She takes a few breaths before responding, with her eyes still closed.

Willow:  (whispers) Oz? (speaks) Oz?

Xander leans away, taken aback. Oz hears her as he walks into the room.

Oz:  I'm here.

Xander:  (looks back at Oz) She's just starting to wake up.

He gets up to let Oz go to her. Oz takes her hand and leans over the 
bed. Willow still has her eyes closed.

Oz:  Hey, baby.

Willow:  (weakly) Hi.

Xander:  I'm gonna go get a doctor. (leaves)

Oz:  How you feelin'?

Willow:  (weakly, eyes still closed) My head... feels big. Is it big?

Oz:  No. It's head size.

He leans over her face and gently kisses her on the forehead. He leans 
back to look at her and strokes her hair with his other hand. She opens 
her eyes tentatively.

Willow:  (whispers) Uh... is everybody else okay?

Cut to Angelus' mansion. The camera shows Giles in a chair with his 
hands bound behind his back and bleeding from rope burns. The camera 
pans up his arms and over his shoulder to Angelus, sitting in a chair 
and watching Giles as he cleans his glasses. He breathes on the lenses, 
polishes them clean and inspects his work.

Angelus:  Rupert, buddy... I'm here to tell you, I'm impressed. 
(chuckles)

He drops the cleaning cloth, gets up and goes over to Giles.

Angelus:  Hey. Uh... (slides on the glasses) How you holdin' up?

Giles:  (looks up at him weakly) Never... better.

Angelus:  Glad to hear it. (kneels next to him) Now... (Giles breathes 
painfully) Tell me when it hurts. (smirks)

Cut to Buffy's street. She and Spike eye each other as they head up the 
walk to her house. Just then Joyce pulls up in her Jeep and sees them 
from her open window.

Joyce:  Buffy?!

Buffy gives her a glance, but goes right back to watching Spike.

Joyce:  (stops the car) Where have you been? (gets out) Are you okay? 
(runs over) The police were here! I've been looking for you!

Buffy:  Mom, let's, let's go inside, and I can explain.

Joyce:  (hysterical) Who is this man? (to Spike) Who are you? (to Buffy) 
Are you okay?

Buffy:  Mom! I'm-I'm okay.

Joyce:  Buffy, terrible things have happened. What were you doing?

Spike:  What, your mum doesn't know?

Buffy glares at Spike.

Joyce:  (to Spike) Know what?

Buffy:  (faces her mom) That I'm, uh... in a band. A-a rock band with 
Spike here. (shoots Spike a look)

Spike:  Right. She plays the, the triangle.

Buffy:  Drums.

Spike:  Drums, yeah. She's, uh, hell on the old skins, you know.

Joyce:  (unconvinced) Hmm. And, uh, what do you do?

Spike:  Well, I sing.

Buffy:  You know what? Why don't we go inside, and, and we can talk 
about this. (nods)

She starts toward the door, and Spike follows.

Joyce:  I'm, I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Buffy turns around to face her. Suddenly a vampire rushes across the 
porch, pushes Buffy and Spike aside and jumps down the steps at Joyce, 
ready to fight. She screams and does some fast backpedaling. Buffy grabs 
him by the shoulders from behind and forces him around to face Spike. 
She pulls out a stake while Spike gives him a series of punches to the 
face. Spike's last blow sends the vampire spinning around and staggering 
away. Buffy thrusts the stake into his chest, and he instantly crumbles 
to ash. Joyce just stares in shock. Spike steps down from the porch and 
looks at the pile of ash.

Spike:  One of Angel's boys.

Buffy:  Yeah, probably watching me. Or you.

Spike:  Yeah. He won't get a chance to tattle on us now.

Joyce:  (utterly confused) Buffy... what... is going on?

Buffy looks at her mother for a moment, exchanges a look with Spike and 
realizes that it's time. She steps up to her mom and looks up at her, 
hoping against hope for understanding.

Buffy:  Mom... I'm a Vampire Slayer.

Joyce just blinks her eyes, raises her brows and shakes her head in 
complete dismay.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~

Willow's room at the hospital. Oz brings her a bowl of Jell-O. She's 
sitting up and on the phone with Buffy. She takes the bowl from Oz with 
a smile, sets it down on her lap and begins to play with the spoon. Oz 
pulls up a chair and sits down.

Willow:  I'm okay, Buffy, really. I mean, I don't feel good, but... I'm 
awake, and I know my name and who's President and how many fingers, so 
they don't think my brain got mushed at all.

Buffy:  (cut to her in her kitchen) Thank God. So sorry I can't be 
there.

Willow:  I know. (cut to her) I'm sorry I didn't get to cure Angel.

Buffy:  Don't be. It just (cut to her) wasn't meant to be. I know I'm 
never gonna get him back the way he was. It just makes it easier.

Willow:  (cut to her) I guess. Any luck finding Giles?

Buffy:  (cut to her) Yep. I got a lucky break.

Willow:  What?

