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~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~
Buffy's room. She takes the last of her things out of her bag, walks
over to her closet and dumps them in. She turns around and looks at the
room that she's missed so much for the last few months. It all seems so
familiar, and yet not. Certainly it's too neat and clean. She reaches
into her closet for a sweater and heads over to her mother's room.
Cut to Joyce's room. She's hammering a nail into the wall by the window
to hang an ancient tribal mask. Buffy steps into the room.
Joyce is very startled and jumps, accidentally slamming the hammer
through the drywall.
Joyce: Oh! Buffy.
Buffy cringes at the sight of the hole in the wall. Her mother pulls the
hammer out and turns to face her, smiling while still holding the hammer
in one hand, the mask in the other.
Joyce: No, no! Don't worry about it. I-I guess I just got used to all
the quiet while you were gone. (smiles) But it's no problem.
She looks down at the mask in her hand, and turns around to hang it on
the wall over the hole. It's carved from a reddish wood with cutouts for
eyes, which are slanted inward to appear very evil. There are a series
of long, pointed teeth with extra long fangs for incisors set into the
upper lip. There is no lower jaw portion.
Joyce: Uh, look! (hangs the mask on its hook) It's, uh, Nigerian.
(faces Buffy again) We got a very exciting shipment in at the Gallery.
(glances around the room) I, um, thought I'd hang a few pieces in here.
It cheers up the room.
Buffy: (looking at the mask) It's angry at the room, Mom. It wants the
room to suffer.
Joyce: (nods) You have no appreciation of primitive art. (sees that
Buffy is holding a sweater) You going out?
Buffy: (looks down at the sweater) Oh. Um... Well, i-if it's okay. I,
um... I'd like to find Willow and Xander.
Joyce: Will you be slaying?
Buffy: Only if they give me lip. (smiles weakly)
Joyce: Uh, can I make you a sandwich or something before you go? You
must be starving.
Buffy: I was un-until that four-course snack you served me after
Joyce: Well, then, um... (goes to her dresser) You know, why don't I
drive you? (grabs her keys) I mean, they could be anywhere.
Buffy: Mom... If you don't want me to go, just say so.
Joyce: No, no. (looks down at her keys briefly) I-I just want to put
this whole thing behind us, get back to normal. (inhales deeply) You go.
Have a good time.
She smiles and gives her mom a little wave, then leaves the room.
Cut to an alley. A truck drives by. Behind it Buffy walks along, looking
around. She hears something fall to the ground and break, and stops to
look in the direction of the sound. Slowly she starts to walk in that
Cut to an intersection in the alley. Buffy comes around the corner and
looks down the adjoining way. There she sees a man dressed in black,
walking suspiciously, as though looking for something. She begins to
follow silently, but doesn't notice an empty aluminum can on the
pavement, and steps on it. The man reacts instantly to the noise, spins
around and swings at her with a stake. Buffy throws up her arms and
cross blocks the swing, then deftly takes the stake from the man's hands
and raises it to counter attack. He steps back, and the white cross
hanging from his neck swings around, standing out in marked contrast to
the rest of his attire. Buffy sees that it's Xander, and stays her
attack. Xander is taken completely by surprise and just stares back at
Buffy: (lowers the stake) Didn't anyone ever warn you about playing
with pointy sticks? (shakes it at him) It's all fun and games until
somebody loses an eye.
Xander: You shouldn't sneak up on people like that!
He breathes hard, trying to catch his breath. He looks at her, trying to
convince himself that it's really her, and finally manages a weak smile.
Xander: Jeez, Buff!
Suddenly a vampire smashes his way out of a crate leaning against a
wall. He lunges at Xander and Buffy, knocking them and himself to the
pavement. Xander quickly tries to grab the vampire as he gets up, but
the demon grabs Xander instead and pulls him up. He draws his fist back
for a punch, but Buffy jumps in and hits the vampire in the stomach with
a powerful side kick, making him fall backwards into a pile of trashcans
and bags. Cordelia's voice comes over the walkie-talkie at Xander's
Cordelia: Come in, Nighthawk! Everything okay?
Buffy: (taken aback) Nighthawk?
The vampire is back on his feet and comes at them.
He tackles Xander and sends him reeling backwards into a chain link
fence. Buffy tries to stake him, but he sidesteps her and shoves her
into the fence as well. Xander tries to come up behind him, but the
vampire swings out with a backhand fist to Xander's face, knocking him
to the ground. Buffy gets to her feet and sweep blocks two punches from
the demon. She high clocks his third punch and gets a hand under his
chin to hold him at bay. He pushes her back into the fence as the two
struggle for control. Now Willow, Cordelia and Oz come running. The two
girls grab the vampire by the arms and drag him off of Buffy and across
the alley, slamming him hard into a steel roll-up door. Buffy catches
her breath as she looks on in astonishment. The vampire growls at the
girls as Oz tries to move in with a stake, but the vamp roundhouse kicks
Oz, sending him to the pavement next to Xander. He then shoves Cordelia
away, and Buffy quickly moves to catch her so she won't get hurt. The
vampire then throws Willow aside, and she falls onto Xander and Oz.
Cordelia: (recognizes) Oh, hey, Buffy.
Buffy pushes her aside and wields back her stake when she sees the
vampire come after them. Cordelia loses her balance and falls to the
pavement next to Willow. Buffy plunges her stake cleanly into the
vampire, and he bursts into ashes. As the dust settles down, she looks
over at her friends staring up at her from the ground. They are all
breathing hard. Buffy gives them a little wave and a weak smile.
