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

A large park. The camera pans along some flowery foliage until it
reaches a pair of green scaly legs firmly planted to the ground and a
pair of human legs dangling and kicking from someone pinned high against
a tree. The monster makes gurgling noises and low-pitched roars. Cut to
Buffy being held against the tree by her neck. The monster's face has
tentacles coming off of the back of his head as well as the front in
place of lips. His teeth are placed vertically between the two center
tentacles. His scaly green skin glistens with slime.

Buffy: (yells out desperately) Nnnrrf! Nnnrrf!

Near a picnic table Xander is just coming to, apparently having been
knocked around by the monster as well. At the table Willow frantically
searches through their bag of demon-killing implements.

Willow: Oh, God! Demon! Demon! What kills a demon?!

Buffy struggles with the monster's hand at her neck, but can't get it to
budge and has a hard time breathing.

Buffy: Nnnrrf! Nnnrrf!

Willow: (still searching) Oh, Nerf! Not Nerf. Knife!

She finds a knife and runs with it to Buffy's aid. She tosses the knife
to Buffy, who blindly grabs it from behind out of mid-air and stabs the
monster in the chest. The monster immediately falls over dead, taking
Buffy down with it. Willow and Xander help her up.

Buffy: Okay. That was too close for comfort. Not that slaying is ever
comfy, but... you know what I mean? (takes a deep breath) If you guys
hadn't been here to help...

Willow: But, we were, and we did, and, and we're all fine. (looks down
at the monster) Isn't he gonna go poof?

Buffy: Mm, I guess these guys don't. We'll have to bury him or
something. Uhhf...

They walk over to the picnic table.

Buffy: Makes you appreciate vamps, though. No fuss, no muss.

Buffy sits cross-legged on one end of the table, Xander sits on the
other and Willow sits on the bench below and between them and grabs a

Xander: So how come Faith was a no-show? I thought mucus-y demons were
her favorites. (munches on a snack)

Buffy: Couldn't reach her... again. She hasn't been hanging out much.
(reaches for a snack)

Xander: I detect worry.

Buffy: A little bit. Slaying's a rough gig. Too much alone time isn't
healthy. Stuff gets pent up. (munches the snack)

Willow: We should try to do more socializing with her.

Xander: Well, burial detail aside, does this cap us off for the day?

Buffy: You got plans?

Xander: I cannot stress enough how much I *don't* have plans.

Buffy: No luck reaching Cordelia?

Xander: I've left a few messages. Sixty... Seventy... But you know what
really bugs me? (to Willow) Okay, we kissed. It was a mistake. But I
know that was positively the last time we were *ever* gonna kiss.

Willow: Darn tootin'!

Xander: And they burst in, rescuing us, without even knocking? I mean,
this is really *all* their fault.

Buffy: Your logic does *not* resemble our Earth logic.

Xander: Mine is much more advanced.

Willow: At least tomorrow's Monday, another school day.

Buffy: Well, that's good. You know, focus on school. That's the strong
Willow way to heal.

Willow: Actually, I was more thinking Oz will be there, and I can beg
for forgiveness.

Buffy: That works, too.

Willow: I-I wanna be strong Willow. But then I think I may never get to
be close to Oz again, and it's like all the air just goes out of the

Buffy: I know the feeling.

Xander: Right. I mean, you went through it with Angel, and you're still
standing. So tell us, Wise One, how do you deal?

Buffy: I have you guys.

Cut to Cordelia's bedroom. She's sitting on her bed with the lights very
low. She has a picture of herself, Xander, Willow and Buffy all with
their arms around each other, and is cutting each person off with a
straight vertical cut. She lets the pieces fall into a bowl on a
breakfast tray. In the background her answering machine plays back her

Machine: Hey, it's Xander. If you get this, call me.

The last part of the picture left in her hand is of Xander, and she cuts
diagonally right through his face.

Machine: Hi! Xander. I, uh... Well, I'm in if you feel like calling.

Cordelia's eyes and cheeks are heavy with tears. She sighs, takes a
match and strikes it. She lights Xander's part of the picture.

Machine: Hi, Cordelia. Um... If you get the chance, if we could talk,
I'm here.

She drops the lit piece into the bowl and holds the match to the others.
They suddenly all burst into flame. The light of the flame shows just
how tired, slagged and haggard Cordelia has become.

Machine: Hey again! It's me. I'm here. Again.

She watches as the flames consume the image of Xander.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

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

The halls at Sunnydale High School. Willow waits around the corner from
Oz's locker, peeking around every few seconds to see if he's arrived,
looking very worried. Buffy comes up behind her.

Buffy: How's it goin'?

Willow: Oz hasn't been to his locker. There may be books in there that
he needs, but still, he doesn't come. (looks at the locker)

Buffy: Has Xander seen Cordelia?

Willow: I don't think so. But she is coming in today. Amy saw her last
night at the mall. (looks at the locker)

Buffy: How was she?

Willow: I don't know. Amy said she looked pretty... scary.

Cut to the student parking lot. Cordelia has the top down on her
convertible. She steps out looking very hot in a brown leather skirt and
jacket with matching top, and alligator high heel d'Orsay pumps with
matching bag from Prada. She confidently walks into school.

Cut to the breezeway leading to the quad. She walks through, not looking
quite as confident anymore since the other students are just passing her
by. She stops when she sees Harmony coming her way with some of her
friends. When Harmony sees Cordelia, she stops, too, for an instant, but
then approaches her, all smiles.

Harmony: Cordelia! You look amazing.

Cordelia, confidence restored, exchanges a non-touching hug and kisses
on both cheeks.

Harmony: Oh. You have to meet Anya. (pulls her to the front) She just
moved here, and her dad just bought -- what was it -- oh. A utility. Or

Anya: (to Cordelia) Nice bag. Prada?