Buffy:  You wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Cut to their living room. Joyce sits nervously on the couch with the 
toes of her shoes turned in. Spike is sitting in an adjacent wicker 
chair. Uncomfortable silence reigns. Spike looks around the room. Joyce 
lifts her glass, takes a sip of her drink and winces at its strength. 
Spike looks down at his lap, lets out a long, bored breath and folds his 
hands. Cut to Buffy on the phone in the kitchen.

Buffy:  Xander. Angel and the others are holed up outside town. You 
remember that funky-looking mansion you showed me that time?

Cut to him sitting on Willow's bed. Behind him she eats her Jell-O. Oz 
looks through a magazine.

Xander:  (into the phone) On Crawford Street. Sure. That makes sense. 
What's the drill?

Buffy:  (cut to her) I'm gonna hit it come daybreak.

Xander:  (cut to him) You'll need backup.

Buffy:  No. (cut to her) You stay there. I'm covered.

Xander:  (cut to him) Do you, um... do you think Giles is still alive?

Buffy:  (cut to her) I think he is. I just wish he was here to tell me 
what to do.

Cut to the living room. The silence is deafening. Spike looks around 
some more. Then Joyce has a spark of recognition on her face and looks 
over at Spike.

Joyce:  Have we met?

Spike:  (faces her) Um... you hit me with an ax one time. Remember? 
(makes an ax-holding gesture) Uh, 'get the hell away from my daughter.' 
(lowers his arms)

Joyce:  Oh.

She lets out a little chuckle. Spike sighs with boredom.

Joyce:  So, do you, uh, live here in town?

Buffy walks into the room with her arms crossed. They both get up.

Joyce:  I-is Willow all right?

Buffy:  Yeah. She's fine. (to Spike) All right, talk. What's the deal?

Spike:  Simple. You let me and Dru skip town, I help you kill Angel.

Joyce:  (confused) Angel? Your boyfriend?

Buffy:  (to Spike) Forget about Drusilla. She doesn't walk.

Spike:  There's no deal without Dru.

Buffy:  She killed Kendra.

Spike:  (surprised) Dru bagged a Slayer? (chuckles) She didn't tell me! 
(to Joyce, smiling) Hey, good for her! (gets a look from Buffy and loses 
the smile) Though not from your perspective, I suppose.

Buffy:  (with contempt) I can't believe I invited you into my house.

Joyce:  (relieved) So you didn't kill that girl.

Buffy:  Of course not.

Joyce:  Did she explode like that man out there?

Buffy:  She was a Slayer, Mom.

Joyce:  Like what you are.

Buffy gives her a thin smile and a nod.

Spike:  Look. (pulls Buffy aside) This deal works for me one way. Full 
stop. Me and Dru for Angel.

Joyce:  (still confused) Honey, a-are you sure you're a Vampire Slayer?

Spike:  I'll take her out of the country. You'll never hear from us 
again, I *bloody* well hope.

Buffy:  (ignores her mother) Fine. Get back to the mansion. Make sure 
Giles is all right.

Joyce:  I-I mean, have you tried *not* being a Slayer?

They both look at her.

Buffy:  Mom!

Spike sighs in exasperation of Joyce.

Buffy:  (to Spike) Be ready to back me up when I make my move.

He walks around her toward the door.

Buffy:  If Giles dies... (Spike stops and faces her) she dies.

He gives her a final stare and heads out the door.

Joyce:  (trying to make sense of it) It's because you didn't have a 
strong father figure, isn't it?

Buffy:  It's just fate, Mom. I'm the Slayer. Accept it.

Joyce:  We should call the police. (heads for the kitchen)

Buffy:  No. We're not calling the police.

Joyce:  (stops and faces her daughter, smiling) Well, now that we know 
that you're innocent, it's...

Buffy:  What? You thought I was guilty? Jeez, feelin' the love in *this* 
room!

Joyce:  No, I didn't think that. It's just... now we have proof.

Buffy:  (exasperated) We have my word, Mom. Not proof.

Joyce:  (heads for the kitchen again) Look, I am sure that they will 
understand.

Buffy:  (follows closely) Get them involved, you'll get them killed.

Joyce:  Well, you're not gonna hurt them, are you?

Buffy:  I'm a Slayer, not a postal worker.

Her mother picks up the phone, and Buffy slaps her hand onto the switch 
hook.

Buffy:  Cops can't fight demons. (takes the phone from her mom) I have 
to do it. (puts the phone back in its cradle)

Joyce:  (demanding) Do what? Buffy, what is happening?

Buffy:  (doesn't want to deal) Just have another drink.

She turns away from her mother and starts to walk off. Joyce throws her 
glass aside in anger, and it breaks on the floor.

Joyce:  Don't you talk to me that way! (Buffy stops in her tracks) You 
don't get to just dump something like this on me and pretend it's 
nothing!

Buffy:  (looks at her) I'm sorry, Mom, but I don't have time for this. 
(starts for the door again, but stops)

Joyce:  No! I am tired of 'I don't have time' or-or 'you wouldn't 
understand.' (Buffy faces her) I am your mother, and you will *make* 
time to explain yourself.