Buffy: Hey, guys.
They just keep staring back. Xander lets his head drop back to the
Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.
~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~
Giles' apartment building. Cut to outside his door. The kids are all
Buffy: You know, maybe it's too late. Maybe we should just come back
No one makes a move to go. Buffy looks at the door, then back at the
Buffy: What if he's mad?
Xander: Mad? Just because you ran away and abandoned your post and your
friends and your mom and made him lay awake every night worrying about
you? (to Oz and Willow) Maybe we should wait out here.
Buffy gives him a look. She turns around to face the door, reaches for
the knocker and taps it a few times. Cut inside. Giles opens the door
and sees Buffy standing there flanked by the others. His face remains
expressionless for a long moment.
Xander: (to Giles) Check it out. The Watcher is back on the clock.
(Giles slips on his glasses) And just when you were thinking career
change, maybe becoming a... a looker or a... a seer.
Giles: Thank you, Xander.
He looks at his Slayer.
Giles: Welcome home, Buffy.
Buffy smiles up at him. He pulls the door open further and steps back so
they can all come in.
Cut to Giles' living room. Oz, Willow, Buffy and Xander are all on he
couch. Cordelia is sitting in a facing chair. Giles is leaning on the
backrest of another chair.
Buffy: I got in a few hours ago, but I wanted to go see my mom first.
Giles: Yes. Yes, of course. How, how did you find her?
Buffy: Well, I pretty much remembered the address.
Giles: Ah, eh, I mean, uh...
The teakettle in his kitchen begins to whistle.
Giles: How are things between you? (notices the whistling) Ah. Excuse
me. (goes into the kitchen)
Oz: Hey, so you're not wanted for murder anymore.
Buffy: Good. That was such a drag.
Xander: So where were you? Did you go to Belgium?
Buffy: (gives him an odd look) Why would I go to Belgium?
Xander: I think the relevant question is why wouldn't you? (smiles
hugely and giggles) Bel-gium!
They both laugh.
Cut into the kitchen. Giles gets the cups out of his cupboard. He smiles
as he listens to the conversation in the living room, pleased that they
are getting along so well again so quickly.
Buffy: What about you, Xander? What's up with you?
Xander: Oh, you know, same old, same old.
Giles removes his glasses and leans with his arm against the cupboard,
enjoying the sound of his Slayer's voice again after so many months.
Xander: Okay, I lied, a whole lot is new.
Buffy: Well, that's good, isn't it? New is good.
Giles shakes himself out of his reverie and puts his glasses back on.
Xander: Oh, yeah, absolutely, except for the obvious. It's not too
Cordelia: Yeah, 'cause you weren't at the hotel.
Giles lifts up the serving tray and takes it into the living room.
Xander: Cordelia's parents dragged her onto a luxury vacation.
Buffy: I feel for you.
Giles: Here we are then. (sets the tray on the coffee table) Cheer us
He sits down in his chair and takes the teapot. Buffy and Xander each
take a cookie from the tray.
Cordelia: So were you, like, living in a box, or what?
Buffy: Well, it's a long story.
Xander: So skip the heartwarming stuff about kindly old people and
saving the farm and get right to the dirt.
Giles: (pours several cups) Perhaps Buffy could use a little time to
adjust before we grill her on her summer activities.
Buffy: What he said.
Xander: Fair enough. In fact, you can leave the slaying to us while you
settle in. We got you covered.
Buffy: I noticed. You guys seem down with the slayage, all tricked out
with your walkies and everything.
Cordelia: Yeah, but the outfits suck. This whole Rambo thing is so
over. I'm thinking more sporty, like Hilfiger maybe.
Willow: Still, we were getting good. We dusted (nods) nine out of ten.
Oz: (whispers to Willow) Six out of ten.
Willow: Six out of ten.
Xander: Whatever, we were kicking a little undead booty.
Buffy: Well, thank you for the offer, but I think I just wanna get back
to my normal routine. You know, school, slaying... kid's stuff. In fact,
I'm jonesing for a little brainless fun. (to Xander) What are you doing
Xander: Oh, I would, but, uh, (reaches his hands around Cordelia's arm)
I'm kind of tied up. (smiles)
Cordelia: You wish. (pushes him away)
Xander sits back into the couch, embarrassed.
Buffy: (to Willow) Will?
Willow: Um, tomorrow I...
Buffy: Oh, come on. Friends don't let friends browse alone.
Willow: Okay. I had some schoolwork, but... I can change my plans.
Giles: (raises his cup) As for school, Buffy, uh, you know you'll have
to talk to Principal Snyder before...
Buffy: On it. Mom is making an appointment with His Ugliness. I know
she can break him.
Giles looks up from his tea and gives her an unsure little grin.
Cut to Principal Snyder's office at Sunnydale High. Snyder looks at
Joyce and Buffy intently from behind his desk.
Snyder: Absolutely not. Under no circumstances.
Joyce: But you can't keep her out of school. You don't have the right.
Snyder: I have not only the right, but also a nearly physical sensation
of pleasure at the thought of keeping her out of school. I'd describe
myself as tingly.
Joyce: Buffy was cleared of all those charges.
Snyder: Yes. And while she may live up to the not-a-murderer
requirement for enrollment, she is a troublemaker, destructive to school
property and the occasional student. And her grade point average is
enough to... (his eyes glaze over for an instant) I'm sorry. Another
tingle moment. (smiles smugly)
Joyce: (with controlled anger in her voice) I don't see how you can be
so cavalier about a young girl's entire future!