Cordelia: Good call! Most people around here can't tell Prada from

Harmony: God, Cordy, when I heard about... Well, I mean, I couldn't
believe it. But it was smart. You know, the injury thing? You take a
week off, let everybody forget about the temporary insanity that was
Xander Harris.

Cordelia: (raises her eyebrows) Xander who?

Harmony: Oh!

They all exchange a little fake nervous laughter.

Cordette: You know what you have to do. Start dating. Get back on the

Cordelia: Oh, absolutely! I am ready to ride!

Harmony: Then I have just the stallion. He's *so* you.

She leads her over to the outside stairs where Jonathon is sitting,
nursing a soft drink. He is taken aback by the sudden attention, and
looks around to see if they didn't really mean someone else, but there
is no one else. Cordelia realizes she's been had.

Harmony: (giggles) I'm pretty sure he won't cheat on you. At least not
for a while. Plus, he's got a kill moped.

She laughs, and she and her group walk off. Jonathon gives her a
sympathetic look, knowing what it's like, and goes back to nursing his

Cut to the halls. Oz finally shows up at his locker. As he works his
combination, Willow comes around the corner and pretends it's a chance

Willow: Oz! Wow.

He stops opening his locker and slowly turns to face her.

Willow: Look at us, running into each other, as two people who go to
the same school are so likely to do now and then.

Oz: Hey. (starts to leave)

Willow: (stops him) Oz, wait. Please?

He stops and reluctantly gives her his attention.

Willow: What I did... When I think that I hurt you...

Oz: Yeah. You said all this stuff already.

Willow: Right, but... I wanna make it up to you. I mean, if you let me,
I wanna try.

Oz: Just... You can leave me alone. I need to figure things out.

Willow: But maybe if we talk about it, we could...

Oz: Look... I'm sorry this is hard for you. But I told you what I need.
So I can't help feeling like the reason you want to talk is so you can
feel better about yourself. That's not my problem.

Willow is left feeling completely helpless. Oz goes on his way leaving
her standing there.

Cut to the stairs by the student lounge. Cordelia walks down and turns
down the hall. She sees Xander come out of the cafeteria at the far end.
When he spots her he stops. Cordelia looks for a way to turn this to her
advantage, and pulls an old boyfriend out of the crowd.

Cordelia: Hey, John Lee. Do I have something caught in my teeth?

She smiles to expose her teeth and angles her head up so he can see. She
shifts her head back and forth, and John Lee dutifully follows her
movements. From a distance it looks to Xander like they are kissing.
When he's seen enough, he goes back into the cafeteria. When Cordelia
sees that he's gone, she steps back from John Lee.

Cordelia: So... What's new? God, it's been, like, a gazillion years!

John Lee: (smiles) Look, the guys are kinda down on me lately. Coach
has cut me back to second string. If anyone saw me hanging with Xander
Harris' castoff on top of that... Death, you know, but... maybe...
(makes suggestive eyes) If you wanna go someplace private...

Cordelia: (surprised to find the tables turned) What?

John Lee: Think about it. (leaves)

Cordelia can't believe what a social leper she's suddenly become. She
starts back down the hall, and is startled when Anya bumps into her.

Anya: (smiles) Hey.

Cordelia: Go ahead. Dazzle me with your oh-so-brilliant insults. Just
join the club.

Anya: Hardly. Uh, actually, I've been looking for you. Ever since we
met this morning, I was, like, thank God there's one other person in
this town who actually reads W.

Cordelia: But Harmony...

Anya: Oh, she follows me around. If that girl had an original thought,
her head would explode.

Cordelia: (notices Anya's pendant) Is that Gucci?

Anya: Um... no. It's an actual old thing, sort of a, um... good luck
charm my dad gave me.

Cordelia: Too bad I didn't have one of those pre-Xander.

They start down the hall.

Anya: Can I just say... Men.

Cordelia: Second it.

Anya: Apart from being without class, the guy's obviously blind.
Deserves whatever he gets.

Cordelia: I'm not even thinking about him. I am past it. I am living my

Anya: Still, I mean... Don't you kinda wish...

Cordelia: I don't wish. I act. Starting now, Xander Harris is gonna get
a bellyful of just how over him I am.

Cut to the Bronze that night. "Tired of Being Alone", by The Spies,
plays in the background. Cordelia is at the bar, dressed sexily in red,
pretending to have great conversation with a guy. Behind her sitting on
the couch beneath the stairs, Willow and Buffy look glum, while Xander
pretends to be having fun, forcing himself to laugh. He looks back at
Cordelia, who seems to be enjoying her conversation. Xander looks back
at Willow and Buffy and forces out gales of laughter. Willow and Buffy
exchange a look, then Buffy gives Xander a creepy look.

Xander: Excuse me. I need to be both giving *and* receiving of mirth.
Is it too much to ask for a little backup?

Buffy: (puts her hand on his knee) I'm here for you, Xand. I'm Support-
O-Gal. (takes her hand back) I just... feel a little weird about this
us-against-Cordelia thing. She's had a rough time.

At the bar Cordelia is still enjoying herself.

Willow: It's true. Cordelia *belongs* to the justified camp. She
*should* make us pay. And pay and pay and pay... In fact, there's just
not enough pay for what we...

Xander: (interrupts) Look, you want to do guilt-a-palooza, fine, but
I'm done with that. Starting this minute, I'm gonna grab ahold of that
crazy little thing called life and let it do its magical little heal-y
thing. What's done is done. Let's be in the moment. Behold the beauty
that is now. (bounces his eyebrows) Who's with me?

Buffy: He's actually making sense. We're young and free in America. How
dare we be spun by love or the lack of same?

Willow: Absolutely. I-it's self-indulgent. I-I'm in. I'm on the joy
train. (smiles)

They all put on bright smiles and radiate them into the Bronze. Slowly
their luster fades, and they all end up looking glum again.

