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PROLOGUE:

The camera pans over a street in Sunnydale. Shops are closing, traffic is backed up and many people are walking with bags the same direction as traffic. Lots of chatter and car horns can be heard in the background. Cut to Buffy walking the opposite way of the other people looking around. She freezes when she hears Clem.

Clem: Hey you!

Buffy: Hey.

Clem: Believe this meshugaas?

Buffy: Yeah. You'd think these people had never seen an apocalypse before. What about you? Just going for a quick spin to 7-Eleven... in Nebraska?

Clem: It's getting bad here-- really bad. Hellmouth acting up again. People feeling it, getting crazier. You cant swing a cat without hitting some kind of demonic activity. Not that I swing cats, or eat. Nope. Cutting way back. Choleserol-- Morals! I mean morals.

Buffy: Right.

Clem: We've seen bad stuff in this town before, but, you know, this time, it's like it just seems different, more powerful. I don't think anyone's gonna be able to stop it. I mean, I'm sure you'll do fine. Complete confidence in you. If anyone can do it, you can, because you rock! If you save the world, I'll come back. We'll have drinks. When. When, I mean. When you save the world. It's gonna be great with all the rocking. Maybe-- Maybe you should just get out of town this time.

Buffy: Yeah. I probably should.

Clem: You take care of yourself, okay?

Buffy nods and Clem waves as he drives away. Buffy waves back then begins walking again. 

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

PART 1:

Opens to police directing traffic. Cut to Giles and Willow speaking to a police officer.

Giles: Uh, thank you, Officer. We appreciate your help.

Police Officer 1: Oh, no. Thank you, Inspector. We don't get a lot of contact with Interpol, so we're happy to help you with anything you need. Is there anything else we can help you with?

Willow: No. Thank you. We're fine.

Police Officer 1: Right. Because-- Wait. Wh-Who are-- Who are you?

Willow: I'm with the Inspector.

Police Officer 1: You're with the Inspector. Right. Well we don't get a lot of contact with Interpol, so--

A crazy man nearby, handcuffed and led by police, begins screaming.

Crazy Man: Single step.

Police Officer 2: Clear the sidewalk folks.

Crazy Man: A single step and it is upon us. It is nigh! From beneath you! 

Police Officer 3: A nutcase.

The officers throw the man inside creating a loud "thump".

Willow: Ow?

Police Officer 1: People are acting up, getting nuts.Man, you just let us know if you need help with your guy because we are itching to hand out some justice.

Willow: H-He doesn't seem like much of a threat.

Police Officer 1: A-And you are?

Giles: Um, I think it's time we were catching our flight to, uh... Interpol.

Police Officer 1: Right. Okay.

Giles and Willow start walking away.

Willow: Good idea. My control was fading. What's up with those cops?

Giles: Oh, same as everyone. The Hellmouth is active again.

Willow: Come on. I want to get back to Xander.

Cut back to police officers.

Police Officer 3: Who was that?

Police Officer 1: Um, I--I don't know.

Police Officer 2: Did you get one of these yet?

Shows Police Officer 1 a piece of paper.

Police Officer 1: No, what is that?

Police Officer 3: Fugitive. Ran to ground right here in our own backyard. 

Police Officer 1: Yeah? Sounds like a situation that needs some justice.

Cut to Hospital. Xander is laying in a hospital bed with a bandage on his newly injured eye. Willow is holding his hand and sitting with him. Buffy is standing nearby.

Buffy (to Xander): And you should expect to see some bruising wen you remove the bandages. Bruising around the-- area. The, uh, bone structure and musculature was hit pretty hard.

Xander: Okay.

Buffy: Um, a--also, the said that the-- the meds may cause you some stomach discomfort, so you'll have to be careful with your diet.

Xander: I can't taste anything right now anyway. I keep waiting for my other senses to improve fifty percent. And they should kick in any day now.

Buffy: Well, we're looking at a possible release as early as tonight. Um, we're just waiting for your labs to get back and Dr. Kallet said that should be a couple of hours.