Snyder: I'm quite sure that a girl with the talents and abilities of
Buffy will land on her feet. In fact, (leans toward Buffy) I noticed as
I came in this morning that Hot Dog on a Stick is hiring. (Buffy gives
him an angry stare) You will look so cute in that hat.
Buffy: Let's go, Mom.
She gets up and walks toward the door. Her mother stands up and faces
Joyce: This isn't over. If I have to, I'll go all the way to the Mayor.
(follows Buffy out)
Snyder: Wouldn't that be interesting.
Cut to Sunnydale's shopping district across the street from the Espresso
Pump. Buffy and Joyce pull up to the curb in their Jeep.
Joyce: Don't worry about school, honey. If we can't get you back into
Sunnydale, maybe we can swing private school.
Buffy: Private school? You mean, like jackets and kilts? You want me to
get field hockey knees?
Joyce: (smiles) It's not that bad.
Buffy: What about home schooling? You know, it's not just for scary
religious people anymore.
Joyce: We'll work something out. Okay?
They lean toward each other and kiss goodbye.
Joyce: Say hi to Willow?
Buffy nods as she releases her seatbelt and gets out of the car.
Cut to later, still in front of the cafe'. Buffy is standing and waiting
for Willow. She checks her watch, and then lets her arms droop,
disappointed. She walks over to a bench and sits down to watch and wait
for her friend. She watches all the people going by. Her expression
starts to get sad and a little bit annoyed as she checks her watch
Cut to Buffy's house, much later. She walks up the path toward the
house. The front door opens, and Buffy sees a woman come out and pull
the door closed behind her. She looks at her, confused. The woman sees
her and smiles.
Pat: Oh, my word! Oh, you must be Buffy! (steps down from the porch)
Look at you. Aren't you a picture?
Buffy: (unsure) Thank you.
Pat: Oh, I'm Pat, (offers her hand) from your mom's book club. (they
shake hands) I'm sure she mentioned me.
Pat: I, um, I sort of took it upon myself to look after her while you
were, (rolls her eyes) you know, off and away or what have you, and...
Buffy looks aside, not believing this conversation.
Pat: (inhales) Well, between, uh, (exhales) your situation and reading
'Deep End of the Ocean', she was, uh, she was just a wreck. You can
Buffy gives her a thin smile and a weak nod.
Pat: Anyway, I'm off. We're making empanadas in my Spanish class
tonight. (giggles) You go be with your mom. You two need to rebond.
She smiles and goes on her way.
Cut inside to the kitchen. Buffy comes in and sets her purse on the
island. Joyce is taking some notes from a book.
Buffy: Pat wishes us quality time. (goes to the cupboard)
Joyce: Oh. I met her in a...
Buffy: Book club. (gets out a glass)
Buffy: Got it.
Joyce: (looks up) Oh, uh, before I forget, uh, Willow just called.
Buffy: (suddenly attentive) Where was she?
Joyce: Uh, she, she got held up, but she said she tried to call.
Buffy: (confused) Was there a message?
She steps over to the fridge and gets out a pitcher.
Joyce: No. But I had a thought. What if I invited Willow and Mr. Giles
and everybody over for dinner tomorrow night? (smiles) Don't you think
that would be nice?
Buffy just opens the pitcher and pours herself a drink.
Joyce: Since I sort of already did, I was hoping for a yes.
Buffy looks up at her mom and gives her a little smile and a nod.
Buffy: It'll be fun. (loses her smile)
Joyce: Great. Uh, do me a favor? Run down and get the company plates.
Buffy: Mom, Willow and everybody aren't company-plate people. They're
Joyce: We never have guests for dinner. Indulge your mother?
Buffy just sighs and heads for the basement door.
Cut to the basement. Buffy grabs a stepstool and sets it down in front
of an old bookcase full of stuff. She steps up on it and notices a
picture on an upper shelf. She pulls it out into the light. It's a photo
of her with Willow and Xander. They are on a lawn, and she is sitting
with Willow behind her and Xander laying his head on her legs with his
eyes turned up at her. She looks at it for a long moment, remembering
the time it was taken. She then puts it back and looks up where the good
china is. She reaches for the box and starts to pull it down, when a
dead and rotting cat suddenly falls off of it.
She jerks her head forward, and the cat falls behind her to the floor.
She looks down at it squeamishly.
Cut to the backyard. Buffy grunts as she shovels out a bunch of dirt
among some bushes to make a shallow grave for the cat.
Buffy: Next time, I get to pick the mother-daughter bonding activity.
Joyce lifts a bag with the cat over the hole and drops it in.
Joyce: Do you wanna say something?
Buffy: Like what? Thanks for stopping by and dying?
Joyce: How about, um... Good-bye, stray cat, who lost its way. We hope
you find it.
Buffy accepts that and turns back to the hole to fill it back in.
Cut to Buffy's room at 11:34 that night. She reaches over to the lamp on
her nightstand and turns it off. She lies back in her bed and hugs the
covers to herself. She looks around in the dark, lonely room and waits
to fall asleep.
Cut to Joyce's room. She is sound asleep in her bed. The camera pans up
from her and over to the Nigerian mask on the wall. Its eyes begin to
glow a deep red.
Cut to the bushes in the backyard. The dirt covering the dead cat begins
to move. A moment later the cat pokes its head through the soil, meows
menacingly and claws its way out. Once out, it continues hissing and
growling as it walks off.