Buffy:  I told you. I'm a Vampire Slayer.

Joyce:  (haughtily) Well, I just don't accept that!

Buffy:  (steps closer) Open your eyes, Mom. What do you think has been 
going on for the past two years? The fights, the weird occurrences. How 
many times have you washed blood out of my clothing, and you still 
haven't figured it out?

Joyce:  (raises her voice angrily) Well, it stops now!

Buffy:  (raises her voice also) No, it doesn't stop! It *never* stops! 
Do-do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely 
it is, how dangerous? I would *love* to be upstairs watching TV or 
gossiping about boys or... God, even studying! But I have to save the 
world... again.

Joyce:  No. This is insane. (takes Buffy by the shoulders) Buffy, you 
need help.

Buffy:  (throws off her mom's arms) I'm *not* crazy! What I need is for 
you to chill. I *have* to go!

Joyce:  (shakes her head) No. I am not letting you out of this house.

Buffy:  You can't stop me.

Joyce:  (grabs her) Oh yes I...

Buffy shoves her back into the island, making her knock over several 
things. She heads for the door, opens it and steps out.

Joyce:  (angrily) You walk out of this house, don't even *think* about 
coming back!

Buffy just gives her a long stare and leaves. Joyce sighs, having failed 
once again at communicating with her daughter. She turns around and 
leans on the island with her head in her hands.

Cut to Willow's hospital room. Willow is sitting up in her bed with Oz 
in the chair next to her. Xander is sitting on the far side of the room.

Cordelia:  (paces) So Buffy's going for the big showdown, huh? Wish we 
could help. (to Xander) You know, without dying.

Xander:  I don't see how.

Willow:  I wanna try again.

Oz:  Try what?

Willow:  The curse. We never got to finish it. Maybe we *can* restore 
Angel's soul.

Xander:  I don't like it. You're talking about messing with powerful 
magic, and you're weak.

Willow:  I'm okay.

Xander:  You don't look okay. (to Cordelia) Does she?

Cordelia:  You should listen to him. The hair, it's so flat, and the 
lips...

Xander:  (to Cordelia) Could we stay on topic here, honey?

Cordelia:  What?

Xander:  (to Willow) Look, it's not a good idea.

Willow:  There's no use arguing with me. Do you see my resolve face? 
(gives them her resolve face) You've seen it before. You know what it 
means. This can help Buffy. If we turn Angel back soon enough, we can 
stop him from ever awakening Acathla.

Oz:  (gets up) Okay, I pretty much missed out on some stuff, didn't I? 
Because this is all making a kind of sense that's... not.

Willow:  (to Oz) Go with Cordy to the library and get my things. She'll 
fill you in.

Oz:  Sure. (kisses her hand) I'll drive.

He walks out of the room with Cordelia close behind. Xander gets up.

Willow:  Xander, go to Buffy. Tell her what we're doing. Maybe she can 
stall.

Xander:  But I...

Willow:  (points to herself) Resolve face.

Xander:  (gives in) Be careful. (leaves)

Cut to Angelus' mansion. Giles is still tied to his chair, and hangs his 
head weakly.

Angelus:  You know, I can stop the pain. You've been very brave... (puts 
his hand on Giles' shoulder) but it's over. (walks behind him) You've 
given enough. (leans down to Giles' ear) Now let me make it stop.

Giles:  (panting and shaking with pain) Please!

Angelus:  (kneels to face him) Just tell me what I need to know.

Giles:  (weakly) In order... to be worthy...

Angelus:  (whispers) Yeah?

Giles:  (weakly) You must perform the ritual... in a tutu.

Angelus glares at him. Giles doesn't back down.

Giles:  Pillock!

Angelus:  (stands up) All right. Someone get the chainsaw.

Spike:  (wheels himself in) Now, now, don't let's lose our temper.

Angelus:  Keep out of it, sit 'n' spin.

Spike:  Look, you cut him up, you'll never get your answers.

Angelus:  Since when did *you* become so levelheaded?

Spike:  Right about the time you became so pig-headed. You have your way 
with him, you'll never get to destroy the world. And I don't fancy 
spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet. There 
are other ways.

Angelus:  Enlighten me.

Spike:  Hmm. (behind himself) Drusilla? Sweetheart?

She comes in behind him and walks up to them.

Spike:  Do you want to play a game?

She puts her arm on his shoulder, and they both look over at Angelus.

Cut to the library. The main area is cordoned off with yellow crime 
scene tape. Buffy walks in and just grabs and pulls down the tape. As 
she heads toward the table she looks down at the chalk outline of Kendra 
on the floor and passes it slowly, careful not to step on it. When she 
reaches the table she looks for a moment at the Orb, candles and other 
things that were used in the attempt at cursing Angelus. Then she 
reaches under the table, pulls out Kendra's large duffel bag and sets it 
on the table. As she goes through it Snyder comes into the library.

Snyder:  You do know this is a crime scene, don't you? (Buffy looks up 
at him approaching) But then... you're a criminal, so that pretty much 
works out. (stops)

Buffy:  You know I didn't do it. The police will figure it out.