Xander: That's great.

Buffy: Okay. Um, I think we're all caught up then. Thank you for this. This was, um, really great work.

Buffy takes the paperwork Willow got from Police Officer 1.

Willow: Oh. I thought we were gonn-- There were gonna be card games.

Buffy: Uh, no, I just-- I should really get back. I want to get everyone started on this. I think we're really close to something.

Xander: It's okay. It's gotta be done. And I might see it tonight-- without depth perception, of course, but, still.

Buffy leaves.

Willow: So, I guess you're stuck with me then, huh? Let's order some cherry-flavored, off-brand gelatin and then I think we'll be up for a rousing game of--

Xander| I might need a parrot.

Willow: Huh?

Xander: Well, to go with the eyepatch. To really complete the look. I think I still have that costume from Halloween.

Willow: Yeah, and don't underestimate the impact of a peg leg. Maybe the hospital can hook you up with a nice one. Maybe they have a two-body-parts-for-the-price-of-one kind of deal.

Xander: Oh, you know what the best part is? No one will ever make me watch Jaws 3-D again.

Willow: Yeah and you'll never have to--

Willow grips Xander's hand tighter and starts to sniffle.

Xander: Oh, Willow, please don't.

Cut to Buffy's basement. Anya is talking to the potentials and Andrew is writing what she says on a large notepad.

Anya: And so we know that a battle is coming. Ubervamps galore. Uh, we also know that the ubervamps are hard to kill.

Andrew: Hard to kill.

Anya: But I have been out talking to some of my old contacts, and they've provided some surprising bits of news. Yay for them! Um, okay. For example, ubervamps can be staked-- right through the heart. Zing. Poof. Just like regular vamps. Um, we didn't know this. Um, of course, these guys have incredibly strong sternums, so, it's a lot like driving a wooden stake through solid steel, but you guys are all super-strong, right?

Kennedy: Um, no.

Anya: Right. Okay. Um-- But, still, heart information, still good to know since holy water seems to run off these guys like they've been Scotchguarded. Um, and while sunlight would work, but guess what? They're not coming out during the daytime. Uh, also, beware of, uh, their teeth and the claws they use to shred flesh.

Rona: Uh, okay. You know what? I used to be really afraid of these  ubervamp guys, but then the scary preacher blew into town and, now, I'm mostly terrified of him.

Anya: Right. Well, um, we're working on getting info on that guy.

Amanda: Why bother? Nothing works. Nothing will. 

Anya: Okay. I know you're all upset, and I, myself, would much rather be sitting at the bedside of my one-eyed ex-fiance than killing time here with you people in this overcrowded, and, might I add, increasingly ripe-smelling basement, and I would be too, if not for a certain awkward discussion he and I recently had right over there on that cot immediately following some exciting and unexpected break-up sex. But I need to give him some space. So, I'm doing what I can do, contributing any way I can and so will all of you. You still need to know this information. We can't stop just because something else is trying to kill you too.

Cut to Faith upstairs in the kitchen, ewating a bag of potato chips. Kennedy walks into the room.

Kennedy: Got enough to share?

Faith: I'll trade you for a carton of cigarettes and some soap. Sorry. Habit. Hey , shouldn't you be down at Hogwarts?

Kennedy: Probably.

Faith: All right. Playing hooky. Score one for the boarding school brat. Anya's techniques are probably a little different than what you're used to.

Amanda walks in.

Amanda: Do you think there are gonna be questions about her sex life on the test? 'Cause I really hope I don't have to study all that.

Faith: Yeah, whenever she starts talking about getting all sweaty with Xander like that, I just remind her I had him first. Shuts her right the hell up.

Kennedy: Thing is, what's the point? studying demon hot zones and pressure points doesn't do a hell of a lot of good when preacher man's out there ready to finish the jobhe started. 

Faith: No one's coome up with any info on Caleb yet?

Amanda: No. Nothing is working. Not research, not Anya's contacts.