~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~
Sunnydale High. Buffy walks into the hall from outside. The door closes
behind her with an echoing clang, startling her. She looks back at it,
but then continues walking. The school is deserted. She walks past the
empty lounge toward the library. The doors are wide open, and she looks
in for a moment. It's just as deserted as the rest of the school.
Cut outside. The sun shines brightly down on the quad. Buffy slowly
walks down the outside stairs, all the while looking around for any
indication that anyone else is there. When she reaches the bottom of the
stairs she turns out into the quad. She stops when she sees Angel coming
toward her, but then keeps walking as he gets behind her and follows her
across the quad.
Buffy: I thought they'd be here.
Angel: They are. They're waiting for you.
Buffy: (looks at him) Am I dreaming?
Angel: (smiles and chuckles) I'm probably the wrong person to ask.
(Buffy looks ahead again) You'd better go.
Buffy: (looks at him) I'm afraid.
Angel: (shrugs and looks at her) You should be.
He stops walking and watches her go. The school bell rings.
Cut to Buffy's room. The school bell blends into the sound of her alarm
buzzer going off. Buffy wakes from her dream. She turns over and looks
at her alarm clock. 7:00am. She reaches over and turns it off.
Cut to the kitchen. Buffy stares into the refrigerator while she listens
to her mother talking.
Joyce: I've been on the phone with the, uh, Superintendent of Schools.
At least he seems more reasonable than that nasty little horrid, bigoted
Joyce: Anyway, um, I'm going in to speak with him this afternoon. Uh,
as for private schools, uh, Miss Porter's accepts late admissions.
Buffy closes the fridge and turns to give her mom a look.
Joyce: I, uh, I wrote the information down for you.
Buffy: A girls' school? (goes to the island to read the slip of paper)
So now it's jackets, kilts, and no boys? (looks back at her mom) Care to
throw in a little foot-binding?
Joyce sets down her coffee mug and steps over to her daughter.
Joyce: Buffy, you made some bad choices. You just might have to live
with some consequences.
Buffy looks down at the island, knowing that her mom is right.
Joyce: Nothing's settled yet. (looks for something to do and spies the
trash) I just wish you didn't have to be so secretive about things.
(ties off the trashbag) I mean, it's not your fault you have a special
circumstance. They should make allowances for you.
Buffy: Mom, I'm a Slayer. It's not like I need to ride a little bus to
Joyce: (walks to the door with the trash) Couldn't you just tell a few
people, like Principal Snyder and maybe the police?
Buffy looks at her like she's got to be kidding.
Joyce: I mean, I would think they would be happy to have a... a
Buffy can't believe her ears.
Joyce: Is that the right term? I mean, it's not offensive, is it?
She opens the door to take out the trash, and gasps in fright when she
sees the dead cat run in. It stops and meows at them menacingly.
Cut to later at the front door. Buffy opens it to admit Giles holding a
Buffy: Welcome to the Hellmouth Petting Zoo.
She indicates upstairs. Giles looks up and starts to climb the stairs
while Buffy closes the door behind him. She follows him up.
Cut to Joyce's bedroom. The cat is hiding under the bed. Giles grabs it
by the back of its neck and pulls it out.
Giles: Oh, my God, what a stench!
He takes the cat over to the cage, puts it in and closes the latch.
Buffy: You know, I wanted Forest Pine or April Fresh, but Mom wanted
Joyce looks at the cat, grossed out by its appearance and smell.
Giles: I'll, uh...
He steps back for a moment, overcome by the stench.
Giles: Ugh! I'll get it back to the library, see if we can determine
its exact origins.
He lifts the cage and turns to face Joyce. She looks at it, then up at
Giles. He notices the mask on the wall behind her.
Giles: It's, uh... striking and... Nigerian.
Joyce: Oh. Yes. I-I-I have this wonderful dealer who specializes in
ancient artifacts, I don't know if you...
Buffy: (interrupts) You know, I love art talk as much as the next very
dull person, but we have work to do, Giles. Research mode. (heads for
Giles: Sh-sh-shouldn't you stay with your mother, perhaps, Buffy? I
mean, you must have...
Joyce: Please, no. I, it's fine. She can go with you.
Giles: A-actually, she can't. Um... (to Buffy) You're not allowed on
Buffy: Oh. (smiles ironically)
Giles: I'm sorry. Um, uh... I'll, I'll call as, as soon as I know
He reaches for the doorknob. The cat growls and hisses.
Joyce: Oh, we'll see you tonight?
Giles: Tonight, then. Yes.
He opens the door and leaves.
Cut to the library. The caged cat is on the table. Oz is inspecting it
closely, apparently not bothered by its stench. Willow is engrossed in
research. Cordelia keeps her distance while Xander shares Oz's
fascination, but from a bit further off.
Oz: It looks dead. It smells dead. (Xander nods in agreement) Yet it's
movin' around. That's interesting.
Cordelia: Nice pet, Giles. Don't you like anything regular? Golf, USA
Today, or anything? (sits opposite Willow to help research)
Giles: (comes down from the stacks) I'm trying to find out how and why
it rose from the grave. It's not as if I'm going to take it home and
offer it a saucer of warm milk.
Oz: Well, I like it. I think you should call it Patches.
Willow: What about Buffy's welcome home dinner tonight? I had told her
mom we'd help out. Bring stuff.
Cordelia: I'm the dip.
Everyone looks at her. She doesn't notice and continues reading.
Xander: Uh, you gotta admire the purity of it. (chuckles)
Cordelia: (looks up at everyone) What? Onion dip. Stirring, *not*
cooking. It's what I bring.
