By Elsa Frohman
Anya is handing out weapons.
(Handing an axe to Xander) Battle-axe for you.
She thinks for a moment then picks out a crossbow for Willow.
You're pretty accurate with this, aren't you?
Can hit a bulls-eye from as much as ... three feet away.
Anya takes back the crossbow and gives her a baseball bat.
Dawnie... Sword or crossbow?
She's not coming.
This is too dangerous.
(Angry) You can't leave me out!
I don't want to have to worry...
I think she should come.
(Looking daggers at Anya) I didn't ask you!
What's the point of teaching me to fight if...
(Determined to be in charge.) We need everyone. We're going to be outnumbered enough as it is! Dawn will be quite valuable in creating confusion.
Buffy glares at Anya.
Time out! (Buffy and Anya both glare at him.) We don't need to start out by fighting each other.
(With false sweetness) Will everyone please excuse us for a moment?
She takes Dawn by the arm and drags her into the kitchen.
SUMMERS KITCHEN, DAY
Buffy enters dragging Dawn by the arm.
(Trying to be reasonable.) Dawn, I know you want to be a part of this, but I need to know you're safe.
No, that's not it. You just want me out of the way. You should have kept the box the monks delivered me in! Then you could just pack me away when you don't want to play with me! You want me to go upstairs and crawl under your bed ... go play with the dust bunnies? I could name them and everything.
(Trying to keep her temper.) That's not fair, and you know it. I'm responsible for you. It would be irresponsible to take you into a situation like this.
So when you took me out and taught me how to stake vampires, that was just something to keep me busy, so I wouldn't demand to do anything real.
Dawn, you're the most important thing in my life. Is it so unreasonable that I want to protect you?
(Crossing her arms and glaring at Buffy) That's a lie! Everything is more important than me. Everything! Even the guy who tried to ...
Dawn! How can you say... (Stops to compose herself. She's speaking carefully when she starts again.) You've got to stop using that as a weapon. It was me -- not you. Spike has never raised a hand to harm you, and he never would -- even before he got his soul... even if he didn't have his chip. What happened between him and me... it doesn't have anything to do with you. You've got to let go if it. I have...
(Tearing up.) So it's that easy. He gets a soul, and all is forgiven. Well, I can't go out and get a soul. What do I have to do?
You? Why would you need forgiveness? I love you. You're everything to me.
Oh yes, sounds real good doesn't it? But it isn't true. I didn't ask to be shoved into your life. Nobody asked me if I wanted to be the bowling ball hung around your neck. Mom died, and you had to give up everything to take care of me. And not a day goes by that I don't get reminded. (beat) I'm sorry you had to grow up and be the mom overnight. I'm sorry I'm always between you and what you really want to do. I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do about it!
Buffy is shocked. She never considered Dawn could feel this way.
Dawn... You're not a burden...
You jumped off that tower so you wouldn't have to stay and keep looking after me! And when Willow and the others brought you back, you hated it. You spent all that time screwing Spike so you could get away from me. That's why you kept it a secret! If I knew about it, you'd have to let me in...
(Struggling to keep from crying) I know I was terrible to you. I was terrible to everybody. I was worse to myself. I really hated myself, Dawn. I loathed myself. I hated what I was doing to you. But you're wrong, so wrong, about one thing. I never, ever hated you. Never! I could have packed you off to Dad. I could have let Social Services put you in foster care. But if I did that... I'd be losing the last family I had left. You're my family. And even when I hated everything else around me and in me, I could never hate you. You're all I have left.
(Cold now. She's not buying it.) Then prove it. Let me be part of your life. For once, just for once, Buffy -- choose ME!
Buffy is speechless.
(Slowly) Take the sword -- I don't want arrows flying around when I least expect it.
INT., THE HIGH SCHOOL BASEMENT
We seem to be in the same room as where the bleeding took place, but it has changed. There are fires burning out of the floor in several spots. The lighting is flickering orange and yellow. It's the same room, but transported to Hell. Spike is still on the wheel and looking the worse for wear. FE in Spike guise stands before him.
My pet has fed. I just thought you'd like to know. He's as much yours as mine -- your blood raised him, after all. Our child has done us proud -- a lovely young girl for his first victim. He doesn't have your style, mind you. Nobody can seduce a young girl out into the dark the way you do. He's more into brute force. But the ending's the same, innit?
Spike looks disgusted.
There will be many more... this is just the beginning. And he's going to be doing a lot of siring. Doesn't that just give you a lovely warm feeling? Your legacy carried on. You're the source.
FE motions to one of his Harbingers, who brings a red-hot poker over and holds it close to Spike's face.
This is getting boring.
You know why I don't just kill you?
(Disinterested) I'm sure you're going to tell me.
Because you want it. If I kill you, it's over. You would't have to know what carnage is being wrought by the creature your blood raised. No such luck, you're going to see it all. You know what? I've got something special planned. I've managed to arrange it so the Slayer can fight our pet right here! You'll get to see him tear her to pieces.
(Amused.) He will. No question about it. No Slayer can kill him. It is written: From the blood of the vampire that turned from evil shall rise the Old One. And the hand of the Slayer shall not be sufficient to strike him down. He shall rage upon the earth and feed upon mankind.
You just make these prophecies up as you go along, don't you?