Buffy: That didn't work. Who wants chocolate?

Willow and Xander both raise their hands.

Buffy: I'm up.

She gets up and heads for the cappuccino bar.

Xander: Look at her. (indicates Cordelia) Tears of a clown, baby. Or is
it... grins of a sad person? (reaches over to Willow in his old familiar
way) Or maybe it's...

Willow: Xander, your hand.

Xander: (jerks back his hand) Oops! Sorry. But why 'oops'? I mean, we
always touch digits. It's a friend thing. Comfort. Like chocolate.

Willow: (shrugs) Maybe it used to be, but since we... It's different.
(Xander looks away) I-I'm sorry. But if I wanna make things right with
Oz, my hands, (Xander looks back) my -- all my stuff -- has to be for
him only.

Xander understands, but he sure isn't happy about it.

Cut to the cappuccino bar. While waiting in line, Buffy notices Cordelia
talk briefly with Anya and say goodbye. As she goes a boy bumps into
her, jostling her wound. She puts her hand over it as she walks out.
Buffy decides to follow.

Cut outside. Buffy catches up with her.

Buffy: Hey, Cordelia, wait a second.

Cordelia: (stops and faces her) Did Xander send you to beg for him?
Because if he did...

Buffy: No. I'm a free agent, I promise. I just wanted to see how you

Cordelia: Never been better. (starts to go)

Buffy: (follows) Cordelia, I know what it's like to be hurt by someone.
(Cordelia faces her) Hurt so much that you don't think you're gonna make
it. But I told my friends how I felt, and you know what? It got a little

Suddenly a vampire jumps down behind Buffy and swings at her head, but
she middle blocks it and punches him in the face, which sends him to the
pavement on his side. Buffy punches him in the face while he's down,
reaches for his shirt and yanks him back up to his feet. She spins him
around and lets go of his shirt. He staggers backward a couple of steps,
but keeps his footing. He advances and does two roundhouse kicks, which
Buffy low blocks. He tries a wide punch to Buffy's head, but she ducks
it and rises back up to deliver a roundhouse kick to his side. This
sends him stumbling backward right at Cordelia.

Buffy: Cordelia, look...

Cordelia has no time to react, and gets knocked into a pile of garbage.

Buffy: ...out.

The vampire gets back up to his feet and comes at Buffy, jumping into a
half spinning crescent kick, which Buffy easily ducks. She grabs him
when he comes at her again and knees him in the stomach, then flips him
over onto his back. She pulls out her stake and jams it home. The
vampire bursts into ashes. Buffy turns her attention back to Cordelia,
who flicks a few pieces of trash from her dress and slowly climbs out of
the garbage heap. Buffy looks at her apologetically. Behind her she
hears the laughter of a group of girls, so she quickly tosses aside her
stake. Harmony and some of her friends walk by, look Cordelia over and
keep laughing as they go. After they've gone, Cordelia vents on Buffy.

Cordelia: You know what I've been asking myself a *lot* this last week?
Why me? Why do *I* get impaled? Why do *I* get bitten by snakes? Why do
*I* fall for incredible losers? And you know, I think I've finally
figured it out, what my problem is? It's...

Cut to the quad at school the next day. Cordelia and Anya walk together.

Cordelia: ...Buffy Summers. That's when all my troubles started.
(winces in pain and holds her side) When she moved here.

Anya: Are you okay?

Cordelia: Oh, I just pulled some stitches last night. Know why? (looks
in Buffy's direction) Surprise. It was Buffy's fault.

Anya follows Cordelia's gaze and sees Buffy and company sitting on a
bench. Harmony interrupts Cordelia and Anya.

Harmony: Oh, hey, it's Garbage Girl. Loved the look last night, Cor.
Dumpster chic for the dumped.

She and her troop rudely walk right between Cordelia and Anya, giggling
and smiling. Cordelia looks down in embarrassment. Anya takes her
pendant off.

Anya: Here. I think you need this more than I do right now.

Cordelia lifts her hair away from her neck and lets Anya put it on.

Cordelia: Yeah, I can use some luck. (eyes Buffy) And a stick with
pointy, sharp bits. If that Buffy wasn't... I swear. She's a pain.

Anya: But Xander, he's an utter loser. Don't you wish...

Cordelia: I never would've looked twice at Xander if Buffy hadn't made
him marginally cooler by hanging with him.

Anya: Really? (looks over at Buffy)

Cordelia: Yeah, I swear! I wish Buffy Summers had never come to

Anya turns back to Cordelia, who gasps to see that her face has suddenly
become very wrinkled and raw-looking, the embodiment of Anyanka, Patron
Saint of all women scorned.

Anyanka: Done.

The picture fades to white.

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

The picture fades from white back to the quad at Sunnydale High.
Cordelia looks around her. Anya is gone. Buffy, Willow and Xander are
not sitting at the bench anymore. There are far fewer students in
general. The place is, in fact, rather a mess. Garbage and palm leaves
are strewn about the quad.

Cordelia: Anya?

Suddenly she notices that she no longer has her injury. Anya's pendant,
however, is still around her neck. Slowly she begins to figure it out.

Cordelia: 'I wish Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale.' (smiles)
She was, like... a good fairy. A scary, veiny... good fairy. (smiles

She laughs as she heads into the halls. Cut into the halls. Just like
outside, there are far fewer students inside. Everyone is dressed in
dark and drab clothing. Cordelia is the standout in her bright turquoise
dress. She sees Harmony and her friends at her locker, and hesitates.
Harmony closes her locker and sees her.

Harmony: Where have you been?!

She approaches Cordelia, and her friends follow. Cordelia gives them a
careful smile.

Harmony: Ted Chervin just totally went for third with Ginger in front
of everybody.