Oz: (leans back in his chair) We should figure out what kinda deal this
is. I mean, is it a-a gathering, a shindig or a hootenanny?
Cordelia: What's the difference?
Oz: Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig, (nods to
Cordelia) dip, (Cordelia smiles) less mellow song stylings, perhaps a
large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it's chock full of
hoot, just a little bit of nanny.
Xander: Well, I hate brie.
Cordelia: I know. It smells like Giles' cat.
Giles: It's not my...
Xander: (interrupts) And what'll we talk about at a gathering anyway?
'So, Buffy, did you meet any nice pimps on your travels? And oh, by the
by, thanks for ruining our lives for the past three months.'
Xander: You know what I mean. She doesn't want to talk about it, we
don't want to talk about it, so why don't we just shut up and dance?
Willow: Well, Buffy said she did want to loosen up, you know, have some
kid time. (to Oz) Aren't you guys rehearsing tonight? Why don't you play
at the party?
Oz: Yeah, I think I could supply some Dingo action.
Giles: Uh, I-I'm not sure that, a, a, um... shindig...
Giles: H-hootenanny i-i-is really the order of the day. Uh, uh, it
should... Maybe something a little more intimate. I-I-I mean, Buffy has
just got home. I'm, I'm sure she's still feeling a little disoriented.
Willow: All the more reason to make her feel welcome, a-and a big party
says, 'Welcome, Buffy.'
Xander slaps Giles on the back. Giles turns to give him a look.
Xander: Okay, so one vote from the Old Guy for a Smelly Cheese Night,
and how many votes for actual fun, huh?
Everyone but Giles raises their hand and smiles.
Giles: Alright, alright. Have it your way. I'm just glad to have her
The cat meows again. Giles continues to page through a book.
Giles: Now things can get back to normal.
He flips a page, but looks over at the cat instead. On the page is a
drawing of Joyce's mask. He flips another page before turning his
attention back to it.
Cut to the Summers house. Cut inside to the dining room. The table is
beautifully set with Joyce's best china, crystal and silverware. Buffy
is dressed up for the occasion. She is putting the last setting into
place when the doorbell rings. She looks over the table one last time
and then goes to open the door. Through the window she sees Pat waiting
there, holding a large plastic food container. Buffy opens the door.
Pat: Hey, there you are! (comes in) Not thinking about any more flights
of fancy, I hope.
Buffy can't believe her comments, and just closes the door.
Pat: Joyce said there was room for one more, so I said forget facial
night and let's party! (smiles) I bet you like empanadas.
She holds out the container to Buffy, who takes it and gives her a fake
Buffy: Do you wanna see my mom?
Buffy: (whining loudly and frantically) MOM!
Pat looks up the stairs and sees Joyce appear at the top.
Joyce: Oh, Pat! Good. Buffy, I hope you don't mind.
The two women embrace.
Pat: Hi! You look great!
The doorbell rings again, and taking the empanadas under one arm, Buffy
turns around to answer it. It's Devon with the band.
Devon: Hey, Buffy. So where do you want the band to set up?
He walks into the living room and looks around for a good spot.
Buffy: Wh-the band?
Two girls follow him in carrying parts of the drum set.
Cut to later. Lots of people are there, and the party is in full swing.
Dingoes Ate My Baby (Four Star Mary) are set up in the corner of the
living room and are playing "Never Mind". The camera pans from the
drummer past Oz on his guitar and Devon at his mic into the crowd. Half
of Sunnydale High must be in attendance, the place is so densely packed
with people. The camera settles on Willow leaning against a table and
smiling at Oz while moving to the beat of the music. The camera turns
back into the crowd and follows a party guest until she passes Buffy.
Buffy looks around at all of the people, not sure who half of them are,
trying to find Willow. She spots her, and walks up to her.
Willow: (smiling) Hey! (listens to the band)
Lyrics: You can send me a savior
Buffy: This is large!
Willow: (looks at Buffy) You like?
Lyrics: That lives till the end of time
Buffy: Yeah. It's great. (looks back at the band) I-I was just sort of
hoping it would be... us.
Willow: Sorry. What? (indicates that it's too loud to hear)
Lyrics: The promise of heaven
Buffy: (louder) This is amazing, but I was sort of hoping we could just
hang together, the gang.
Lyrics: But that only leaves me dry
Willow indicates to the band and makes like she totally can't hear
Buffy. She turns her attention back to Oz and smiles at him.
Buffy senses that Willow is more into watching Oz play with the band
than anything else at the moment, and decides to leave her alone.
Lyrics: Too many saviors / And I won't die
After walking a ways back into the crowd, Buffy changes her mind,
deciding that she wants to talk to Willow now.
Lyrics: I never cried, but I needed more from you
She touches Willow on the arm and indicates they should go someplace to
talk. Willow lets Buffy lead her away through the crowd.
Lyrics: I found my life without you now
Buffy finds a relatively quiet spot in the dining room where they can
Lyrics: And I never mind / I'm only half as blind
Buffy: Is everything okay?
Lyrics: Cause I needed more from you
Buffy: You... You seem to be avoiding me, i-in the one-on-one sense.
Willow: (looks surprised) What?
Lyrics: And I never mind
Willow: This isn't avoiding. See? Here you are, here I am.
Lyrics: I'm only half as blind
Buffy: So we're cool?
Lyrics: Cause I needed more from you
Willow: Way! That's why, with the party, 'cause we're all glad you're
She isn't being very convincing, but Buffy decides to accept it for now.