Snyder:  In case you haven't noticed, the police of Sunnydale are 
*deeply* stupid. (takes a few steps closer) It doesn't matter anyway. 
Whatever they find, you've proved too much of a liability for this 
school. (takes a breath) These are the moments you want to savor. You 
wish time would stop so that you could live them over and over again. 
(smiles smugly) You're expelled.

Buffy reaches into the bag and pulls out the sword blessed by the knight 
who first slew Acathla. She holds it up and turns it in her hand. Snyder 
looks at it, at her and gulps. Buffy gazes at the polished blade.

Buffy:  You never ever got a single date in high school, (turns her eyes 
to him) did you?

Snyder:  Your point being?

She starts out of the library and leans the blade into his face as she 
passes him. He bends back nervously and watches her go. This time she 
makes no attempt to avoid the chalk markings on the floor. Snyder pulls 
out his cell phone and dials. He checks to make sure she's gone and 
holds the phone up to his ear.

Snyder:  It's Snyder. (smiles) Tell the Mayor I have good news.

Cut to Angelus' mansion. Drusilla kneels behind Giles, patting the sweat 
from his forehead.

Drusilla:  Is that better? (pats more) Hmm? (pulls away the cloth) Poor 
thing. (runs her finger down his cheek) Let's see what's inside.

She runs her hand up the back of Giles' head and over the top. She 
closes her eyes and concentrates on reading his thoughts. It doesn't 
take long for her to discover something useful. She gasps and removes 
her hand.

Drusilla:  (into Giles' ear) Of course.

She stands up and goes around to his other side and holds up two fingers 
to hypnotize him.

Drusilla:  Look at me.

Giles turns his head weakly to look away, trying to resist. She comes 
around the rest of the way in front of him, waving her fingers.

Drusilla:  Mm-mm-mm-mm.

Finally Giles can no longer resist and looks at her. She waves her 
fingers around some more and draws them in toward her own eyes.

Drusilla:  Be... in me.

In his weakened state Giles quickly falls under her spell. She looks 
into his eyes and smiles.

Drusilla:  Hmm. See with your heart.

She covers his eyes with her hand, and when she takes it away he sees 
Jenny kneeling before him. At first he can't believe it, but then 
accepts it.

Giles:  (smiles) Jenny! I thought I'd lost you.

Dru/Jenny:  (quietly) Shh. I'll never leave you.

Giles:  (tries to get up) We have to get out of here.

Dru/Jenny:  (calms him) No-no-no-no-no. Slowly.

She brushes her hand over his temple, down his cheek and over his lips.

Giles:  It can't be you. (stares into her eyes)

Dru/Jenny:  Did you tell Angel? About the ritual?

Giles:  (breathing erratically) No. (desperately) We have to get... him 
away from Acathla.

Dru/Jenny:  Why? Is he close to figuring it out?

Giles:  (nods, anxious to go) Later.

Dru/Jenny:  (imploringly) Tell me what to do.

Giles looks at her, helpless and confused.

Dru/Jenny:  It's all right. We'll be together... finally. We'll have 
everything we never got to have... Never got to feel... Just tell me 
what to do.

Giles:  (desperately) We have to get Angel away from Acathla.

Dru/Jenny:  Angel himself? He's the key?

Giles:  (weakly) H-h-his, his blood... H-he mustn't...

Dru/Jenny:  Shh. (kisses him) Mm.

They kiss passionately. The camera pulls over to Giles' face. When it 
pans back he's kissing Drusilla. The camera continues to pan over to 
Angelus and Spike as they watch, pleased with the result.

Angelus:  Blood. Of course. The blood on my hands must be my own. I am 
the key that will open up the door. My blood. My life. (considers) Okay. 
Kill him. (turns to go)

Spike:  Uh, but what if he's lying?

Angelus:  Yeah. Good point. Alright, don't kill him. (leans down to 
Spike) You know, I kinda like having you watch my back. It's kinda like 
old times. (chuckles)

They both look over at Drusilla, still kissing Giles.

Spike:  Uh, Drusilla...

She keeps kissing him.

Angelus:  Honey...

Spike:  We are finished here, ducks.

She stops and looks back at them sheepishly.

Drusilla:  Sorry. (smiles evilly) I was in the moment.

Giles opens his eyes and realizes that he's been tricked.

Cut to Giles' apartment. Whistler walks into the kitchen and looks 
around. He spots a bottle of sherry and takes a sniff, but then sees 
that it's empty. He puts it back down and keeps looking around. Buffy 
comes in and sees him there. He goes over to check out the refrigerator.

Buffy:  Whistler. What did you mean, the sword isn't enough?

Whistler:  (finds a bottle of beer) You know, raiding an Englishman's 
fridge is like dating a nun. You're never gonna get the good stuff.

Buffy:  Tell me how to use it.

Whistler:  (takes a swig and looks back at Buffy) Angel's the key. 
(closes the fridge) His blood will open the door to Hell. Acathla opens 
his big mouth, creates a vortex. Then only Angel's blood will close it. 
One blow will send 'em both back to Hell. But I strongly suggest that 
you get there before that happens, 'cause the faster you kill Angel, the 
easier it's gonna be on you.