Kennedy: We're lousy with dead ends around here. Everyone's feeling pretty pointless. We don't even have a place to start.

Buffy comes home.

Buffy: Hey, who's here?

Dawn: Hey, Buffy, how's Xander?

Buffy: He's... doing really well. He's, uh, ready to come home, I think.

Buffy begins opening the package she got from Willow.

Faith: What you got?

Buffy: Info that Giles and Willow were able to pull off the police database.We figured with Caleb's, you know, overt religiosity thing we wanna learn more about him, let's find out where he's been. 

Faith: "Incidents of Violence and Vandalism Conncected to California Religious institutions in the Last Ten Years." Looks like this gives us a place to start.

Buffy: Yeah, I figured we'd start with California. If we don't find anything there, then we'll expand the search. But a guy like Caleb didn't just get in the game. He's been playing for a while and I want to know where. Whatever it takes. (To Dawn) You good to help?

Dawn: Well, I was gonna do lots and lots of homework, but, darn the luck, they went and cancelled school, so it looks like I got the time. 

Buffy: Good.

Dawn: Hey, Buffy-- How was Xander's mood, uh, you kno, exactly? And, did you get a chance to talk to the doctor about the meds? Uh, because it seemed like--

Faith: Hey Pip-Squeak, why don't you go and get some of the stuff you've already gotten from Giles.

Dawn: Or, um, you know, we can talk about this later, maybe.

Buffy: Okay.

Dawn: Yeah. I'll be right back.

Dawn leaves the room.

Buffy: Try to find anything that looks like Caleb-- His church, his ring.

Kennedy: His ability to render a Slayer useless in just one punch. I didn't-- Uh-- That was stupid. i don't know why I said that.

Buffy: Uh, it's okay. Um, you know, I--I--I have to go back to the school, pick up, uh, the rest of my stuff.

Kennedy: I really didn't mean--

Buffy: it's fine. Really, it's fine. Don't worry about it. Hey, uh, isn't Anya doing that thing for you guys today?

Kennedy: Yeah. We were. We probably should head down there now.

Buffy: Okay. I'll be back soon.

Kennedy and Amanda leave the room.

Buffy: See that everyone else gets started on this.

Faith: Yeah.

Buffy leaves the room.

Cut to Sunnydale High. Buffy is walking down the empty halls until she goes nto her office. She looks at an old picture of her, Xander and Willow.

Caleb: Oh, now, look. Things don't go exactly your way, so here come the waterworks. Ain't that just like a woman. 

PART 2:

Buffy: Get out of here.

Caleb: Now, now, little girl, manners. I do imagine that fireband tongue of yours has inflamed many a man, weak as they are. This here is a, uh, public school, ain't it? Kind of deserted. Only just I suppose. Folks work so hard at keeping the Lord out and look what happens in return. He abandons you. Not that he could do you much good now, anyway.

Caleb notices Buffy reaching for something in the top drawer of a filing cabinet.

Caleb: Uh-uh-uh! Wouldn't do that, were I you, sweet pea. Fighting back didn't do you much good last time, did it? And how is poor, sweet Xander? Let him know he's in my prayers. And any time he's willing, I'm ready to finish the job.

Buffy: Go near Xander again, and I will end you! 

Caleb flips a table over and walks towards Buffy.

Caled: Mind your manners. I do believe I did warn you once. You're angry, frustrated, scared. I like that in a girl. You really should relax a little. Look at where you are. History's gonna look back on you, a--at me, at this place, and they're gonna see the glory. Great things are happening now, right here. The school, the Seal, it's all gonna be part of the great sweeping tide of change, and you're gonna be a part of it! Now, why would you wanna miss that? More importantly, why would you want to get in it's way?

Buffy: I guess I'm just ornery.

Buffy punches Caleb. He takes a step back then laaughs.

Caleb: Oh, I knew you'd be a wild one.

Buffy goes to kick Caleb but he catches her leg then knocks her to the ground and laughs at her. Buffy tries to kick out Caleb's feet but he doesn't budge, laughing even louder at the failed attempt. He then grabs Buffy by her throat and picks her up of her feet.