Willow: Okay. Good.
She goes back to watch the band again. Buffy isn't at all convinced that
Lyrics: You say my reflection never fades from your eyes
Cut to Joyce's bedroom. The mask's eyes begin to glow a deep red again.
Cut to an accident scene. A Sunnydale Police car, red and blue lights
flashing, is parked next to the body of a victim. One officer walks past
it while another interviews witnesses. The camera pans down to the dead
man lying in the street. The Emergency Medical Technician tending to him
gets up and goes to get a gurney. The camera stops on the man's face.
His forehead is severely lacerated. Suddenly his eyes open. The one
under the wound is red with blood. The man immediately sits up.
Cut back to Buffy's party. The Dingoes are playing their next song,
Lyrics: I got another rope over me / But I won't hang / I can feel you
covet my faith
Cut to Xander and Cordelia sucking some serious face by the stairs.
Lyrics: I said another lie / I know why / I don't wanna sway
Buffy comes walking out of the crowd and sees them. She tries to walk by
without being noticed, but Xander sees her. Cordelia doesn't stop
kissing him on the face and neck while he talks to Buffy.
Xander: Hey, Buff, uh... What are you doing?
Buffy: I was just taking a break from all this wacky fun.
Lyrics: I don't wanna sway
Xander: Some kind of party, huh? I guess a lot of people are glad to
have you back.
Buffy: It seems like people I didn't even know missed me.
She looks around at the crowd.
Buffy: Did Giles say he was going to be late?
Lyrics: Seize these worlds / Or never live again
Xander: Uh, he was Library Man last time I saw him. But he'll be here.
He wants to celebrate your homecoming. We all do. I mean, it's great to
have the Buffster back. (smiles)
Lyrics: Seize these worlds
Xander: (tries to get Cordelia's attention) Isn't it?
Cordelia: (smiles) Totally! (nods)
Lyrics: Or never live again
Cordelia: (to Xander) Except you were kinda turning me on with that
whole Boy Slayer look.
Xander: Was I now?
Cordelia: You bet, Nighthawk.
They smile and giggle at each other, and resume their kissing. Buffy
definitely feels like the odd person out.
Buffy: Well, I'll just be, uh... (gives up) Oh, yeah. (leaves)
Cut to Joyce's bedroom. The mask's eyes continue to glow red.
Cut to Sunnydale General Hospital. A trauma team is trying to revive a
burn victim. A nurse holds a pair of defibrillation pads ready while the
doctor pumps his chest and another nurse bags him.
Doctor: Breathe. Breathe.
The man is flat-lining. The heart monitor beeps insistently while the
cursor just moves flatly across the screen.
Doctor: Alright, look. These burns are too extensive. It's 7:43. Let's
He walks off. The one nurse puts away the bag while the other puts away
the defib pads. The camera pans in to the dead man. He has severe
second- and third-degree burns all along the right side of his face and
body. His eyes suddenly whip open. He sits up on the bed, leaving a
puddle of blood on the pillow.
Nurse: Oh, my God!
The reflection on the heart monitor screen shows him violently hitting
people out of his way as he goes.
Cut to the party. Buffy is at the snack table gathering up empty cups.
Lyrics: You know I roll it over in my head
A guy reaches in front of her and grabs a handful of party mix, leans
his head back and dumps it into his mouth. Most of it spills to the
sides and onto the floor.
Lyrics: I won't feel you covet my faith
Buffy just gives a shrug, grabs a few more cups and turns to go throw
them out. She passes two guys talking and overhears their conversation.
Party dude: Hey, what's the deal with this party anyway?
Lyrics: You've said another lie / I know why
Stoner: This party? Heard it was for some chick that just got out of
rehab. (takes a drag from his joint)
Lyrics: I don't wanna sway
Buffy stares at them, less than happy about that rumor, but she ignores
them and continues on toward the kitchen.
Lyrics: I don't wanna sway
Cut to the kitchen. Joyce and Pat are having a little fiesta of their
own, and pour some schnapps into two glasses. They raise their glasses,
clink them together and each take a good sip.
Pat smiles and nods at Joyce.
Lyrics: Seize these worlds
Pat: Now, how you holding up, Joyce, hmm? Really.
Lyrics: Or never live again
Joyce: Really? I'm... I don't know.
Lyrics: Seize these worlds
Joyce: While Buffy was gone, all I could think about was getting her
Lyrics: Or never live again
Joyce: I just knew that if I could put my arms around her and tell her
how much I loved her, everything would be okay.
Lyrics: Seize these worlds
Lyrics: Or never live again
Buffy reaches the kitchen and overhears.
Joyce: Having Buffy home, I-I thought it was gonna make it all better,
but in some ways, it's almost worse.
Lyrics: Seize these worlds / Or never live again
Buffy takes it hard, and goes back to the stairs.
Cut to Buffy's room. She comes in and swings the door partially closed
behind her. She looks at her bed sadly and sniffles. She bends down to
pull her bag out from underneath, slams it onto the mattress and opens
it up. She goes to her closet, gets out a pile of folded clothes, goes
back to her bed and stuffs them into the bag.
Cut to Joyce's bedroom. The mask's eyes are still glowing. Cut outside.
The camera pulls away from the house. Cut to the park. Several zombies
are making their way through it toward the house.
~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~
The library. The cat meows acridly in its cage. Giles is looking through
his books yet again. This time he finds what he needs and quickly reads.
Giles: Oh, Lord!
