GILES VOICEOVER: Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Monks running in fear.
Glory smashing through the warehouse.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: Tell me what kind of demon I'm fighting.
QUENTIN TRAVERS VOICEOVER: Glory isn't a demon, she's a god.
The dying monk talking to Buffy.
MONK: We had to hide the key ... made it human...
MONK: ...and sent it to you.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: Dawn.
Dawn in the hospital talking to Ben.
DAWN: I'm not real.
BEN: You're the key. Go. Before she finds you, she's here!
Ben morphing into Glory.
Ben talking to Jinx.
BEN: I won't help her find the key. I would never do that to an innocent-
JINX: An innocent?
BEN: It's not a person.
Ben stabbing Jinx.
Glory in her apartment.
GLORY: What about the key?
JINX: He indicated that it was a person.
Spike tied up in Glory's apartment.
SPIKE: I'll tell you who the sodding key is.
GLORY: The vampire is lying to me.
SPIKE: The Slayer is going to kick your lopsided ass.
Glory kicking Spike across the room, through the door.
Episode opens on the UC Sunnydale campus. Exterior of a building, students walking around and talking.
Cut to a classroom. Close shot of a pair of hands fiddling with a slide projector. In the background the door opens and Buffy comes in. We see students leaving. The person at the slide projector is the professor. Buffy walks over to him.
BUFFY: Professor Lillian?
BUFFY: I'm sorry that I missed the lecture today. (professor continues struggling with the slide machine) Was it good?
He gives her a look.
BUFFY: Um, of course it was. (He returns to fiddling) D-do you want me to try?
PROFESSOR: Yes, thanks, the ... (gesturing vaguely) slide is stuck in the ... thing.
BUFFY: Okay. (begins pulling at the slide) Um, I just ... came by to tell you that ... I have to drop this class. Um, all my classes actually. I'm not finishing the semester. I wish it ... um ... I just, I can't be in school right now. I, I have to take care of my sister.
PROFESSOR: (nods) Yes, I, I thought you might. I was very sorry to hear about your loss.
Buffy looks pensive for a moment, then reaches for her bag.
BUFFY: Um, I have these forms from the registrar's office that I need you to sign.
She gives him the papers.
PROFESSOR: Oh ... yes.
He puts the papers on the table, puts on his glasses to read them. Buffy waits while he signs the papers and gives them back.
She puts them in her bag as the professor takes his glasses back off. Then she looks back up at him.
PROFESSOR: Is there something else?
BUFFY: No. Yes. Yeah. Um ... I wanted to tell you ... how much I enjoyed this class. (resumes pulling at the slide projector) I mean, I know that I wasn't the best student, but ... I really learned a lot. Uh, and I really like poetry. (shot of her hands on the projector) I really do.
The stuck slide pops out and goes flying across the room.
BUFFY: (embarrassed) Oh, sorry.
PROFESSOR: (smiles) I'm glad you like poetry, Buffy.
BUFFY: I wish I had time for it. But I just ... don't right now.
PROFESSOR: Well, maybe short poems.
BUFFY: Yeah! Like, like those, those Japanese ones that, that, um, sound like a sneeze?
BUFFY: Right. Maybe those. A-and hopefully I'll be back next semester.
Cut to Ben rushing down the hospital hallways, looking anxious.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: When I'm more myself again.
Ben approaches two doctors who are standing there looking at a clipboard. One wears a white lab coat, the other blue scrubs. They seem to be waiting for Ben.
DOCTOR: Benjamin. This is a pleasant surprise.
BEN: I'm sorry I'm late.
DOCTOR: You're not late.
BEN: (looks at his watch) But sir-
DOCTOR: You can't be late to a job that you don't have. (gives the clipboard to the other doctor who walks away) Interestingly enough, I've decided to give your job to someone who'll actually do it. (Ben sighs in annoyance) Honest to God, Ben! I've been calling you for two weeks. Where the hell have you been? I didn't wanna ... I'm sorry to fire you, but I need somebody I can count on.
BEN: (surprised) I haven't been here... (resigned) I haven't been here in two weeks. (hopefully) There's an explanation for this. Which ... I ... can't exactly give you. I - can I just tell you it's not my fault?
DOCTOR: (nods) Sure. You can also tell me that the dog ate your homework, or maybe eating Twinkies made you do it, or ... maybe yeah, that there's really a wicked demonic creature living inside you that takes control of your body and forces you to do its bidding. (sighs) Take responsibility for your actions, Ben!
BEN: I ... this ... (angrily) you know, forget it. Just forget it.
He turns to walk away. Fast-cut to Ben cleaning out his locker, angrily throwing clothes into a bag while talking to himself.
BEN: This is so unfair. You're taking everything away from me. Everything I worked for, I earned, I care about. These are my choices, this is my life, and you're ruining it! (pauses, shakes his head) No. No. Not here. Not now, please. (puts his hands to his face) I'm Ben. I'm Ben. I'm Ben.
He continues to repeat this phrase while turning to bang his hand against the side of the locker. Focus on his hand as it shrinks and becomes Glory's hand. Pan over to Glory standing where Ben was. She looks around with a small smile.
GLORY: I'm hungry.
Wolf howl. Opening credits.
Guest starring Clare Kramer, Charlie Weber, Troy T. Blendell, Anne Betancourt, Leland Crooke, and Amber Benson as Tara. Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner, directed by David Grossman.
Open on Glory taking a bubble bath. Beside the bathtub three of her demons are kneeling, with blindfolds over their eyes. One holds a tray with a wine glass on it, another holds a large box of chocolate.
GLORY: (happy sigh) We got this part right, that's for sure. Lot of sucky things in this dimension -- bubble baths? Not one of 'em. (blows some bubbles) Know what I mean?
JINX: I am in thunderous agreement, oh glittering, glistening Glorificus.
GLORY: I wasn't talking to you.
MURK: Uh, begging your pardon, and begging in general, but ... were you talking to me?