Buffy:  Don't worry about me.

Whistler:  It's all on the line here, kid.

Buffy:  I can deal. (sadly) I got nothing left to lose. (leaves)

Whistler:  Wrong, kid. You got one more thing.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~

Outside Angelus' mansion. The camera pans along its dark facade. Cut to 
the street. Buffy walks toward the mansion at a determined pace with the 
sword wrapped in a cloth. Suddenly Xander comes running out of the 
bushes on the hillside and jumps into the street in front of her. She 
startles and takes a reflexive step back.

Buffy:  Xander!

Xander:  Cavalry's here. Cavalry's a frightened guy with a rock, (holds 
up a large rock) but it's here.

Buffy holds up a stake. He tosses the rock aside and takes it from her.

Xander:  That's better.

Buffy:  You're not here to fight. (starts walking) You get Giles out, 
and you run like hell, understood? I can't protect you. (pulls off and 
discards the cloth) I'm gonna be too busy killing.

Xander:  (looks at the sword) Now, that's a new look for you.

Buffy:  It's a present for Angel.

Xander:  Willow. (stops) Uh, she told me to tell you...

Buffy:  Tell me what?

Xander:  (pauses to think) Kick his ass.

Without a word she continues walking. Xander hesitates a moment and then 
follows.

Cut inside the main hall of the mansion. Spike in his wheelchair, 
Angelus and Drusilla stand at one end near the large fireplace. The 
camera pans along the other side behind Acathla and the two other 
vampires standing on either side. Angelus begins the ritual.

Angelus:  Acathla... Mundatus sum... pro te necavi. Sanguinem meum... 
pro te effundam... (steps slowly toward Acathla) quo me dignum... esse 
demonstrem.

Translation:  Acathla... I am cleansed... here before you. My blood... 
flowing before you... (steps slowly toward Acathla) makes me worthy... 
as I demonstrate.

Cut to Willow's hospital room. Cordelia and Oz are back with the Orb and 
the candles, and they have everything set up on the tray table over the 
bed: the Orb surrounded by the candles within a sacred circle. Cordelia 
stands on one side and waves burning herbs and incense over the Orb. Oz 
stands on the other side with an open Latin book. Willow sits up in her 
bed holding the printout of the Rumanian curse. The camera looks down 
from above and closes in on them.

Willow:  Are we ready? 

Cordelia:  Stinky herbs are a go.

Oz:  Did I mention I didn't take Latin?

Willow:  Y-you don't have to understand it. You just have to say it. I 
hope.

Oz:  Right.

Cut to Angelus' mansion. The camera pans past Acathla's face and the 
vampire standing next to him.

Angelus:  Now, Acathla...

Cut to Angelus. Drusilla hands him a knife.

Angelus:  You will be free.

He draws the blade across the palm of his hand and winces in pain, but 
doesn't take his stare off of the demon. He drops the knife.

Angelus:  And so will we all.

Cut to the other vampire. The camera pans around him to show Buffy 
coming in quietly behind him. She raises her sword and decapitates him 
with a single swing. He crumbles to ash as his head falls to the floor. 
Drusilla and Angelus turn their heads to look. Buffy meets their gazes.

Buffy:  Hello, lover.

Angelus:  (bored) I don't have time for you.

Buffy:  You don't have a lot of time *left*.

Angelus:  Coming on kind of strong, don't you think? You're playing some 
deep odds here. Do you really think you can take us all on?

Buffy:  No. I don't.

Spike gets up out of his wheelchair behind Angelus with a determined 
look on his face and whips him hard across the back with an andiron. 
Angelus cries out in pain and collapses to the floor. Drusilla twists 
her head to look at Spike. He continues to whale on Angelus as hard as 
he can. Buffy starts for Drusilla, but the first vampire attacks her. 
She spins around to face him, but he punches her and she falls to the 
floor. She trips him when he comes at her again and maneuvers to her 
feet, ready to fight. He comes at her again with a series of punches, 
all of which she easily blocks. Spike keeps pounding on Angelus.

Spike:  Painful, isn't it?

He keeps swinging the andiron. Drusilla begins to freak, and jumps on 
Spike, taking him down to the floor with her. Buffy's assailant backhand 
punches her in the face, and she goes staggering into a chair by the 
wall. She quickly recovers to block another swing, brings her knee up 
into his gut and kicks him in the face, knocking him to the floor. She 
spies a pile of broken wood fragments and goes to it. The vampire gets 
to his feet just as Xander comes into the room and surprises him with a 
punch. Buffy picks up a suitable piece of scrap wood and gets back into 
the fight. Xander backs off to go look for Giles. The vampire ducks a 
roundhouse kick and blocks another kick. Spike and Drusilla get up from 
the floor and face each other off.

Spike:  I don't want to hurt you, baby.

She grabs him by the throat and shoves him into the wall. He slaps her 
arm aside and punches her in the face.

Spike:  Doesn't mean I won't.