Caleb: I'm gonna take such sweet pleasure in taming you.

Caleb throws Buffy out a window and into the hallway wall, knocking her unconscious. 

Caleb: I'll see you soon, little lady.

Caleb walks off

PART 4:

Cut to Buffy's house. Giles and Dawn are discussing the paperwork Buffy got from Willow.

Dawn: Okay, well, here's the one that stood out. It's, um, a mission up north in Gilroy.

Andrew enters.

Andrew: Um, Mr. Giles, Faith stole the last meatball-mozzerella-flavored Hot Pocket out of the freezer even though I had called dibs on it.

Giles: I don't see anything.

Dawn: Exactly. No vandalism at all.

Giles: Then why is it in the file?

Dawn: The place was abandoned. Locals started noticing after a few days that no one was going in or out. Six members of the order lived there, but when the cops showed up, all gone-- unsolved.

Andrew: Yup, see. The post-It's still here: "Andrew's. Please do not eat." But the box is empty now.

Giles: Oh.

Dawn: Oh? Oh, Good?

Giles: I'm not sure. Here.

Giles and Dawn exit the room with the file and enter the room with many potentials and Faith. Andrew follows.

Andrew: See, it's not he Hot Pocket itself, even though it did have that new-and-improved thicker tomato sauce. It's just the fundamental lack of respect.

Giles: Shut-up. Pay attention. Dawn, what do you see?

Dawn: What am I looking for?

Giles: On the back wall. Uh, knothole.

Dawn takes a magnifying glass and examines the picture closely.

Dawn: That's not a knothole. 

Giles: Amanda, would you go down to the basement and get Spike?

Amanda gets up and leaves te room.

Dawn: Maybe this'll help if this does bring us closer to Caleb.

Faith enters eating the remains of a Hot Pocket.

Faith: Sounded like there was news.

Spike enters.

Spike: What's up, Rupert?

Giles: Spike, I have a mission for you.

Spike: Oh, really? Because, you know, sometimes our missions end up with you trying to kill me-- I'm not fond of tose.

Giles: This is bona fide, with real ramifications. Take a look at this.

Spike: Looks like our boy's been here. You wanna go check it out?

Giles: I need someone who can take care of themselves in case Caleb is after some souvenirs.

Andrew: Are we gonna get to the food-stealing issue soon?

Giles: Take Andrew

Spike & Andrew: What?

Dawn: Well, you are always saying you wanna get out of the house more.

Andrew: Yeah, but--

Giles:Well, there may be demons lurking about. You never know. He's a demon expert. He can help.

Spike: Oh, please.

Giles: Well, he can bring his pan flute-thing along.

Spike rolls his eyes and leaves.

Giles: Excellent. Off you go.

Andrew hurries off after Spike.

Dawn: So, see. That's something, right? We'll have some news soon.

Amanda: Sure. Maybe that'll get us somewhere.

Faith: Maybe. In the meantime, the troops here gotta sit and stew, feeling crappier by the minute.

Dawn: We should keep them occupied.

Faith: Yeah, I know how to keep them occupied.

Cut to The Bronze. Faith is dancing with several guys.

PART 5:

Kennedy: So what kind of band plays during an apocalypse?

Dawn: I think this band might actually be one of the signs.

Cut to Buffy's house. Buffy is just arriving home.

Buffy: Hey, guys, how's it...going?

Buffy looks around and discovers her house is unusually vacant. Giles appears in the next room.

Giles: Buffy, are you hurt?

Buffy: Oh. Caleb came back looking for seconds.

Giles: My God, is he--

Buffy: Still able to make me see cartoon birdies all around my head? You betcha. The short lack of consciousness was nice. I feel rested. So how did those police files work out? Were they helpful?

Giles: Uh, uh, yes. Very much so, I think. Um, th--there's evidence that, uh, Caleb may have established a foothold up north.