He goes into his office and sets the book down on his desk. He turns the
page and this time sees the picture of the mask that he'd missed before.
He grabs the phone and quickly dials Buffy's number. He impatiently
listens to it ringing.
Cut to Buffy's house. The Dingoes are into their next song, "Pain". The
camera pans across the party guests. The phone can barely be heard
ringing above the noise. The camera focuses on it. No one thinks to pick
Cut to the library. Giles waits anxiously for an answer.
Cut to the party. The weed smoker picks up the phone and holds it
tightly to his ear, plugging his free ear with a finger.
Stoner: Party Villa, can I rock you?
Giles: (cut to him) I-I-I need to speak with Buffy. Um, immediately! I
have some information that is extremely important.
Lyrics: Feeling I've been lost for years
Cut to the party. Someone breaks a glass, and the Stoner looks across
Lyrics: You can never understand me
Stoner: Yeah! Fiesta foul! You gotta do a shot!
Lyrics: Unless you've seen those tears
Giles: (cut to him) I need to speak to Buffy! Now!
Stoner: (cut to him) Bunny?
Lyrics: But you never get to sleep
Stoner: (to his friend, pointing) See? That guy's gotta do a shot.
Lyrics: When I'm away
Stoner: (holds the phone out to the crowd) Hey! I need to talk to a
Lyrics: I don't mind
Stoner: (to the room) Is there a Buddy here?
Lyrics: The deeper that you lay
Stoner: (into the phone) Sorry. He's not here. You got the wrong casa,
Mr. Belvedere. (hangs up)
Lyrics: Out of time / Pain, I can't sleep
Giles: (cut to him) H-hello? Hello?!
He slams the phone down and quickly gathers up his things. The cat
snarls and hisses.
Cut to Buffy's room. She's at her closet getting more things. She goes
back to her bed. While she stuffs her things into her bag, Willow shows
up at her door and sees her packing.
Willow: You're leaving again?
Buffy gives her a quick glance and goes back to packing.
Willow: (upset) What, you just stopped by for your lint brush and now
you're ready to go?
Buffy: It's not like anyone will mind.
Willow: (heavy with sarcasm) Oh, no. Have a good time. Oh, oh, and
don't forget to *not* write.
Buffy: (faces Willow, sobbing) Why are you attacking me? I'm trying.
Willow: Wow, and it looks so much like giving up!
Buffy: I'm just trying to make things easier.
Willow: For who?
Buffy: You guys were doing just fine without me.
Willow: We were doing the best we could! It's not like we had a lot of
choice in the matter.
Buffy: Sorry that I had to leave, but you don't know what I was going
Willow: Well, I'd like to.
Buffy: You wouldn't understand.
Willow: (considers) Well, maybe I don't need to understand. Maybe I...
I just need you to talk to me.
Buffy: How could I talk to you when you were avoiding me?
Willow: This isn't easy, Buffy! I know you're going through stuff,
but... so am I.
Buffy: I know that you were worried about me, but...
Willow: No! I don't just mean that. I mean, my life! You know? I, um...
I'm having all sorts of... I'm dating, I'm having serious dating with a
*werewolf*, a-and I'm studying witchcraft and killing vampires, and I
didn't have anyone (starts sobbing) to talk to about all this scary life
stuff. And you were my best friend.
Cut to Giles speeding along to Buffy's house as best he can in his
decrepit car. He looks left and right in anger and fear.
Giles: Unbelievable. (mocks Joyce) 'Do you like my mask? Isn't it
pretty? It raises the *dead*!' Americans.
He looks ahead in time to see that he's about to hit someone.
He slams on the brakes and begins to skid. He hits the man, who falls
onto the hood of the car, bounces off of the windshield and slides off
as the car comes to a stop. The man rolls a few times on the pavement
before coming to rest. Giles stares in shock at the man lying in the
Giles: My God!
He quickly gets out of his car.
Giles: Are you alright?
He rushes over to the man and feels for a pulse on his neck.
Giles: Are you hurt?
The man rolls over, and Giles sees that he's in an advanced state of
Giles: Good God!
The zombie grabs Giles by the coat and lifts him up as it gets to its
feet. Other zombies start approaching from an alley.
Cut to Buffy's room.
Buffy: You have no idea how much I missed you. Everyone. I wanted to
call every day.
Willow: That doesn't matter, Buffy. It doesn't make it okay that you
Joyce walks by the room and sees the bag on Buffy's bed.
Joyce: What is this? Is this some sort of a joke?
Buffy: Mom, please, could you, could you just...
Joyce: (interrupts) No, I can't just! Buffy, what is this?
Willow: She was running away again.
Buffy: No, I wasn't. (pauses, very confused) I'm not sure.
Joyce: Well, you better *get* sure and explain yourself right away! If
you think you can just take off any time you feel like...
Buffy: Stop it! Please! I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing.
She rushes from her room and heads downstairs. Joyce and Willow follow
right on her heels. Cut to below. Buffy comes rushing down the stairs
with her mother and best friend right behind. She stops at the front
door, and turns into the living room when she finds Xander and Cordelia
locked in a passionate embrace, blocking her way out.
Joyce: Don't you leave this house, young lady!
Buffy doesn't stop her determined walk.
Joyce: You know what? That's it.
She runs up behind Buffy, grabs her arm and turns her around to face
Joyce: You and I are going to have a talk.
The band stops playing and most of the people stop talking. Suddenly the
level of noise in the room is reduced to just a few voices. Buffy looks
around at everyone staring at them.
Buffy: (implores) Mom, please...