Cordette: (to Cordelia) Love the dress. It's so daring.

Harmony nods in agreement. John Lee walks up to them.

John Lee: Cordelia.

Cordelia: Yeah?

John Lee: (pulls her aside) Look, every guy on campus has probably
asked, but if you're not going to the Winter Brunch with anyone, I'd be
honored, and we'd have fun.

Cordelia: (considers her response) I'll get back to you.

John Lee: Really?

Cordelia: Yeah. (smiles)

John Lee: Great!

He heads down the hall, a happy man. Harmony steps over to her.

Harmony: Cordy, you reign!

Cordelia: I do? I mean, I do. So what's with the Winter Brunch thing?

Cut to class. It is less than half full, but even so most of the
students sit toward the back. The bell rings. The teacher hurriedly
gathers his things.

Teacher: Alright. Now, don't forget, tomorrow we have our, uh, monthly
memorial, so, uh, there's no class.

He rushes out of the room. The students also make a point of getting out
of there quickly.

Cordelia: What's the rush?

Harmony: Oh, you know, my mom hates it when I'm late.

Cordelia: Since when? Aren't we going out tonight? (gets up)

Cordette: Curfew starts in an hour.

Cordelia: Curfew? Come on, I'm in a really good mood! Let's go to the

Harmony and her friends all stop and give Cordelia a disbelieving look.

Harmony: Is that a joke?

Cordelia: Oh! The Bronze isn't cool in this reality. I've gotta make
these little adjustments. (smiles)

Harmony and Cordette exchange a look.

Harmony: Cordy, what's with you? (the others leave) I mean, you wear
this come-bite-me outfit, you make jokes about the Bronze, and you're
acting a little schizo.

Cordelia: You're right. I just... Well, I bumped my head yesterday, and
I keep forgetting stuff. Not that I care, but Xander Harris, he's
miserable, right? And that Willow freak he hangs with, not even a blip
on the radar screen, right? (smiles)

Harmony: (confused) Well, yeah. They're dead.

Cordelia's smile fades, not at all sure how she feels about that.
Harmony rolls her eyes and leaves the room.

Cut to what Cordelia thinks is the student parking lot. The lot is
completely empty and full of fallen leaves.

Cordelia: Okay. Not funny. (stops a passing janitor) Hey! You! Where
did you put my car?

Janitor: Pardon?

Cordelia: My auto! El convertablo?

Janitor: You students aren't allowed to drive, and you know it.

Cordelia: What?!

Janitor: Go on now, Miss. You better get in before the sun sets.

The janitor hurries off. Cordelia is now very confused. She starts on
her way home.

Cut to a street in town. The Sun Cinema is closed. The last shop pulls a
metal gate across its storefront. The street is dirty. A smashed car
just sits in the middle of it. In the distance Cordelia can hear sirens
and screams as she walks along. Suddenly Xander appears in front of her,
wearing only a white T-Shirt and black leather jacket and pants. She
startles and stops short.

Xander: Well, whadaya know? Cordelia Chase.

Cordelia: What is this? Some kind of sick joke? Harmony told me you
were dead.

Xander: (plays her game) Now, why would she say something like that?
Let's think.

Cordelia: Listen to me. We have to find Buffy. She'll figure out a way
to save us. She was supposed to be here, and as much as it kills me to
admit it... things were better when she was around.

Xander: Buffy? The Slayer?

Cordelia: No! Buffy the dog-faced girl! Duh! Who do you think I'm
talking about?

Willow: Bored now.

She slowly walks up to them. She is also dressed in black leather. The
bodice of her outfit is trimmed in red lace.

Willow: This is the part that's less fun. When there isn't any

Cordelia: What's up with you two and the leather?

Willow: (to Xander) Play now?

Xander: It's not that I don't appreciate your appetite, Will, but I
thought we agreed it was my turn.

Willow whines and brushes her hand against Xander's chest.

Cordelia: No. No! No way! I wish us into Bizarro Land, and you guys are
still together?! I cannot win!

Xander: Probably not. (vamps out) But I'll give you a head start.

Cordelia: (gasps) No!

She drops her bag and begins to run.

Willow: I love this part.

They kiss passionately with lots of tongue. Then Xander turns his
attention to the chase.

Xander: You love all the parts.

Willow follows at a walk as Xander runs after Cordelia. He jumps up,
runs over the smashed car and jumps down behind her, grabs her by the
neck and throws her down to the street. She rolls to a stop,

Willow: No fun. She didn't even hardly fight.

Suddenly a van comes screeching around the corner.

Xander: Aw, swell. It's the White Hats.

The van screeches to a stop next to Cordelia, and Giles jumps out with a
large cross in hand to ward them off. They have to back away. At the
driver's seat Oz has the crossbow trained on them. Larry and Nancy jump
out of the sliding door, he with a stake held ready, she with another

Giles: I've got them! Get the girl!

Larry and Nancy pick Cordelia up and carry her into the van. Xander and
Willow growl angrily as they watch their prize being stolen from them.
When Larry and Nancy have Cordelia safely inside, Giles hops back in,
they slam the doors shut and take off.

Cut to the library. Cordelia is laid out on the large center table.

Oz: How's she doing?

Giles: Her pulse is strong.

Nancy: What was she doing wearing that? Everyone knows that vampires
are attracted to bright colors.

Larry: That's Cordelia. It's better to look good than to feel alive.

Giles: Uh, go and, uh, watch the perimeters in case they follow.

Cut to the Bronze. "Dedicated to Pain", by Plastic, blares loudly as
Xander and Willow approach the club. A couple of the vampires standing
outside feast on fresh victims caught out after dark. The two of them go
into the club and check out the happenings inside. There are several
cages containing terrified humans suspended a few feet from the floor.
Willow reaches in to one and strokes his cheek. They head toward the
back of the club, past the pool tables where a vampire has a wayward
biker tied to all four corners. Xander runs his hand across the man's

Xander: (to the vampire) Slap my hand, dead soul man.