GLORY: Eww. Yeah, right. Like any of you have ever bathed, anyway.
MURK: Oh, but we do, your scrumptiousness. We bathe in your splendiforous radiance, your aromatic-
GLORY: How about you shut up and listen to me, you disgusting little fools? (all three bow their heads) Okay. Now, I asked for the key, and you brought me a vampire. A pulseless, impure, follicly-fried vampire. Loofah!
Murk produces a large loofah and gives it to her. She begins scrubbing her leg.
GLORY: So, what I think we have here is a failure for you to do your frickin' jobs, pardon my French. (shoves the loofah back into Murk's hand) Mimosa.
Slook holds out the tray and Glory takes the glass.
GLORY: Mmm ... (sips, smiles) Vitamins. (briskly) So I think you better rack your little minion brains, and tell me everything that you saw when you were spying on Buffy and her wacky pals. Everything. Mm. Then I'll figure out who the key is.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: You lied to me?
Cut to head-shot of Dawn sitting in a chair.
DAWN: Didn't ... lie ... e-exactly.
BUFFY: (OS) Really.
Cut to head-shot of Buffy sitting next to her.
BUFFY: What about all the times I asked you how school was and you said "fine"?
DAWN: Well, it was! (softly) You didn't ask if I was in it when it was fine.
We see a woman sitting behind a desk with a nameplate saying "Principal Stevens." Buffy and Dawn sit in chairs on the other side of the desk. Buffy sighs.
BUFFY: I-I don't know what to say. I-I'm sure you're aware that the past few months, you know, have been kind of hard for Dawn. Not that I'm saying that's an excuse.
PRINCIPAL: I understand. Your mother was a lovely woman and we'll all miss her very much. I know how difficult it must be.
BUFFY: It is. Especially for Dawn. She-she's just a kid.
PRINCIPAL: Well ... I think we both know that Dawn is a lot more than "just a kid."
Dawn looks alarmed, looks over at Buffy, who returns the look.
PRINCIPAL: (leans forward) She's a talented young girl ... with a sharp mind ... (to Dawn) when she puts the effort in.
Dawn looks away in relief.
BUFFY: Look. I realize that there's been some ball-dropping, but I'm sure this will all-
PRINCIPAL: Dawn, why don't you wait outside for a few minutes?
Dawn looks very scared. She looks over at Buffy, who gives her a nod. Dawn gets up and leaves. Buffy watches her go with a sigh.
The principal gives Buffy a stern look. Buffy faces her head-on.
Cut to: interior magic shop, day. Xander and Willow sit at the table, he's reading a comic book and she's reading something else. In the background there's an older couple walking around browsing. The camera pans around to reveal Anya on the other side of the table, standing, watching the customers.
Shot of the customers examining the merchandise.
Shot of Anya watching them, partly hidden behind a display case.
Anya whirls around to face him.
XANDER: Old saying. "A watched customer never buys."
ANYA: They would if they were patriotic.
Xander and Willow both put down their reading material, look at Anya, then look at each other.
XANDER: (to Willow) Okay, I'm goin' in. (to Anya) Patriotic?
ANYA: Yes. I've recently come to realize there's more to me than just being human. (proudly) I'm also an American.
Giles appears, holding a cup of tea.
GILES: Yes, I suppose you are, in a manner of speaking. You were born here -- your mortal self.
He walks past her.
ANYA: Well, that's right, foreigner. (Giles gives her a look) So I've been reading a lot about the good ol' us of A (she says "us" not "U.S."), embracing the extraordinarily precious ideology that's helped to shape and define it.
ANYA: Capitalism. The free market depends on the profitable exchange of goods for currency. (Xander and Willow exchange an amused look) It's a system of symbiotic beauty apparently lost on these old people. (turns to look back at the customers) Look at 'em. Perusing the shelves. Undressing the merchandise with their eyeballs (turns back to the others) all ogle, no cash. It's not just annoying, it's unAmerican.
Giles comes over to her and peers past her at the customers.
GILES: Appalling. Almost as if they no longer think money can buy happiness.
He walks off.
ANYA: Totally unAmerican. Oh, and you know what else is unAmerican? French people.
WILLOW: You don't say.
ANYA: From what I hear, they don't tip. Now, French old people? That's *really* the bottom of the barrel, you know?
XANDER: Ahn, how's about we try being a bit less prejudiced, and a bit more inclusive? Not us, (indicates himself and Willow, then points to Anya) just you.
ANYA: Fine. I'm gonna make those fogeys buy things.
She turns and walks toward the customers. The door opens and Buffy enters, followed by Dawn. Buffy gives Anya a little wave as they head down the stairs toward the table.
XANDER: Hey, what's up? It's Dawn Giovanni and the Buffster.
DAWN: (sullen) Hi.
BUFFY: Hey everybody.
GILES: I trust everything went well at the university?
BUFFY: Yep, I'm, uh, all dropped out. (she and Dawn sit at the table)
XANDER: Good on you. Welcome to the real world. Lot of fun to be had on the outside. (looks at Willow) You'll see.
BUFFY: Well, it's just for now. I mean, I'm thinking that I'm probably gonna go back next semester.
XANDER: And that's cool too. Whatever you choose, you've got my support. Just think of me as ... (nervous laugh) as your ... (frowns; Buffy looks curiously at him) You know, I'm searching for supportive things, and I'm comin' up all bras, so... (Buffy smiles) something slightly more manly, think of me as that.
Shot of Dawn not smiling.
XANDER: (quietly) Seriously. Whatever you need.
BUFFY: Thank you. Actually, I need to talk to Giles alone for a minute. (Giles looks up from his tea and newspaper)
XANDER: (OS) Cool, that's cool.
BUFFY: (stands) Uh, Dawn, why don't you get started on your homework? Uh, if you need help, (turns to Willow) Will, could you? (Willow nods) Okay.
Buffy and Giles walk out as Dawn opens her schoolbag.