Buffy: That's great. That's--

Giles: I, um, I sent Spike to look into it.

Buffy: Spike? Is this a mission in which you intend Spike to return alive?

Giles: Yes. I sent Andrew with him.

Buffy: Again, i ask the question.

Giles: Buffy, you weren't here. Decisions have to be made in your abscence.

Buffy: Yeah, well those are the ones that have been scaring me.

Giles: I did what I thought was right.

Buffy: You sent away the one person that's been watching my back... again.

Giles: We're all watching your back.

Buffy: Funny, that's not really what it feels like.

Buffy starts to leave.

Giles: Buffy!

Buffy: Where did everyone go?

Giles: What?

Buffy: Faith, the girls, where are they?

Giles: Um, Faith thought that the girls could do some time off their studies. I--I thought-- She took them to The Bronze.

Buffy rolls her eyes and leaves.

Cut to Caleb's brewery.

Caleb: You know what I figured out tonight? Every high school in this country, from one end to the other, smells exactly alike. Now, why do you suppose that is?

The First: And how was our best girl?

Caleb: They always think they should put up a fight.

The First: Did you lay the proper groundwork?

Caleb: That I did. Reckon she got the message, even if she doesn't know it yet. So, now, the big strong Slayer goes back to those girls -- She's just so ready to walk them right into it, and all we have to do is give her that one, final, gentle nudge.

The First: Excellent.

Cut to The Bronze. Amnda is sitting and Faith comes to join her.

Amanda: This is so cool. Buffy would never let us do this. You are so cool. This woman is so cool!

Faith: Hey, hey, how old are you?

Amanda: Seventeen

Faith: Yeah we're gonna get you a real nice 7-Up, okay?

Faith takes Amanda's drink and leaves, dancing. The camera follows her. cut to across the room where several police officers are pushing through the crowd until they reach Faith.

Faith: Hey! I was wondering what was taking you boys so long. Where you been?

Police Officer 1: We're gonna have to ask you to come with us, miss-- Outstanding warrants.

Faith: Yeah, or we could try this one on instead. How about you guys buy me another drink and we'll see where the evening takes us?

A police officer comes up behind Faith and grabs her.

Police Officer 2: Come on!

Dawn: Hey!

Police Officer 2: Let's go!

Kennedy: What's going on?

Faith: It's cool. I got it. It's nothing. Get off of me! Get off!

Police Officer 2: Shut up!

Police officers escort Faith outside, weapons drwan.

Faith: I'll tell you right now, I'm not going back to jail. 

Faith elbows the officers holding her and heads for the door inside but another officer shuts it. 

Police Officer 1: Who said anything about jail?

Four police officers cock and aim their pistols at Faith. Faith turns around with a nervous look on her face.

PART SIX:

Faith grabs two of the pistols and kicks an officer in the chest, sending him onto a car hood. She then kicks another officer in the back and breaks the arm of a third and punches him to the ground. The fourth officer smacks Faith to her knees.

Cut to inside The Bronze. Dawn and the poentials attempt to help Faith but a police officer is blocking the door, wielding a shotgun.

Police Officer 3: Stay back. This doesn't concern you.

Dawn: You can't keep us in here.

Police Officer 3: It'll be over before you know it.

Cut back to outside. The four police officers are beating Faith with their batons. She manages to kick the legs out from under one of them and get to her feet. She then blocks another officer's attack and kicks him. Afterwards, an officer hits Faith in the back with his baton making her stagger. She recovers and stops his next attack.

Cut to inside.

Police Officer 3: Trust me. The best thing you can do is wait here.

Dawn: Don't listen to him. He won't hurt us. You know what? I'm just gonna go borrow the phone.

Dawn heads for the phone. The police officer cocks and fires the shotgun, destroying a light in the process. A few people yell and everyone ducks.

Police Officer 3: The best thing you can do  is wait... here.

Cut to outside. Faith slams a police officer's face into the pavement. and starts punching the back of his head. Two other officers drag her off of him.