They shake hands, and Xander and Willow continue into the back. A guard
vampire holds the curtain aside for them to enter. When he sees them
come in, the Master rises from his throne. His two favored vampires come
to stand before him.

Master: Ahh. Xander... Willow... Hungry?

He grabs a girl by the hair and lifts her by it. The girl remains silent
with fear, but keeps her eyes fixed on the Master.

Master: (disgustedly) I've lost my appetite for this one. She keeps
looking at me. I'm trying to eat, and she *looks* at me.

He notices Willow's desire for a kill, and turns the girl's head toward

Master: Go on!

Willow smiles up at Xander, who gives her a look of approval. She turns
back to the Master and vamps out. The Master shoves the girl over to
her. She catches her in her arms with her head laid back and bites her
hard. Xander, as always, is impressed with her zest for a fresh drink.

Master: I remember that lust for the kill. (sits back down on his
throne) Now... What news on the Rialto?

Xander: Had a prime kill. An old crush, actually, till that wannaslay
librarian showed up.

Master: He'll be dealt with soon enough.

Willow comes back to Xander's side, licking her fingers.

Xander: Weird thing: girl kept talking about Buffy. 'Gotta get Buffy
here.' Isn't that what they called the Slayer?

Willow: (strokes his chest) Hmm. Buffy. Ooo. Scary.

Xander: Someone has to talk to her people. That name is striking fear
in nobody's hearts.

Master: (stands up) She talked of summoning the Slayer here, now, at
this time, and you didn't kill her?

Willow: Well, they had crosses.

Master: The plant begins operation in less than twenty-four hours.
(steps up to them) You will find this girl. (strokes their cheeks) You
will kill her before she contacts the Slayer. Or I'll see you two
kissing daylight.

Cut to the library. Cordelia groans as she regains consciousness. Giles
comes rushing down to her from the stacks and tries to keep her from
getting up too fast.

Giles: Hey! Hey...

Cordelia: (frantic) Giles! It's all my fault! I wasn't... I made this
*stupid* wish...

Giles: Come on. Please lie...

Cordelia: No! You have to get Buffy. Buffy changes it. (Giles lets go
of her) It wasn't like this. It was better. I mean, the clothes alone...
(Giles takes off his glasses) But people were happy. Mostly. And...
Wait. (slides off of the table) Why are you here and she's not? I mean,
y-you were her Watcher.

Giles is amazed by what he's hearing.

Giles: H-how do you know I was a Watcher? I've never...

They hear a series of thumps and taps outside.

Cordelia: What?

Giles looks around carefully and puts his glasses back on.

Cordelia: What?

Giles: I thought I heard something.

He goes into the cage and grabs a large cross and a stake from the
weapons cabinet.

Giles: Now, I want you to start again and explain everything very

Before he can come out, he finds the cage door slammed shut on him.

Willow: You're in a big cage.

She taunts him with the key. Xander has Cordelia pinned against him with
his hand over her mouth. Willow looks over at him.

Xander: Not too bright, Book Guy.

Willow turns back to Giles, who slams the cross against the cage,
forcing Willow back. She growls angrily. Xander forces Cordelia closer.

Xander: So you're a Watcher, huh? (smiles widely) Watch this.

He lets go of Cordelia's mouth and sinks his teeth into her neck. Giles
rattles the cage hard in protest, helpless to do anything. Willow smiles
at him, then turns around and bites Cordelia also on the other side of
her neck. Together they suck her dry. Xander reaches his arm around
Willow's head and caresses her hair. Giles rages in anger as he is
forced to watch. In another moment Cordelia is dead, and Xander pushes
her lifeless body aside, letting it fall to the floor. Xander starts out
of the library. Willow gives Giles a smile and tosses the key at him as
she also leaves. Giles pants heavily as he looks down at the body of the
latest victim of these two vampires.

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

The library. Giles swings at the cage door with a double-bladed battle-
ax. It soon gives way and opens, and he rushes out to check on Cordelia.
He feels for a pulse, but he's too late. Larry and Oz come running in
through the stacks.

Larry: They hit us right outside.

Giles: Nancy?

Oz: She's dead.

Giles takes the news as well as can be expected.

Giles: Um... Would you mind... Could you take her to the incinerator? I
have some business to...

Larry and Oz set themselves to their grim task. Oz goes around to get
her legs, Larry grabs her by the shoulders. Just as they are about to
go, Giles notices the pendant around her neck.

Giles: Wait a moment.

He takes it off, and the boys carry her body away.

Cut to the Bronze. The Master takes a fresh hot demitasse of blood
espresso from his machine and sips it. He blows on it and takes another
sip. Behind him Xander and Willow report back from their mission. The
Master turns to face them.

Xander: The deed is done.

Master: You killed the girl that sought the Slayer?

Xander: It was too easy.

Willow: I felt cheap.

Master: Excellent. The opening will commence as scheduled. (takes
another sip)

Willow: (approaches) So, you're pleased?

Master: Ecstatic.

Willow: Then... can I play with the puppy?

Master: Ooo. (smiles) Be my guest.

Willow smiles as the Master hands her the keys.

Cut to Giles' apartment. He's on the phone with Buffy's Watcher.

Giles: Yes, I understand, but it's imperative that I see her. Here.
(listens) Well... when will you? (listens) Yeah, well, you are her
Watcher. I'd expect her to at least check in to... (listens) Yes, I'm
aware that there's a great deal of demonic activity in Cleveland.
(listens) It... Well, it happens, you know, that, that Sunnydale is on a
Hellmouth. (listens) It, it is so! (listens) Well... Just... Just give
her the message, if you ever see her again. (hangs up)

Cut to an external view of Sunnydale by day. The camera pans over the
red Spanish roofs typical of most of town. In the distance there is a
low haze over the ocean.