Cut to the workout room. Buffy sits on the sofa in the background with her chin in her hand as Giles toys with the punching bag in the foreground.
BUFFY: I just don't know what I'm gonna do. I mean, she's messing up ... I'm messing up ... it's a mess.
GILES: You're just going to have to put your foot down with her.
BUFFY: I try. It's just ... my foot's not used to being put down. (turns to Giles) I want you to do it. (Giles sighs) You can be the foot-putting-downer.
GILES: No, Buffy, I don't think I can.
BUFFY: Please? Pretty please? (desperately) I mean, your foot is way bigger than mine! And you're so much more a grownup than me. Dawn needs an authority figure. A strong guiding hand. She'll listen to you.
GILES: (scoffs) Just like you always have.
BUFFY: I listen!
Giles gives her a look.
BUFFY: (pouts) I do.
GILES: (removes his glasses, sits next to her) Well, then perk up your ears. I may be a grownup, but you're her family. Her only real family now. She needs you to do this.
BUFFY: (nervous) Right. She needs me. (Giles looks sympathetic) Me, the ... grownup. (more confidently) The authority figure. The, the strong guiding hand and, and stompy foot that is me.
GILES: That's the spirit.
BUFFY: (small smile) Okay. (nods) I can do this. (gets up)
GILES: (gets up) I know you can.
They walk a few steps toward the door, then Buffy whirls around to face Giles.
He takes her shoulders, turns her around. She takes a deep breath.
BUFFY: Okay. (Giles nods) Here we go.
Pause. Then she begins to walk again. Giles follows, still with hands on her shoulders.
BUFFY: (reciting) Early to bed, early to rise, balanced breakfast, hospital corners. It's a new beginning.
Cut to the main room as Buffy and Giles emerge.
BUFFY: Discipline. Authority. Order.
We hear giggling.
Buffy looks into the main room and discovers Xander, Anya, and Willow lying on the floor head-to-toe forming a triangle. Dawn stands in the middle. All are giggling. Dawn sees Buffy and stops laughing.
BUFFY: (storms forward) What is this? I thought I told you to do your homework!
The others gets up from the floor.
DAWN: I was.
BUFFY: (folds her arms) Please don't lie to me.
DAWN: I'm not.
Giles, Xander, and Anya move away into the shop.
WILLOW: We were acting out a geometry problem, 'cause I read this really neat article that said kids learn math better if you, you stimulate their, uh, visual learning pattern. You know, using the right side of the brain instead of just the left?
Buffy still looks stern and unamused.
WILLOW: (OS) Stuff like that.
WILLOW: So we made a triangle with our bodies, and that's when I called Xander obtuse, and he got really grumpy (smiling; Dawn giggles) and then Dawn said we were "acute" triangle, and, well, hilarity ensued.
BUFFY: Right. Well, you know what I think? I think maybe Dawn should do her homework at home.
Both Willow and Dawn stop smiling, look disappointed.
DAWN: B-but it was working. I was really learning.
BUFFY: Please get your stuff.
Dawn scowls, looks at Willow.
DAWN: Fine. Don't listen to me. (goes to get her stuff)
WILLOW: (walking over to Buffy) Please don't be grouchy with her. Who among us can resist the allure of really funny math puns?
BUFFY: It's really important that Dawn finishes her schoolwork right now.
Shot of Dawn listening to them from the table.
WILLOW: (OS) Yeah, I know, but...
Dawn turns back to her stuff as Willow glances at her.
WILLOW: We were having good clean educational fun, and then all of a sudden it was all gloom and doom and the outlawing of human triangles.
BUFFY: (firmly) It's *really* important that Dawn finishes her schoolwork right now.
WILLOW: I know it is, and I'm a big fan of school. You know me! I'm like, (sings) "Go school! It's your birthday!" Or something to that effect.
BUFFY: Look, Willow, I know that you mean well, but you just don't understand, and there's no way that you could.
WILLOW: I do so understand, it ... you're stressed out.
BUFFY: I'm more than stressed out. I'm freaked out.
WILLOW: Yeah, well, maybe you need a break to de-freak. Hey, you could go to the World's Culture fair if you want to, with me and Tara.
BUFFY: (quietly) I don't think so.
WILLOW: Come on. You can bring Dawn. It'll be fun. Good, educational-type fun in a discipline-y sort of way.
BUFFY: I can't do it, Will. Don't worry. It's not like I don't have a life. I do. I have Dawn's life.
Buffy walks over to the table where Dawn stands, holding her stuff. Buffy picks up her bag without breaking her stride.
Dawn looks sullen, turns and falls into step behind Buffy. She casts a look over her shoulder at Willow as they leave.
Cut to: close shot of Glory in her apartment.
GLORY: So it's her. Under our noses all this time. I like the detail work those monks did. (smiling) Quirks, foibles, passions ... it's all so cute, so ... human. You know?
We see that she's sitting on the sofa with the three monks standing before her. They all nod and smile.
GLORY: Pretty convincing really. (ponders) But not convincing enough.
She slowly stands up and looks each demon in the eye.
GLORY: You all know your assignments. (smiles widely) I think it's time to collect the key.
She whirls around and begins to walk out. The monks follow her in single-file.
Open on Willow and Tara's dorm room. Tara is looking in the closet for clothing while Willow sits on the bed putting on her shoes.
WILLOW: It wasn't anything really. Buffy was just a little crabby at Dawn about her schoolwork.
TARA: Well, it's understandable. (puts something on the bed, turns back to close the closet door)
WILLOW: Yeah, sure it is. I'd totally be blowing off classes if I were in Dawnie's shoes.
TARA: (smiles) Sweetie, you wouldn't blow off a class if your head was on fire. (goes over to the sink) And, I meant Buffy.
WILLOW: (putting on earrings) Buffy what?
TARA: Understandable about the crabby. She has to look after Dawn now.