Cut to the hospital room. Willow casts her stones and gives Oz his cue. 
Cordelia keeps waving the burning herbs and incense.

Oz:  Quod perditum est, invenietur.

Translation:  What is lost, return.

Willow:  Not dead... nor not of the living. Spirits of the interregnum, 
I call.

Cut to the mansion. Xander pushes aside a curtain to another room and 
finds Giles still tied to a chair.

Xander:  Giles!

Giles' head is tilted back, and he is very weak.

Xander:  Giles!

Giles lifts his head slowly. Xander crouches behind the chair and begins 
to untie the ropes.

Giles:  Xander?

Xander:  Can you walk?

Giles:  You're not real.

Xander:  Sure, I'm real.

Giles:  It's a trick. They get inside my head, make me see things I 
want.

Xander has untied the ropes and goes around to look into Giles' face.

Xander:  Then why would they make you see me?

Giles:  (considers) You're right. Let's go.

He groans as Xander gets under his arm and helps him out of the chair. 

Xander:  Come on.

They make their way though the main hall as fast as they can and out the 
door. Buffy and the vampire continue to fight. Drusilla swipes at Spike 
with her hand and leaves four parallel scratches across his cheek. She 
follows up with a punch that knocks him to the floor. Angelus wakes up 
and groans in pain. He rubs his eyes and looks up at Acathla. He gets to 
his feet and goes over to the demon. Buffy is still fighting the 
vampire. She blocks a kick from him, punches him, spins around and 
punches again, and he falls onto his back. Buffy quickly follows him 
down with her stake and jams it into his chest. He bursts into ashes. 
Behind her Angelus takes the last few steps to Acathla and grabs the 
sword stuck in his chest by the hilt with his bloody hand. A blindingly 
bright light emanates from it, and Buffy looks up from her kill in time 
to witness Angelus pulling the sword from the demon's heart. With a few 
telltale sparks the light is suddenly gone. Angelus whips the sword 
around in his hand and holds it up to look at it. Buffy scrambles to get 
her own sword. Drusilla looks up from her fight and gazes at Acathla 
with a smile.

Drusilla:  Oh... Here he comes.

Spike comes up behind her and grabs her around the throat with his arm, 
choking her.

Cut to the hospital. Willow continues her chant, but starts to feel 
weak.

Willow:  Gods, bind him. Cast his heart from the... evil... realm.

Cut to the mansion. Buffy holds up her sword and faces off with Angelus. 
He holds his own ready to fight her also.

Angelus:  You almost made it, Buff.

Buffy:  It's not over yet.

Angelus:  My boy Acathla here is about to wake up. You're going to Hell.

Buffy:  Save me a seat.

She thrusts at him with her sword, but he parries and swings around with 
a thrust of his own, which she also parries. They clash blades several 
times, and Buffy ducks a wide arcing swing from him. They face off again 
and trade one thrust and parry after another. Angelus tries another 
arcing swing from above, but she easily ducks and sidesteps out of the 
way. They face off again in front of Acathla and trade a few more blows. 
Angelus tries a swing from above a third time, and again Buffy ducks it 
and escapes to the side. She jumps up on a low table and swings at him 
again. He parries, and swings at her legs. She jumps up and over his 
blade and lands on the floor. He tries for her legs again, but she 
blocks his attempt with her blade. Again they trade several swings, and 
Angelus tries a wide swing again, and this time cuts her superficially 
on the arm. He tries to take advantage of her distraction and comes at 
her with his sword held high, intending to swing from above, but she 
drops to the floor and rolls out of the way, so he only manages to smash 
a bowl on a table behind her. Buffy kicks his legs out from under him 
and scrambles back up. He turns to face her still on his knees and 
swings three times in rapid succession, all of which she parries. He 
swings a fourth time, and this time Buffy knocks his sword into the 
table with her parry and pins it there. He backhand punches her in the 
face, and she spins away. He pulls the sword from the table and swings 
it hard at her. She blocks it with hers, and kicks him in the gut, 
making him double over. She jumps over him into the clear, and raises 
her sword to continue the fight. He thrusts, and she parries. Then he 
kicks her in her sword arm, and she stumbles back a step.

Cut to the hospital. Willow gets weaker as she chants and breathes 
heavily.

Willow:  Return. (pants) I call on... (pants)

Oz:  (worried) Willow?

Cordelia:  (worried) Are you okay?

Without warning Willow's head snaps back and she looks up with her eyes 
wide open. Her head snaps back down and her eyes stare into the Orb. She 
begins to chant steadily in Rumanian as though possessed.

Willow:  Te implor, Doamne, nu ignora aceasta rugaminte.

Translation:  I implore you, Lord, do not ignore this request.

Oz:  (to Cordelia) Is this a good thing?

Willow:  Nici mort, nici al fiintei...

Translation:  Neither dead, nor of the living...

Cordelia:  (freaked out) Hey, speak English!

Willow:  Lasa orbita sa fie vasul care-i va transporta, sufletul la el.

Translation:  Let this Orb be the vessel that will carry his soul to 
him.