Cut to the Bronze. Cut inside. Willow approaches what can only be
described as a jail cell in the basement.

Willow: Bored now.

She walks over to the wall of whips, chains and other instruments of

Willow: Daytime's the worst. (runs her hand over the leather) Cooped up
for hours. Can't hunt.

She takes a pair of iron shears and clinks it along the bars of the

Willow: But the Master said I could play.

Inside the figure begins to stir.

Willow: Isn't that fun, Puppy?

She unlocks the cell door and swings it in.

Willow: Aw... Puppy's being all quiet. Come on. Don't be a spoilsport.

The man groans as she straddles him. She grabs him by the hair and jerks
his head up. It's Angel, and he moans from the rough treatment. He seems
constantly short of breath.

Willow: Guess what today is?

She runs the tip of the shears along his chin and down his throat.

Willow: Today the plant opens. It's a big party.

She licks him from the base of his ear to his forehead and runs her
sharp fingernails along his neck.

Willow: You remember I told you about the plant? All those people you
tried to save? It's gonna be quick for them. Not for you, though. It's
gonna be slow for you.

She flips him over onto his back and straddles his stomach. He lets out
a painful moan.

Willow: That's right, Puppy... Willow's gonna make you bark. (smiles)

He cries out when she rips open his shirt to reveal several very deep
and bloody wounds on his chest. When she touches them he flinches hard.

Willow: Oh... Maybe I went too hard on you last time.

Behind her Xander strikes a wooden kitchen match with his thumbnail and
tosses it onto Angel's chest. Angel cries out in pain.

Xander: Too hard? No such thing.

Willow: Watch it with those things. You almost got my hair.

Xander: Sorry. Got carried away.

He tosses her the large box of matches.

Willow: Don't you want to?

Xander: No, thanks, baby. I just wanna watch you go.

Willow smiles and turns her full attention on Angel. She lights another
match, and the screen cuts to black. Angel screams in agony.

Cut to the library. Giles is in his office while Oz tunes the crossbow
and Larry carves stakes in the main area.

Giles: Here it is! I've found it. (comes out of his office) Look.

He sets down a book which is opened to a page with a sketch of
Cordelia's pendant.

Giles: It's what, um, Cordelia was wearing. It's the, the, uh, symbol
of, of Anyanka.

Oz: I don't think I know her.

Giles: Well, no. Um, Anyanka is a, sort of a Patron Saint of scorned
women. (sits on the table)

Larry: What does she do?

Giles: Uh, sh-she grants wishes.

Oz: So Cordelia wished for something? Well, if it was a long, healthy
life, she should get her money back.

Giles: She said something about everything being different, that the...
the world wasn't supposed to be like this. It was, um, better. Before.

Larry: Okay. The entire world sucks because some dead ditz made a wish?
(gets looks from Giles and Oz) I just, I just want it clear.

Giles: She said the, uh... the Slayer was supposed to be here, was, um,
meant to have been here already.

Oz: Certainly would've helped.

Giles: Yes. I tried calling her, but, um... (stands up) Look, I'm, I'm,
I'm gonna have to... research this Anyanka thing further. Um, I have
some more... volumes at, at home. You two, two get some sleep. (goes)

Oz: Watch your back.

Cut to the street. Giles drives along in his ancient Citroen. As he
drives by a park he sees a bunch of people being herded into a stepvan.
He stops his car, grabs his large cross and rushes over to help. He
holds the cross up to the two vampires, who are forced to back away, and
yells to the people in the van.

Giles: Run!

When the people have all run away, he turns to run back to his car, but
a third vampire slams the rear van door into his face, knocking him flat
on his back. They try to grab him to load up, but the one at his feet
suddenly finds himself flying through the air and landing hard on his
back. The other two attack, but meet with similar fates. The first one
runs at his attacker again, but gets staked. The attacker grabs another
and stakes him. The others flee. Giles looks up at the person standing
at his feet.

Giles: Buffy Summers?

Buffy: That's right. Wanna tell me what I'm doing here?

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

Giles' apartment. Buffy looks around, bored out of her mind. Giles is on
the stairs looking through a book, and finally finds something.

Giles: Ah! Ah! Ah! Yes! (glances at Buffy and stands up) Here. (reads)
'In order to defeat Anyanka, one must destroy her powercenter. (walks
down the steps) This should reverse all the wishes she's granted,
rendering her mortal and powerless again.' You see? Without her
powercenter, she'd j-just be a-a-an ordinary woman again, and all this
would be, um... well, different. (gets no reaction) Well, I'd say that
my, my Watcher muscles (closes the book) haven't completely atrophied
after all. (takes off his glasses)

Buffy: (unimpresssed) Great. What's her powercenter?

Giles: Um, well, um, um... (glances at the book again) It doesn't say.

Buffy: Why don't I just put a stake through her heart? (goes to his
kitchen bar)

Giles: She's not a vampire.

Buffy: Mm, well, you'd be surprised how many things that'll kill.
(sniffs a liqueur bottle)

Giles: I don't want to kill her, Miss Summers. I want to reverse
whatever effect she's had on this, this... world.

She puts the bottle back down and turns to face him.

Buffy: You're taking an awful lot on faith here, Jeeves.

Giles: Giles.

Buffy: (shrugs) Kill the bad fairy... destroy the bad fairy's
powercenter, whatever, and all the troubles go away?

Giles: Yeah, well, I'm sure it's not that simple, but...

Buffy: (interrupts) World is what it is. We fight. We die. Wishing
doesn't change that.

Giles: I have to believe in a better world.

Buffy: Go ahead. I have to live in this one.