WILLOW: (putting on a jacket) Yeah, but not in a Miss Minchin's Select Seminary For Girls way. I mean, she's just gonna make Dawnie more rebellious.
TARA: I had to deal with my brother's problems after ... I mean, you can't really know what it's like to-
WILLOW: Yeah, I know that.
Tara makes a noise of displeasure, frowns, sits on the bed next to Willow.
TARA: I, I didn't mean to-
WILLOW: No, I just ... I ... I know I can't know what you went through. (Tara frowns) But I just ... (fake laugh) It's no big.
TARA: I made you mad.
WILLOW: No. No.
TARA: All I meant was-
WILLOW: No, it's okay. This whole Buffy thing, let's just forget it.
TARA: No, please. I mean, I mean, tell me if I said something wrong, otherwise I know I'll say it again. Probably often and in public.
WILLOW: No, I was snippy gal. It's just ... I know I can't ... on some level ... (sighs) it's like my opinion isn't worth anything because I haven't been through ... (sighs) I didn't lose my mom, so I don't know.
TARA: Well ... I-I'm not the expert. I mean, I've only lost the one.
Willow gives a sympathetic smile. Tara looks anxious.
TARA: (uncertainly) Do ... I act like ... the big knowledge woman?
Wide shot of the two of them sitting on the bed, facing each other, with at least a foot separating them.
WILLOW: (weakly) No.
TARA: Is that no spelled Y-E-S?
WILLOW: S-O-R-T of. (Tara frowns) I mean, I just feel like the-the junior partner. You've been doing everything longer than me. You've been out longer ... you've been practicing witchcraft way longer.
TARA: Oh, but you're way beyond me there! In just a few- I mean ... it frightens me how powerful you're getting.
WILLOW: (frowns) That's a weird word.
TARA: (nervous smile) "Getting"?
WILLOW: It frightens you? *I* frighten you?
TARA: (jumps up from the bed) That is *so* not what I meant. I meant i-impresses - impressive.
WILLOW: Well, I took Psych 101. I mean, I took it from an evil government scientist who was skewered by her Frankenstein-like creation before the final, but I know what a Freudian slip is.
Tara looks upset.
WILLOW: D-don't you trust me?
TARA: With my life.
WILLOW: That's not what I mean.
TARA: Can't we just go to the fair?
WILLOW: I don't feel real multicultural right now. (stands up) Wh ... what is it about me that you don't trust?
TARA: It's not that. I worry, sometimes. You're, you're changing so much, so fast. I don't know where you're heading.
WILLOW: Where I'm heading?
TARA: I'm saying everything wrong.
WILLOW: No, I think you're being pretty clear. This isn't about the witchcraft. It's about the other changes in my life.
TARA: I trust you. I just ... (looks down) I don't know where I'm gonna fit in ... in your life when...
WILLOW: When ... I change back? Yeah, this is a college thing, just a, a little experimentation before I get over the thrill and head back to boys' town.
WILLOW: You think that?
TARA: Should I?
WILLOW: I'm really sorry that I didn't establish my lesbo street cred before I got into this relationship. You're the only woman I've ever fallen in love with, so ... how on earth could you ever take me seriously?
She walks toward the door.
TARA: Willow, please!
WILLOW: Have fun at the fair.
Willow storms out. Tara stands there looking upset.
Cut to: exterior Summers house, day. A couple of Glory's demons walk up the front porch, over to the side window, kneel down and look in the window. Inside we see the living room. Dawn is sitting at the table while Buffy stands.
The camera moves in through the window. Buffy is folding dish towels on the table while Dawn is doing homework.
BUFFY: Okay, so, I-I think the next step is to make a chart. A schedule. (Dawn gives her an angry look) I'll write down all the things you're supposed to do, and when you have to do them, and then I'll leave a box next to it, which you can mark with an X when you've accomplished the task.
Dawn stares at her with a sullen expression.
BUFFY: What? You want gold stars? (rolls her eyes) Okay. You can have gold stars.
DAWN: I don't want gold stars. (scoffs) I don't want any of this.
She puts down her pencil and crosses her arms. Buffy pauses in her towel-folding.
BUFFY: I'm just trying to give you a normal life.
DAWN: (sarcastic) Well, good luck.
Dawn returns to her schoolwork. Buffy stands and stares at her. Dawn pauses, looks up warily.
DAWN: What? (rolls eyes, sits back) What am I doing wrong now?
BUFFY: This is for real, Dawn.
DAWN: No, it's not. I'm not real, so why would my exciting graph of chores be real? Who cares if a key gets an education anyway? (slams her textbook shut, folds her arms again)
BUFFY: It's a chart. Not a graph. And you are real.
DAWN: Yeah? Those monks put grades K through eight in my head. Can't we just wait and see if they drop nine in there too?
Buffy slams her hand down on the table, making Dawn jump and wince.
BUFFY: Damn it, Dawn. This is serious.
DAWN: Why? Why should I care about any of this?
BUFFY: Because they'll take you away!
Beat. Long shot of the two of them facing off across the table. Dawn unfolds her arms and looks scared.
DAWN: Take me away? What do you mean?
BUFFY: (softly) They'll take you away from me. That's what your principal told me when you weren't in the room. If I can't make you go to school, then I won't be found fit to be your legal guardian.
She resumes folding towels. Dawn absorbs this for a moment.
DAWN: Where would I go?
BUFFY: (softly) I don't know. Dad maybe ... or foster care ... I, I didn't really want to ask.
DAWN: (pause, scoffs) You could've told me that.
BUFFY: I just did.
Buffy continues folding as Dawn sits there.
Fade to a park, day. Balloons and paper lanterns are hanging from trees. People are walking around, some in costume, some holding carnival prizes. A group of cheerleaders waving pompoms. A group of Chinese men dancing with a large paper dragon. Flags of many nations hang from a wire above. Soft sad music over faint crowd noises.
Shot of Tara sitting alone on a park bench, at the far right of it, looking sad.