FE nods to the Harbinger holding the poker. We see him lower it out of the frame. Then we see Spike's reaction -- howling in pain.
INT, THE MAIN HALL OF THE HIGH SCHOOL
Buffy and the gang come down the hall. Buffy's on point. Behind her are Dawn, Xander, Anya, Clem and Willow, all carrying large, unconcealable weapons. Clem has a mace, which he's handling awkwardly, bumping the others with it accidentally every now and then. The hall is empty except for the Scoobies.
Principal Wood, dressed casually for the weekend in jeans, a T-shirt with an open plaid flannel shirt over it, steps out of his office and takes in this troop with a look of disbelief.
He hurries around to get ahead of them, blocking the door to the basement.
Wide shot of Buffy with Xander, Anya, Dawn, Willow and Clem bunched up behind her, everyone trying to look casual, but managing to look very guilty.
(tentative) We're doing some role playing? Some ... um ... medieval role playing ... with weapons. But it's actually going to be very non-violent.
In the school basement?
It's like a catacomb down there... very good for ... medieval... non-violent role-playing.
I hope you realize, this really plays havoc with our zero tolerance weapons policy. And excuse me for asking, but what is he? (points at Clem)
(Sotto voce, as if she is trying to spare Clem embarrassment) He has a skin condition.
Tell me about it.
We'll be very careful not to break anything...
This is against my better judgment, but all right. Let's go.
Let me make this perfectly clear, Miss Summers. This is a school -- my school; and nobody is going to play with weapons here unless I'm right there making sure it's safe. If there's anything I hate, it's explaining to the school board how someone got an arm lopped off in the basement of my school.
Two choices: I'm in, or you're out.
If you put it that way...
Wait here. I'll go get my sword.
You have a sword? The principal has a sword?
For Civil War re-enactments. It's a great hobby.
Principal Wood goes back toward his office.
(Watching Wood go.) Funny, I wouldn't have figured him for a 'Sons of the Confederacy' type.
THE BASEMENT, A CORRIDOR
The Scoobies plus Clem and Robin Wood are working their way along, checking shadows and generally jumping at every sound. Robin Wood seems to know that they're not role-playing. He has a military saber and holds it as if he knows how to use it. He moves like someone with a lot of combat experience.
Clem is the first to make contact with the enemy. A Harbinger steps out from between some stacked crates as the group is passing and raises a dagger to strike Clem. Robin Wood steps in and grabs the Harbinger's wrist, twisting the dagger out. He then clubs the attacker with his sword hilt knocking him unconscious.
(Directed to Buffy) Non-violent? Safe?
Apparently safer since you're along.
The noise has alerted the enemy, and they converge from all directions at once. The battle is on. Buffy is fighting several at once. Xander knocks Dawn aside and stands in front of her defending with his axe. Anya and Willow manage to avoid being stabbed or captured though they aren't doing much damage to the enemy. Clem manages to get off several good swings with his mace, once things get going. He's more effective than even he would have expected. He warms up to fighting -- until he nearly gets Xander with a poorly aimed swing.
Think nothing of it.
Xander swings his axe, looking like he's about to chop down on Clem, but he's actually going for the Harbinger that was charging up from the side. In the moment when Xander is distracted, Dawn gets out from behind him and joins the fight. She's trying to use the classic moves Buffy has taught her, but finding that actual combat requires more flexibility than that. A Harbinger gets the drop on her from behind, but Robin Wood takes him out before he can harm her.
(Sternly) There will be detention for any student who gets killed.
Dawn moves off, giving Robin Wood a shocked look. She's stunned that the principal is actually a pretty effective fighter.
The tide of the battle changes, and the gang finds that most of its foes are behind -- herding them along the corridor. Buffy and Robin Wood are the rear guard, doing most of the fighting. The group finds itself outside the door where Buffy first saw Spike. They're gathered with their backs to the door, defending.
Do you get the feeling we've got them right where they want us?
Yeah, I think we're supposed to go through this door.
You think that's a good idea?
Better than trying to go back the way we came.
They're pretty tightly pressed back against the door. Getting through is going to be a problem, unless they can push back their attackers.
OK, I'll create a diversion...
No, that's my job -- community liaison. This is a lot like dealing with parents.
She hands him her broadsword, and wades into the Harbingers taking them on hand-to-hand with a series of kicks and somersaults.
EXT. A PARIS STREET, DAY
TITLE: PARIS, FRANCE
After several stock establishing shots, we see a matte Eiffel Tower in the background over the back-lot European street set. A young girl, Giselle, is running for her life through a crowd. She's a brunette, with shoulder-length hair, dressed in jeans and an oversized sweater that emphasizes her small frame. She has to push people out of her way and squeeze between others. There are robed Harbingers chasing her. People step out of their way; the Harbingers are using their bizarre appearance to their advantage. Giselle breaks free of the crowd, and puts on speed. She turns a corner into an alley. She pulls herself up short as she comes face-to-face with Rupert Giles. There is something odd about Giles' posture. He seems detached, maybe too stiff.
Giselle doesn't know him. She only sees that there is something strange about him. She starts to back away.
Come with me if you want to live. (Tony should try to evoke Terminator 2, without doing the Austrian accent.)
Giselle isn't sure. She hesitates.
BLACK OUT -- to commercial break
Continued in Act III