She strolls over to his chess table, lifts her right leg up to set her
boot on its edge and spits into her hand to literally give it a spit

Giles: Cordelia said she knew that I was meant to be your Watcher. She
said she knew you.

Buffy: (works her spit into the leather) She's probably just a big fan.

Giles: The Master sent his most vicious disciples to kill her. Now,
she, she must have posed some threat to him. (puts his glasses back on)

Buffy: (suddenly attentive) The Master?

Giles: Um, supreme vampire around these parts. He, he lives on the
outskirts of town in an old club.

Buffy: You know where he lives, and no one's ever tried to take him

Giles: People have tried.

Buffy: Well, point the way. I might as well do some good while I'm in
this town. (goes to get her weapons)

Giles: You can't just walk in there and...

Buffy: Look, you wanna stay here and play make-believe, fine. (puts her
crossbow strap over her shoulder) I'm not gonna be any help to you
anyway. There's only one thing I'm good at.

Giles: At least let's muster some kind of force.

Buffy: I don't play well with others. Now, I'm gonna ask you this once,
and then I'm gonna get testy.

Giles gives in and tosses his book onto his desk.

Buffy: Where's this club?

Cut to the Bronze. Buffy whips aside the curtains and comes out of the
Master's sitting area. She strolls through the club and sees the hanging
cages, the ropes dangling from the pool tables, and everything for the
most part put away as though the place were just closed for the day.
Eveything, that is, except for the dead boy in one of the cages.

Cut to the stairs to the basement. Buffy comes down quickly and finds
the cell where Angel is chained to the wall. He is shivering hard. She
looks around a bit as she walks up to the bars. He looks up at her, and
a look of recognition appears on his face. She in turn just gives Angel
a blank look, turns and starts to walk away.

Angel: Buffy.

She stops in her tracks.

Angel: Buffy Summers.

She turns to face Angel and gives him an inquiring look. Angel gets
another look at her, and now he's sure.

Angel: (weakly) It's you. I mean... you don't remember. How could you?

Buffy: How did you know my name?

Angel: I waited. I waited here for you. But you never... I was supposed
to help you.

Buffy: (huffs) You were gonna help me.

Angel: (weakly) The Master rose. He let me live... to punish me. I kept
hoping maybe you'd come. My destiny.

Buffy: (huffs) Is this a get-in-my-pants thing? You guys in Sunnydale
talk like I'm the Second Coming.

Angel: I'm sorry. I just meant...

Buffy: (interrupts) Look, I don't have time for stories. Where's the

Angel: They're at his factory. It starts tonight.

Buffy: Factory?

Angel: (tries to move) I (grunts) I can take you there.

Buffy is wary of the whole situation, but decides she can at least give
him a chance. She kicks in the door to the cell and approaches Angel.
She reaches behind him to get at his chains, but in doing so the cross
around her neck hangs down in his face, and he flinches from it. Buffy
reacts, jerks back and drops the chains.

Buffy: Oh, you gotta be *kidding* me!

She stomps out of the cell.

Angel: Wait! I won't hurt you.

Buffy: (faces him) No. You'll leave that to your Master.

Angel: You don't believe I wanna help you?

He makes a hard effort to stand up and opens his shirt to show her his

Angel: Believe I want him dead.

She stares at his wounds for a long moment.

Cut to the Master's factory. The camera pans from a control panel across
the crowd of gathering vampires, past a wooden cage full of humans and
the machine waiting in front of it, and over to the Master up on a

Master: Vampires, come! Behold the technical wonder, which is about to
alter the very fabric of our society. Some have argued that such an
advancement goes against our nature. They claim that death is our art. I
say to them... Well, I don't say anything to them because I kill them.
Undeniably we are the world's superior race. (the camera closes in on
him) Yet we have always been too parochial, too bound by the mindless
routine of the predator. Hunt and kill, hunt and kill. Titillating? Yes.
Practical? Hardly. Meanwhile, the humans, with their plebeian minds,
have brought us a truly demonic concept: (spreads his arms) mass

Vampires: (cheer) Yeah! Yeah!

Xander: We really are living in a golden age.

He is visibly moved by the proceedings. Willow tilts her head toward him
and smiles.

Cut to Giles' apartment. He has several bags and bowls of various herbs
and powders laid out on his chess table. He grabs a couple of them and
goes over to his desk with them, where he has a large golden goblet
already smoldering. He pulls bits of an herb from a bushel and drops
them into the goblet as he recites the ritual to summon Anyanka.

Giles: Oh... Anyanka... I-I beseech thee... (puts on his glasses to
read) Um... (turns a page) In the name of all women scorned... (adds
more herb to the fire) Come before me.

He looks around his apartment to see where she might appear. She does
so, but in the shadows under the stairs to his loft, where he doesn't
notice. Slowly she walks into the dim light of the room.

Giles: Oh! (lets out a nervous breath)

Anyanka: Do you have any idea what I do to a man who uses that spell to
summon me?

Giles gazes at her with a look of foreboding.

Cut to the factory.

Master: Bring on the first!

At the cage the vampires shove a couple of the humans back from the
gate, lift off the crossbar and open it. Oz realizes what's about to
happen, but can't do anything. Two vampires go into the cage and choose
a victim.

Vampire: You!

He points to and grabs Cordette. Xander and Willow look on as she
screams and is dragged out.

Cordette: Nooo! No! Please! No! Help me! No! Noooo!

Some of the men in the cage attempt to resist and help her, but they are
easily knocked aside. Once they have her outside, one of them shocks her
with a cattle prod. Her body goes limp. The gates to the cage are
closed, and the mortals all gather to watch in horror. The two vampires
drag her to the end of the machine. One of them lifts her into a long
stainless steel pan like the ones used for autopsies and lays her down
in it.

Master: She's still alive, you see, for the freshness.