Cut to Angelus' mansion. The fight has moved out into the atrium. Buffy 
hits the ground and scrambles back to her feet as Angelus slowly 
advances. She thrusts, and he parries. She spins around and swings at 
him, and he blocks her. Her sword bounces off of his and falls with the 
tip onto the low wall of a planting bed. Angelus stomps on the blade 
before she can raise it again and knocks it from her grip. He spins 
around and elbows her in the face, knocking her back into a stone table, 
which collapses and falls with her.

Cut to Acathla. Deep thundering growls and noises come from him as he 
begins to wake.

Cut to Spike choking Drusilla. She begins to lose consciousness and 
slumps over in his arms.

Spike:  Sorry, baby. Wish there was another way.

When she begins to fall he catches her, lifts her into his arms and 
starts to carry her out. On the way he passes the doorway to the atrium 
and glances outside. When he sees them he stops to take a better look. 
Buffy is backing up against the wall without her sword while Angelus 
slowly and deliberately advances on her holding his.

Spike:  God, he's gonna kill her.

He watches for another moment, then shrugs and heads for the garage with 
Drusilla.

Cut to the atrium. Angelus plays with his sword, idly pointing it at 
Buffy. She looks up at him, frightened.

Angelus:  Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends... No 
hope.

Buffy closes her eyes and steels herself for whatever's coming.

Angelus:  Take all that away... and what's left?

He draws the sword back and thrusts it directly at her face. With 
lightning-fast reflexes she swings up with both arms and catches the 
blade between the palms of her hands. She opens her eyes and meets his.

Buffy:  Me.

She shoves the blade away from her, and the hilt of the sword hits 
Angelus in the face. He staggers back, and she hops to her feet and 
kicks him in the chest. He stumbles back even more, and she reaches down 
and picks up her sword. She swings it around and thrusts at him, but he 
manages to parry. They exchange several blows, blocking each other. 
Buffy spins around and swings her sword down at him from above. He holds 
up his own to block, but she hits it hard and he falls to one knee. She 
swings again, and he blocks. She spins around with a roundhouse kick to 
his side, and he collapses to the ground.

Cut outside the garage. Spike smashes through the door with his car. The 
windows are all painted black. He screeches into the street and guns it. 
Cut into the car. Drusilla is lying unconscious in the passenger's seat. 
Spike concentrates on the road and whips around a corner. When heading 
straight again he looks over at her. He reaches around her neck and 
pulls her over to him, and holds her close as he keeps driving with only 
one hand on the wheel.

Cut to the mansion. Buffy kicks Angelus, and he comes flying in through 
the door, hits the floor and rolls to a stop. Before he can get all the 
way back to his feet Buffy leaps in and swings her sword at him. He 
almost misses parrying her blow, and he steps back to get his footing. 
They exchange a few more swings. Angelus misses a block and gets sliced 
on his hand.

Cut to the hospital. The table lurches hard. The camera pans around 
Willow and closes in on her face.

Willow:  Asa sa fie! Asa sa fie! Acum!

Translation:  So it shall be! So it shall be! Now!

Cut to the mansion. Angelus has dropped his sword and holds his cut. 
Buffy does a high kick to his face, and he falls backward into Acathla 
and lands on his knees before her.

Cut to the hospital.

Willow:  Acum!

Translation:  Now!

The Orb glows brightly for a brief moment and goes dark. Willow suddenly 
relaxes, and looks around blankly.

Cut to the mansion. Buffy raises her sword to dispatch Angelus, but 
stays herself when he suddenly gasps loudly and groans in pain. She sees 
his eyes glow bright red for an instant and go back dark. He looks up at 
her, but quickly collapses to the floor, crying. Buffy stares down at 
him, but still holds her sword raised behind her. Angel raises himself 
back up, his eyes heavy with tears, and looks into her eyes.

Angel:  (softly) Buffy? (sobs) What's going on?

She just looks at him, confused but not yet ready to lower the sword. He 
looks around a bit and gets to his feet.

Angel:  Where are we? I-I don't remember.

Finally Buffy realizes that the curse has worked, and she slowly lowers 
her sword.

Buffy:  (softly) Angel?

Angel:  (sees her wound) You're hurt.

She looks down at her wound and feels his gentle touch on her arm. She 
ignores her cut, looks back up at him and steps closer. He embraces her 
tightly.

Angel:  Oh, Buffy... God.

She still isn't completely sure that it's true, but accepts the hug.

Angel:  I... I feel like I haven't seen you in months.

Finally she accepts it, closes her eyes and breathes out a deep sigh.

Angel:  Oh, my God, everything's so muddled. I...

He holds her even more closely.

Angel:  Oh...

He sighs deeply and kisses her on the shoulder.

Angel:  Oh, Buffy...

She cries into his shoulder and hugs him back. Behind him Acathla lets 
out a low rumble. Buffy opens her eyes and stares in shock as Acathla's 
face contorts. His brows angle down, his eyes glow red, his mouth opens 
grotesquely and the swirling vortex to Hell opens, small at first, but 
growing steadily in size and emanating a deep, red glow. Buffy lets go 
of Angel and looks up into his face.