Cut to: magic shop. Giles walks over to the counter carrying two cups of tea, goes behind the counter where Anya is doing paperwork, gives her a mug. Pan across to a corner where Willow sits on the floor, beside a bookcase, amongst a pile of cushions, looking sad. Sad music continues.
Cut back to Tara on the bench. She looks idly off to her left.
Shot of Tara's right hand lying on the bench. Another hand appears and slips into Tara's. The fingers entwine together.
Tara smiles, looks down at the entwined hands, then looks up at the face and stops smiling. The sad music stops.
GLORY: Is this seat taken?
Tara gasps in fear.
Cut back to magic shop. Willow walks around the corner toward the counter. Giles is opening a box.
GILES: I hope this isn't a return. Everyone wants petrified hamsters and they're never happy with them.
Willow leans on the counter still looking sad. Giles notices her expression.
GILES: You all right?
GILES: Ah yes, because your good mood is both obvious and contagious.
WILLOW: I had a fight with Tara. It was awful.
GILES: Oh, I'm sorry. (takes the box and walks toward the shelves behind the counter)
WILLOW: (OS) Me too.
GILES: You two don't quarrel much, do you?
WILLOW: Never. Until today.
GILES: Well, now it's over.
WILLOW: (very upset) Over? How can it be over? I just found her!
GILES: The quarrel is over.
WILLOW: (quieter) Oh. Yeah.
GILES: Uh, you'll feel better when you've made your apologies and you'll know that you can fight without the world ending. (walks toward the rear door) I know it all seems bleak now, but as they say, this too...
Giles opens the door to discover one of Glory's demons, Slook, who was listening at the door. Slook falls into the room.
GILES: ...shall pass.
Willow and Anya both stare.
Cut to: Giles holding the demon by the ear, dragging him into the shop and throwing him into a chair. Willow and Anya rush over.
GILES: Now, what do we have here?
ANYA: Oh, he's one of those things that work for Glory!
GILES: Yes. How helpful.
SLOOK: I do indeed work for the god. Let me go if you do not wish to incur her anger.
GILES: Well, she's not here. What a marvelous opportunity for you and me to talk.
SLOOK: I will not betray Glorificus. I will never talk, no matter what heinous torture-
GILES: Actually, you're talking quite a lot, just not about the right things. Tell us why you're here.
SLOOK: No words shall pass my lips that will bring peril to Glorificus.
Giles doesn't take his eyes off the demon, but points with his hand.
GILES: Girls, get the twine that's on the counter, let's tie him up.
Willow and Anya turn away. We hear some sort of rustling noise and Slook begins to sob. The girls turn back in amazement.
SLOOK: No, no! I'll tell you! Anything! Please! Whatever you want! Just, I'll, anything!
The girls walk back over.
ANYA: What happened?
GILES: He changed his mind.
SLOOK: I'm ... I'm supposed to watch. We're watching the Slayer's people ... while Glory fetches the key.
Everyone looks alarmed.
WILLOW: Glory knows who the key is?
GILES: Oh god. (removes his glasses)
ANYA: We've got to call Buffy.
SLOOK: Too late. Too late. Glorificus will find the witch, and there's nothing you can do to stop her.
ANYA: Witch? What do you mean?
WILLOW: (horrified) Tara!
Willow turns to run out.
SLOOK: She's the new one among you. It wasn't hard to figure out. The glorious one will have found her by now.
GILES: (yells) Willow, wait! I'll go with-
WILLOW: No! Call Buffy a-and go look in Tara's room, I'm gonna check the fair.
She runs out.
Cut back to the fair. Glory is still sitting beside Tara and holding her hand as Tara looks at her with fear.
GLORY: Oh, this is nice. Just hangin' out, just us girls. You like that sort of thing, don't you?
Shot of their entwined hands. Glory squeezes and we hear bones cracking. Tara winces in pain.
GLORY: Don't ... make a sound.
Tara gasps and whimpers as Glory looks around at the other fair attendees. The people walk around not seeming to notice anything.
GLORY: Nah. They won't help you. I'd kill them. You know that.
Tara looks around desperately. Shot of three bicycle cops riding away. Overhead shot of the fair.
GLORY: There's no one here that can stop me.
Tara continues gasping and panting.
GLORY: I'll kill her (shot of a random woman) and ... and them (shot of a random couple) I'll kill him, and her and her, (laughs) and it'll all be your fault.
Shot of their hands. Glory's nails dig in and Tara's blood begins to drip out between their fingers.
Tara continues whimpering softly in pain and breathing erratically.
GLORY: Kinda funny, isn't it? All these people here and ... no one who can do a thing. Not a person who can help you.
Tara whimpers and turns her head to look at Glory.
GLORY: But that's people for ya. They're pretty worthless. (watches some people go by) But keys, on the other hand ... keys are worth a very lot.
Glory smiles and brings their clenched hands up to lick off some of the blood. Then she makes a disgusted face and spits.
GLORY: You lying little tramp! You're not the key, you're nothing! Just another worthless human being!
TARA: I didn't-
GLORY: I hate being lied to. It makes me feel so betrayed. (considers) Hey! (turns back to Tara) You wanna make it all better?
Tara looks at her with fear.
GLORY: If you tell me who the key really is ... I'll let you go.
Tara looks alarmed. Glory gives her hand another squeeze and she whimpers again as we hear more bones crack.
GLORY: Think about it. You think your hand hurts? Imagine what you'd feel with my fingers wiggling in your brain. (Tara looks very scared) It doesn't kill you. What it does ... is make you feel like you're in a noisy little dark room ... (Glory frowns and fidgets uncomfortably) naked and ashamed ... and there are things in the dark that need to hurt you because you're bad ... little pinching things that go in your ears ... (Tara begins to cry) and crawl on the inside of your skull. And you know ... that if the noise and the crawling would stop ... that you could remember how to get out.