Xander and Cordelia come into the living room.
Joyce: (interrupts, mad) You know what? I don't care. I don't care what
your friends think of me, or you for that matter, because you put me
through the wringer, Buffy. (inhales) I mean it. (exhales and inhales)
And I've had schnapps. (exhales) Do you have *any* idea what it's been
Buffy: Mom, this isn't the time...
Willow looks around, worried. Oz comes up next to her.
Joyce: (interrupts again) You can't imagine *months* of not knowing.
Not knowing whether you're lying dead in a ditch somewhere or, I don't
know, living it up...
Buffy: (interrupts in turn) But you told me! You're the one who said I
should go. You said if I leave this house, don't come back. You found
out who I really was, and you couldn't deal. Don't you remember?
People are beginning to think this is a drag and leave.
Joyce: Buffy, you didn't give me time. You just dumped this thing on me
and you expected me to get it. Well, guess what? Mom's not perfect,
okay? I handled it badly. But that doesn't give you the right to punish
me by running away.
Buffy: Punish you? I didn't do this to punish you!
Xander: Well, you did. You should've seen what you put her through.
Buffy: Great. Thanks. Anybody else want to weigh in here? (sees
Jonathon) How about you by the dip?
Jonathon freezes in the middle of bringing a chip laden with dip to his
mouth and looks around nervously at everyone suddenly staring at him.
Jonathon: No, thanks. I'm good.
Xander: You know, maybe you don't want to hear it, Buffy, but taking
off like you did was incredibly selfish and stupid.
Buffy: Okay! Okay. I screwed up. I know this. But you have no idea! You
have, you have no idea what happened to me or what I was feeling!
Xander: Did you even try talking to anybody?
Buffy: There was nothing that anybody could do. Okay? I just had to
deal with this on my own.
Xander: Yeah, and you see how well *that* one worked out. You can't
just bury stuff, Buffy. It'll come right back up to get you.
Cut to the street. The zombie has Giles bent back on the hood of his
car. Giles gets his foot underneath him and push kicks him off. He rolls
off of the hood and scrambles back into the car, locking the door. The
zombies start pounding on the car. Giles reaches for the ignition and
discovers the keys missing. He searches his pockets. Nothing. He looks
out onto the street, and there they are.
Giles: Oh, good show, Giles.
He thinks for a moment what to do, then reaches underneath the dash and
pulls out some wires. Quickly he unravels and strips the appropriate
ones. A zombie punches through the window and reaches in for him. Giles
touches the wires together. They spark, and the engine starts up.
Giles: Like riding a bloody bicycle!
He puts the car in gear and drives off, leaving the zombies behind.
Cut to Buffy's living room.
Buffy: As if I even could've gone to you, Xander. You made your
feelings about Angel and I perfectly clear.
Xander: Look. I'm sorry that your honey was a demon, but most girls
don't hop a Greyhound over boy troubles.
Cordelia doesn't think this is fair, and intercedes.
Cordelia: Time out, Xander. Put yourself in Buffy's shoes for just a
minute. Okay? I'm Buffy, freak of nature, right? Naturally I pick a
freak for a boyfriend, and then he turns into Mr. Killing Spree, which
is pretty much my fault...
Buffy: (interrupts) Cordy! Get outta my shoes!
Cordelia: I'm just trying to help, Buffy.
Willow: Buffy, you never...
Buffy: (nears the breaking point) Willow, please. I can't take this
from you, too.
Xander: Let her finish! You at least owe her that.
Buffy: God, Xander! Do you think you could at least stick to annoying
me on your own behalf?
Xander: Fine! You stop acting like an idiot, I'll stop annoying you!
Buffy: (steps up to Xander) Oh, you wanna talk acting like an idiot?
Oz: Okay. I'm gonna step in now, (gets between them) being Referee Guy.
Willow: No, let them go, Oz. (gets a look from him) Talking about it
isn't helping. We might as well try some violence.
A zombie suddenly smashes though the living room window and comes in.
Others follow right behind.
Willow: I was being sarcastic!
A zombie grabs Xander, and they start to wrestle. Another one grabs the
Stoner's head and twists it violently, breaking his neck. Xander gets
the upper hand on the slow-moving zombie and throws him back out of the
window. Willow and Oz scramble to help out. A zombie dives through the
kitchen door window. The remaining party guests all try to drive the
zombies out, but aren't very organized about it. Xander breaks away from
Buffy: Xander, kitchen!
Xander: I got your back!
She tosses him an andiron from the fireplace, and he runs into the
kitchen with Cordelia close behind. A zombie attacks Buffy, and she
launches herself into a hopping side kick to his gut. She sidesteps a
punch and swings under his arm with an uppercut to his jaw, but he isn't
fazed. He swings at her with both arms, knocking her aside. Joyce
watches Buffy fight, cringing at every blow. Buffy punches the zombie
twice in the face and then ducks past him as he lunges at her with his
arm trying to grab her. He turns around and tries to make a grab for
her, but Joyce comes up behind him with a vase and smashes it over his
head. The party guests are having limited success keeping the zombies
out of the house. Buffy leg sweeps the zombie and knocks him down.
Joyce: Are these vampires?
Buffy: Uh, I don't think so.
Willow: Buffy, heads up!
She tosses Buffy a piece of the broken window frame. Buffy catches it
out of the air and tries staking the zombie. He just looks up at her as
though she pinched him.
Buffy: No, not vampires.
The zombie starts to get back to his feet.
Cut to the kitchen. Xander swings the andiron at one of them, making