Angel:  (confused) What's happening?

Buffy:  (whispers reassuringly) Shh. Don't worry about it.

She brushes her fingers over his lips and across his cheek. She lays her 
hand on his cheek and kisses him softly. He returns the kiss, and it 
becomes more passionate. Behind them the vortex has grown to about five 
feet (1.5 m) across and continues to get larger. Buffy breaks off the 
kiss and looks deeply into Angel's eyes.

Buffy:  (whispers) I love you.

Angel:  (whispers) I love you.

She touches his lips with her fingers again.

Buffy:  Close your eyes.

She nods reassuringly, and he closes his eyes. She tries hard not to 
start crying, and kisses him again gently. She steps back, draws back 
her sword and thrusts it into his chest. His eyes whip open in surprise 
and pain, and a bright light emanates from the sword. She steps away 
from him. He reaches out to her and looks down at the sword thrust 
completely through him. He looks at her imploringly, completely 
bewildered by this turn of events. She can only stare at the sword 
protruding from his chest, and slowly steps further back.

Angel:  Buffy...

Behind him the power of the sword begins to swirl into the vortex. Buffy 
steps further back, still looking only at the sword in his chest and not 
into his face. The vortex has enlarged to about twelve feet (3.5 m) 
across, and the two energies begin to interact. Angel still holds out 
his hand to Buffy. When the vortex finally meets him it suddenly closes 
into Acathla's mouth without so much as a spark, taking him with it. 
Buffy stares at the stone demon for a long moment, a light of awareness 
dawning in her eyes as she truly realizes what she has done, what she 
has lost. She begins to sob, her heart breaking. In the background "Full 
of Grace", by Sarah McLachlan, begins to play over the scene.

Lyrics:  The winter here is cold...

Dissolve to Buffy's street. She walks across it toward her house.

Lyrics:  ...and bitter / It's chilled us to the bone / We haven't seen 
the sun for weeks / Too long, too far from home

She looks at the neighboring houses, then back at hers. Cut into the 
house. Joyce climbs the steps and looks down the hall at Buffy's door.

Lyrics:  I feel just like I'm sinking

Joyce:  Buffy?

Lyrics:  And I claw for solid ground

She walks to Buffy's room and looks in. The windows are open, and some 
of her daughter's things are strewn on the bed. She steps in and looks 
around.

Lyrics:  I'm pulled down by the undertow

She sees a note on the bed among a bunch of clothes.

Lyrics:  I never thought I could feel so low

She picks up the note and reads.

Lyrics:  And, oh, darkness / I feel like letting go

She begins to cry as she reads and sits down on the bed.

Lyrics:  If all of the strength and all of the courage / Come and lift 
me from this place

Cut to Sunnydale High School. Xander and Giles walk up to Oz pushing 
Willow in a wheelchair with Cordelia at their side. Giles' walk is a bit 
unsteady.

Lyrics:  I know I can love you much better than this / Full of grace

Giles:  Willow, are you sure you should be out of bed?

Willow:  Look who's talking.

Giles:  (smiles) Yes.

Cordelia:  Any word?

Xander:  You guys haven't seen her either?

Willow:  No.

Oz:  But we know the world didn't end, 'cause... (looks around) check it 
out.

Giles:  (takes off his glasses and squints) Well, we, uh... we went back 
to the mansion. I-it was empty, um... and Acathla was, was... dormant.

Willow:  I think the spell worked. I felt something go through me.

Cordelia:  Plus the Orb did that cool glow thing.

Xander:  Well, maybe it wasn't in time. Maybe she had to kill him before 
the cure could work.

Oz:  Well, then, she'd wanna be alone, I guess.

Willow:  Or maybe Angel *was* saved, and they want to be alone together.

Giles:  Perhaps.

Cordelia:  Well, she's gotta show up sooner or later. We still have 
school.

Willow:  Yeah. (looks around for her) She'll be here in a while.

Lyrics:  Where everything we said and did / Hurts us all the more

They all turn and head into the school.

Lyrics:  It's just that we stayed too long / In the same old sickly skin

Cut to Buffy looking at the school from behind a tree. She watches them 
as they go in.

Lyrics:  I'm pulled down by the undertow / I never thought I could feel 
so low

The camera pans around her to her face, looking sadly at the school. A 
light breeze sweeps her hair back.

Lyrics:  And, oh, darkness / I feel like letting go

She turns around and walks away down the street without looking back.

Lyrics:  If all of the strength and all of the courage / Come and lift 
me from this place

Dissolve to the inside of a bus. Buffy's reflection is visible in the 
window as it drives by her house.

Lyrics:  I know I can love you much better than this / Full of grace

Buffy looks out the window calmly as the bus drives on.

Cut to a two-lane road leading out of town. The bus passes under the 
camera on its way.

Lyrics:  I know I can love you much better than this

The camera pans down to a sign that reads:

NOW LEAVING SUNNYDALE
come back soon!

Lyrics:  It's better this way

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