Glory contemplates this as Tara continues to cry quietly. Then Glory turns to look at Tara again.
GLORY: But you never, ever will.
Glory squeezes her hand again and Tara gives another cry of pain.
GLORY: Who ... is ... the key?
Tara forces herself to stop crying and look Glory in the eye, saying nothing.
GLORY: Fine. Let's get crazy.
Glory caresses the side of Tara's face with her other hand. Tara whimpers and tries to pull her face away. Blackout.
Open on an overhead shot of the fair.
WILLOW: (OS) Tara!
We see Willow running through the crowds.
Shot of Tara and Glory on the bench. Willow runs toward them.
WILLOW: By force of heart and mindful power, by waning time and waxing hour ...
Glory puts her hand on Tara's head. People keep walking past and blocking them from view so it's difficult to tell what's happening.
WILLOW: I echo Diana, um, when I decree ... uh, what is it, what is it?
Shot of Glory with both her hands on Tara's temples.
WILLOW: No! No!
The light begins to stream out as Glory's fingers enter Tara's head. Both Tara and Glory cry out.
Willow reaches the edge of the path but is blocked by the Chinese dragon people and has to stop.
WILLOW: That she I love must now be free!
Shot of Tara with Glory's fingers still in her head and the light streaming out as Tara makes a pained face. People continue walking past and blocking her from view. Shot of Willow straining to see around the people.
The crowd clears momentarily and we see Tara sitting alone on the bench with her head lolling to one side.
Willow runs over and sits on the bench, grabs Tara by the shoulders. Tara doesn't react or look at her.
WILLOW: Tara, Tara, are you okay?
TARA: It's dirty. It's all dirty. And all over me!
She begins brushing at her stomach as if to brush off dirt.
TARA: Dirty. Dirty. I'm bad. Bad. (whimpering)
WILLOW: (crying) Tara. Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.
Willow pulls Tara's head down onto her shoulder and rocks her gently.
Overhead shot of them on the bench. People continue to walk by all around them.
Cut to: interior hospital. Giles is looking at some X-rays of a hand that are posted on the wall. He removes his glasses and wipes his eyes as he turns and the camera pans across to reveal Anya and Xander, then Tara sitting on the edge of an exam table wearing a hospital gown. She looks straight ahead with a glazed expression. Her hand is bandaged. We see Willow sitting beside her.
WILLOW: Can she go home now?
We see the same doctor who fired Ben earlier.
DOCTOR: Unfortunately, no. Hospital policy dictates we keep her for the night.
WILLOW: But does she have to? I-I can take care of her at home.
TARA: It's poisoned. (to Willow, matter-of-factly) Why don't I tell you that? It, it has to be checked, though.
Willow looks sad. Tara looks confused.
DOCTOR: She your sister?
TARA: I-i-it has to be verified, of course. Anyone can tell you that. Of course. (looking from one person to the next) Of course, of course.
WILLOW: (staring at Tara) She's my everything.
DOCTOR: Well, you can get her released first thing in the morning. But she's gotta spend one night in the psych ward. Just for observation. We'll keep an eye on her, do a couple basic tests, then you can take her home. Does that sound fair? (Willow nods uncertainly) Well, sit tight then, and I'll send a nurse by in a few minutes to pick up Tara.
The doctor leaves as Anya and Xander give Willow concerned looks. Willow stands and brushes hair back from Tara's face.
XANDER: Man, words cannot express how much I hate this place.
GILES: It's dreadful.
ANYA: It's like communism.
BUFFY: Hey. Will, I'm so sorry.
She hugs Willow, looking over her shoulder at Tara.
Shot of Tara staring vaguely at nothing.
Buffy and Willow pull apart. Willow has tears in her eyes. She looks at Tara who gives her a huge smile.
TARA: They kill mice.
Shot of Willow with tears on her cheeks.
Buffy hugs Tara, who doesn't react. Buffy pulls back slowly and looks at Willow.
BUFFY: I'm sorry it took me so long, but Dawn's safe with Spike, so I-I can stay as long as you need.
Willow puts her hand over Tara's non-bandaged hand.
WILLOW: (to Buffy) I'm so scared.
Buffy puts her hand on Willow's cheek.
SPIKE VOICEOVER: Nothin' to be worried about, kid.
Cut to Spike leading Dawn through his underground cavern. Spike moves a little slowly and with a slight limp. Dawn holds a flashlight.
SPIKE: No one's gonna hurt you.
DAWN: Oh yeah? Same no one who did that to you?
SPIKE: What, these? It's just a few bruises.
We see that Spike is still looking very bruised and battered from his encounter with Glory in "Intervention."
SPIKE: Nothin' to write home about.
He stops and turns back to see Dawn's nervous expression.
SPIKE: Hey, chin up, platelet. Don't get scared. Maybe Glory doesn't wanna kill you, maybe it's something-
Spike doesn't respond, walks a little more. Dawn sits down on a rock. Spike turns to watch her as she sits there looking scared, facing away from him. He slowly walks toward her.
He puts out a hand to touch her hair, but pulls it back quickly as she turns back toward him.
DAWN: You wanna know what I'm scared of, Spike? ... Me. (tearfully) Right now, Glory thinks Tara's the key. But I'm the key, Spike. I am. And anything that happens to Tara ... is 'cause of me. Your bruises, your limp ... that's all me too. I'm like a lightning rod for pain and hurt. (crying) And everyone around me suffers and dies. I ... must be something so horrible ... to cause so much pain ... and evil.
SPIKE: (firmly) Rot.
DAWN: (teary) What do you know?
SPIKE: I'm a vampire. I know somethin' about evil. You're not evil.
DAWN: Maybe ... I'm not evil. But I don't think I can be good. (looks up at Spike with a hopeful expression)
SPIKE: (considers) Well, I'm not good, and I'm okay.
Cut to Tara in a wheelchair. A nurse is trying to settle her into the chair. Tara pushes at the nurse's hands trying to stop her.