The machine is turned on, and the pan moves along the conveyor to the
blood draining station. On either side are four arms that extend over
Cordette, each with a very large needle on the end. They all plunge into
her body and begin to suck the blood from it. At one end of the
contraption is a tap for sampling the blood, and a glass is filled for
the Master to taste. In the cage Larry and Oz watch in disbelief. At the
back of the factory Buffy and Angel peek around a corner. On the machine
Cordette lets out her last few muffled sounds and dies. Xander and
Willow watch with anticipation.

Angel: (to Buffy) What's the plan?

Buffy: (holds up her stake) Don't fall on this.

The glass with the blood sample is passed up to the Master. Buffy and
Angel calmly make their way through the crowd of vampires toward the
stage. The Master rubs his fingers in anticipation of the first taste of
blood from his new machine. The arms extract themselves from Cordette,
and the pan with her body moves along the conveyor for disposal. The
glass of blood is handed up to the Master. He holds it up to his
subjects for a toast.

Master: Welcome to the future.

Vampires: To the future! To the future! To the future!

Buffy raises her crossbow at the Master and fires. Instantly the Master
pulls Xander in front of him, and the bolt hits him in the right
shoulder. Buffy aims the crossbow at another target, but it gets knocked
from her hand. Panic sets in among the vampires. Buffy ducks a wide
swing from a vampire. She jumps up and brings her foot down to smash the
back of his knee. Angel attacks a vampire by the cage, punches him in
the face and shoves him aside. He rushes over to the gate and throws off
the crossbar.

Willow: (smiling) Uh-oh. Puppy got out.

Angel throws open the cage's gate and starts pulling people out. Buffy
twists a vampire's arm around, immobilizing him, and does a jumping
roundhouse kick to his gut. The crowd of humans streams into the fray.
Oz reaches up and breaks a piece off of one of the wooden cage bars. He
immediately jams it into the back of a vampire. All around humans and
vampires fight. Xander and Willow finally decide it's time to join in
and jump down from the stage.

Cut to Giles' apartment. Anyanka slowly approaches Giles, who bravely
stands his ground.

Giles: Cordelia Chase. What did she wish for?

Anyanka: I had no idea her wish would be so exciting! Brave New World.
I hope she likes it.

Cut to the factory. Buffy ducks a swing from a vampire and repeats her
earlier maneuver of stomping on the back of his knee. She grabs him by
his shirt and throws him over the conveyor. He pulls a section of it
over with him. Buffy punches another vampire in the face. Yet another
one tries to grab her by the neck from behind, and she spins around and
elbows him in the face. As the second one comes at her again, she side
steps him and sends him barreling into the third one.

Gut to Giles' apartment.

Giles: You're gonna change it back.

Anyanka finally gets too close, and he takes a couple of steps back.

Giles: I'm not afraid of you. Your only power lies in the wishing.

Anyanka makes a sudden and hard grab for his neck.

Anyanka: Wrong!

She lifts him and slams him against a wall.

Cut to the factory. Willow swings at Buffy, but misses as Buffy ducks
the punch. Buffy backhand punches Willow in the face and follows up with
a roundhouse kick to her stomach. Willow falls to the ground. Buffy
senses something behind her and turns around in time to backhand punch
an incoming vampire. She spins around again, this time to face Xander.
She grabs onto his shoulder and yanks his body down to meet her knee,
getting him twice in the gut and then in the face. She turns again to
find her next target. Xander gets to his feet and comes at Buffy. Angel
sees him make his move, and runs to Buffy's aid.

Angel: Buffy, look out!

Still unaware of Xander's imminent attack, Buffy roundhouse kicks
another vampire while holding onto his arm. She lets go of him as he
falls. Angel runs past her and uppercuts Xander in the face. Xander in
turn lunges at Angel with the crossbow bolt that he's pulled from his
shoulder, and impales Angel. Angel turns to face Buffy and grabs his

Angel: Buffy...

He crumbles to ash. Buffy takes it like he's just another dead
vampire, and marches over to another fray to continue the fight.

Anyanka: This is the real world now.

Cut to Giles' apartment. She still has him pinned to the wall.

Anyanka: This is the world we made. Isn't it wonderful?
Ecrit par  
Ne manque pas...

Illustration pour le sixième numéro d'HypnoMag avec Graham Patrick Martin en couverture.
HypnoMag | Découvre le numéro 6 !

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Tous les sondages

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Spyfafa, 17/11 à 09:53

Dernier jour pour voter au concours de création Helaween sur HypnoClap (organisé avec Marvel !). On compte sur vous !

byoann, 17/11 à 10:51

Bonjour à tous ! Nouvelle photo du mois sur le quartier de Robin des Bois ! Will Scarlett est la cible du mois du shérif. Venez voter nombreux. :-D

grims, 17/11 à 15:45

The Tudors vous propose un nouveau jeu ! le "Qui est-ce ?" !!! n'hésitez plus et venez jouer avec nous !

choup37, 17/11 à 21:14

ALERTE ALERTE! Un premier extrait de l'épisode de Noel de Doctor Who a été dévoilé !

choup37, 17/11 à 23:22

Sondages, calendriers et jeux sur Torchwood, Doctor Who, How I met your mother, Kaamelott, Musketeers et Merlin^^


Locksley, 17/11 à 22:25

Bienvenue au nouveau quartier The Good Doctor !!!

Locksley, 17/11 à 22:25

Félicitations Spy' et bonne inauguration !

choup37, 17/11 à 22:28

C'en est un de Doc, un super Doc, le premier même Il s'appelle le Docteur, il a des alias mais son nom est le Docteur^^

Barryallen, 17/11 à 22:31


Barryallen, 17/11 à 22:31

vous avez vu sony tout ce que ils sont en train de faire ?

Viens chatter !