TARA: (upset) Don't! Please don't with that treachery!
She calms down slightly as the nurse goes around behind the wheelchair and begins to wheel her out. Tara looks up at Willow.
TARA: I told the cat. And now I beg my mother sitting all alone.
WILLOW: Bye, Tara. I'll see you tomorrow. I love you.
Tara whimpers as the nurse wheels her out. We see her good hand reaching back toward Willow.
Willow watches her go, tries to run after her but Xander steps into her path.
XANDER: Willow. No. It's just for one night. (We see Buffy in the background leaning against the wall)
WILLOW: Yeah, I-I know, but ... it's a whole night. I don't think I can sleep without her.
ANYA: You can sleep with me.
Everyone looks at Anya.
ANYA: Well, now that came out a lot more lesbian than it sounded in my head.
BUFFY: (comes forward) Will, you just have to rest. Okay? Right now there's nothing you can do.
WILLOW: (ponders) Yes there is. (walks out the door)
BUFFY: No. No way.
Buffy chases Willow out into the hallway and stops her.
BUFFY: You cannot even think about taking on Glory.
WILLOW: You saw what she did to Tara. I can't let her get away with it.
BUFFY: No. You *have* to let her get away with it. Even I'm no match for her, you know that.
WILLOW: But maybe I am.
She turns to go but Buffy grabs her arm.
BUFFY: You're not. And I won't let you go.
WILLOW: This is not your choice. It's mine.
BUFFY: This is not the time.
WILLOW: When, Buffy? When is? When *you* feel like it? When it's someone *you* love as much as I love Tara? When it's Dawn, is that it?
BUFFY: When we have a chance. We'll fight her, when we have a chance. You wouldn't last five minutes with her, Willow. She's a god.
WILLOW: (shakes her head sadly) Fine. I'll wait.
BUFFY: It's the only way.
WILLOW: (skeptical) Yeah.
Willow starts to walk away.
BUFFY: Can I do anything?
WILLOW: (not turning back) Just let me be alone.
Buffy watches her go with a concerned expression.
Cut to: interior magic shop. Willow bursts in at a run. She runs straight to the stairs that lead up to the loft where the more dangerous stuff is kept. She goes up the stairs, takes a small black leather back from the top of a bookshelf, kneels, and begins pulling stuff off the shelves. She opens a drawer and takes out a jeweled dagger, puts it in the bag. She pulls books and vials off the shelves and puts them in the bag. She shoves books off the shelves every which way, finally pulls out one very large old book and puts it on the floor in front of her.
Shot of the book cover reading Darkest Magick. The book has a metal lock holding it shut.
Willow grabs a small axe from the shelf and hits the lock with it. The lock breaks and the book's pages flip open. The pages continue to flip past as if blown by a wind.
Open on Glory's apartment. Glory is coming down the stairs followed by her three minions. She walks a little unsteadily.
GLORY: You know, I think I'm a little buzzed from eating that witch! What a mind she has. Mmm, nummy treat.
JINX: Is your grace not the slightest bit concerned about-
GLORY: What, about the Slayer? Don't be stupid. I know I'm closing in. The key's as good as mine. (the demons all smile) Girl like Buffy's got just so many friends. All I gotta do it rip through 'em one by one until I finally...
She stops as the walls begin to shake and rattle. Knick-knacks on the walls fall over and smash to pieces. Glory and the demons look around in confusion. The lights darken.
GLORY: Did anybody order an apocalypse?
The door suddenly flies open, revealing Willow floating several inches above the floor. Her hair is blown back by an unseen wind.
WILLOW: Kali, Hera, Kronos, Tonic...
She floats into the room toward Glory as the minions flee.
WILLOW: Air like nectar, thick as onyx...
We see that her eyes are completely black.
WILLOW: Cassiel by your second star...
GLORY: Uhh. It's the lover. (walks forward) That's so cute.
WILLOW: Hold mine victim as in tar.
The air around Glory shimmers and she suddenly cannot move forward. She looks at Willow in surprise.
WILLOW: I ... owe ... you ... pain!
Blue lightning flashes out of Willow's hands toward Glory. Glory screams and clutches her shoulders.
Cut to: Buffy and Dawn sitting together in Spike's cavern. Spike stands a little ways off.
DAWN: It's all my fault.
BUFFY: No. (brushes Dawn's hair back) Sweetheart, it is *not* your fault.
DAWN: (teary) How's Willow?
BUFFY: (continues stroking Dawn's hair) She was looking to go all payback-y on Glory for a minute. But I cooled her down a little. Actually a lot.
SPIKE: So she's not gonna do anything rash then.
BUFFY: No. I explained that there was no point.
SPIKE: (walks a little closer) Mm-hmm.
SPIKE: You - so you're saying that a ... powerful and mightily pissed-off witch ... was plannin' on going and spillin' herself a few pints of god blood until you, what, "explained"?
Buffy frowns, looks at Dawn and back at Spike.
BUFFY: You think she'd ... no. I told Willow it would be like suicide.
SPIKE: I'd do it.
Buffy stares at him.
SPIKE: (looks down at the ground) Right person. Person I loved. (looks at Buffy) I'd do it.
Buffy continues to stare at him as if not getting it.
DAWN: Think, Buffy. If Glory had done that to me.
Buffy glances at Spike, jumps up and races out.
Cut back to Glory's apartment.
The mirrors in the room all shatter and the glass flies toward Glory, slicing her dress into shreds but not harming her.
GLORY: Is that it? Is that the best you can do? You think I care about all this, the apartment, the clothes?
She pulls off the shreds of her dress, revealing a black negligee underneath. She backhands Willow, who flies backward and topples over a sofa, landing on the floor.
GLORY: Now, sucking on your girlfriend's mind?
Willow lifts her head. Her eyes are still all black.
GLORY: That was something to treasure.
Willow gets to her feet, wearing a very angry expression. There's a small trickle of blood coming out of her mouth and down her chin.
Shot of the black bag on the floor. It slides across the floor toward Willow, who turns to look at it. The bag opens of its own accord.
GLORY: (amused) What's this? Bag of tricks?
A bunch of daggers fly up out of the bag.
WILLOW: Bag of knives.
The daggers fly toward Glory, who bats them all aside. One buries itself in the wall.
WILLOW: Spirit of serpents now appear.
Glory picks up a coffee-table and throws it at Willow, knocking her down again. Willow braces herself up on her hands and looks back at Glory.
WILLOW: Hissing, writhing, striking near.
A snake appears out of the carpet Glory's standing on and winds itself around her leg.
Shot of Willow still on the floor, panting and watching.
Glory shakes her foot and the snake disappears in a puff of smoke. Glory walks forward.
GLORY: Now this is getting weak.
She grabs Willow by the throat and pulls her to a sitting position.
GLORY: And so are you, honey. Aren't ya?
Willow spits in her face. Glory looks startled.
Glory grabs Willow's arm and drags her across the floor to where one of the daggers is lying. Glory scoops it up and continues dragging Willow.
Glory pulls Willow up and shoves her against the wall, holding her by the throat.
GLORY: Know what they used to do to witches, lover? (brings up her other hand with the dagger) Crucify 'em.
Glory pulls her arm back to stab with the knife, but Buffy appears and grabs Glory's wrist.
BUFFY: They used to bow down to gods.
Glory smiles in delight. Buffy kicks her in the stomach and she lets go of Willow, who falls to the floor.
Buffy twists Glory's arm aside, punches her.
BUFFY: Things change.
Buffy cartwheels across the floor to kick Glory in the face, punches her a few times, kicks her again, spins around to punch but Glory blocks. Buffy does a flip and kicks Glory in the face, comes back upright and throws another couple of punches which Glory evades. Glory pins Buffy's arm behind her back and throws her over a sofa.
GLORY: That witch barely slowed me down.
Glory glares at Buffy. Buffy kicks the sofa, which flies forward and pins Glory against the wall.
Buffy runs over to Willow, helps her up.
Glory shoves the sofa aside and stalks toward them. Buffy begins to lead Willow out.
WILLOW: (over her shoulder) Thicken.
The air around Glory thickens, rendering her immobile. Buffy and Willow run out.
GLORY: (shouting) This isn't over, you hear me? It isn't over!
She watches them go with an annoyed sigh.
Cut to: exterior dorm building, day.
Cut to inside Tara's room. Willow, Tara, Dawn, and Buffy sit on the bed. Tara's hand is still bandaged and she still stares blankly in front of her. Willow has one hand on Tara's knee. Buffy has a paper bag. She takes something out of it.
BUFFY: Chicken salad?
WILLOW: Right here.
Buffy hands Willow the sandwich and continues taking wrapped sandwiches from the bag.
BUFFY: Eggplant, that's me ... salami with ... (looks at the sandwich) ew, peanut butter? Dawn. (gives it to Dawn)
DAWN: Yeah, like eggplant is normal. It's what, half egg, half plant? 'Cause that's just unnatural.
Buffy continues unpacking sandwiches along with plastic bags full of grapes.
WILLOW: What's Tara got?
DAWN: Oh. (holds out a sandwich) I ... got her tuna. Does she like...?
Willow draws Tara's attention to the sandwich. Buffy stops unpacking to look at them.
DAWN: (gently) Tara?
Dawn unwraps the sandwich to show Tara. Tara anxiously looks to Willow, then back at the sandwich.
TARA: Plastic and their six sisters. Six sick sisters. (anxiously) Willow?
WILLOW: It's okay. Let's just start slow today. Um, Buffy, could I have that?
Buffy hands her a cup of applesauce and a plastic spoon. Willow opens it.
WILLOW: Here you go.
Willow spoons some applesauce into Tara's mouth. Tara eats it uncertainly.
WILLOW: That's my girl.
Buffy looks on with a sad expression as Willow continues feeding Tara.
DAWN: Can I help?
Willow nods, gives Dawn the cup and spoon. Tara gives Willow an anxious look but accepts the food from Dawn. Willow looks over at Buffy.
BUFFY: What are you gonna need?
WILLOW: I don't know. They gave me a lot of stuff to ... keep her calm.
They both look at Tara, still being fed by Dawn.
WILLOW: (quietly) They said I might have to restrain her at night. But ... sometimes she's fine. She looks at me, and ... she's fine.
Tara makes an unhappy face.
BUFFY: I'm sorry I couldn't-
WILLOW: It's okay. I can do this. I'm gonna take care of her. Even if she never...
Dawn looks up at this.
WILLOW: (softly) She's my girl.
Buffy looks sympathetically at Willow, looks at Dawn and plays with a lock of Dawn's hair.
BUFFY: I understand.
WILLOW: (nods) I know you do.
They give each other small smiles.
WILLOW: (to Tara) Hear that, baby? (Tara looks at her) You're my always.
Willow kisses Tara on the forehead. Tara smiles.
Suddenly the entire outside wall smashes to pieces, exposing them to the outside. Dawn and Buffy jump up in alarm. Sunlight streams in.
Glory appears in the window, which is now just a broken frame with shards of glass hanging in it.
GLORY: I told you this wasn't over.
TARA: No. The place is cracking! It's cracking! Cracking, no, no, no!
Dawn looks anxiously at Tara as Willow tries to calm her.
DAWN: No, Tara, it's okay.
TARA: (gasping, staring at Dawn) Oh, look at that, look at that. The light!
Buffy is staring at Glory but turns to look at Tara at this.
TARA: Oh, it's so pure! Such pure green energy!
Dawn gasps and looks over at Glory in fear.
Glory begins to smile.
TARA: (still staring at Dawn) Oh, it's so beautiful.
Glory's smile widens.
Dawn looks fearfully at Buffy.
Buffy turns to glare at Glory.