Cut to inside.

Kennedy: You're gonna have to shoot us all to stop us.

Police Officer 3: It doesn't really bother me.

Rona: These cops are really getting Hellmouthed.

Police Officer 3: Back up!

Amanda: No!

Police Officer 3: What?

Kennedy grabs the shotgun and hits the officer with the butt then aims it at him. He quickly slaps it away but Amanda hits him with a pool stick. Rona and Chao-Ahn then kick him siimultaneously. Dawn then jumps on the officer's back screaming and many potentials start crowding around him. Kennedy and Amanda head outside to help Faith who is being beaten by the other police officers. They each throw one into a wall and begin fighting. Faith jumps to her feet and headbutts an officer. Kennedy hits another in the head with his own baton. Faith then kicks two officers and dodges an attack by a third. she then blocks his next attack and takes his baton and uses it to push him against a wall, rendering him unconscious.

Buffy: Faith! What are you doing?

Faith: Just blowing off steam. Well, it started that way. It turned when the cops went evil on us.

Dawn and the other potentials meet the rest outside.

Buffy: Girls, go home. I need to talk to Faith for a minute.

Dawn: Buffy, we weren't--

Buffy: Dawn! You too. Go.

The girls leave Buffy and Faith alone.

Buffy: What is this?

Faith: They needed a break, all right? They've been running themselves into the ground. Things just got out of hand.

Buffy: Taking a break is one thing. I get blowing off steam, but they were fighting, and those girls were drunk! What were you thinking? 

Faith: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Bufy: Yeah? what if someone had gotten hurt?

Faith: They didn't.

Buffy: Faith, I need to know that these girls are gonna be safe when I'm not around.

Faith: No one got hurt, B. Look, you don't even know these girls. Maybe you should have a little more confidence in them. Let them mess up, sometimes, you know, get down and dirty. How the hell else are they gonna learn?

Buffy: Learning from your mistakes is one thing, but you don't throw children--

Faith They're not children.

Buffy: That really isn't the point.

Buffy starts to walk off.

Faith: Hey, what about the vineyard?

Buffy: What?

Faith: How safe were they when you dragged them off to meet Caleb? How same was Rona or Amanda or Molly?

Buffy punches Faith who falls to her knees. Buffy walks away. Faith holds her cheek and looks where Buffy went.

Cut to Spike's motorcycle speeding down the road.

Andrew: You sure you don't wanna stop and pick up some burgers, or something, you know, road trip food?

Spike: Its not a road trip. It's a covert operation.

Andrew: Right. Right. Gotcha. I bet even covert operatives eat curly fries. They're really good.

Spike: Notas good as those onion blossom things.

Andrew: Oh, I love those.

Spike: Yeah, me too.

Andrew: It's an onion and it's a flower. I--I don't understand how such a thing is possible.

Spike: Well you see, the genius of it is, you soak it in ice water for an hour, so it holds its shape. Then you deep-fry it root-side up for about five minutes.

Andrew: Masterful.

Spike: Yeah.Tell anyone we had this conversation, I'll bite you.

Andrew: Right.

Cut to Buffy's house. Robin is heading for the front door and Faith is smoking on the porch.

Robin: The big meeting hasn't started yet, has it?

Faith: God, I hope so.

Robin: Faith.

Faith: You must be Principal Wood. I heard a lot baout you.

Robin: it hasn't really started yet, has it, because I, uh, I hate being late.

Faith: The troops are still gathering. I think you're safe.

Robin: Looks like someone banged you up pretty well.

Faith: Yeah, cops-- mostly.

Robin: Mostly?

Faith: This one's from someone who just thinks she's a cop. It's my favorite of all my current bruises.

Robin: So, someone who thinks she's a cop,huh? You gonna have to, like, ice her now,  or something like that?

Faith: I'm not gonna kill her. Wanted to, but didn't. And, by the way, bully for me, since no one else said it.

Robin: For what? For not killng Buffy?

Faith: t's this new thing I'm trying.

Robin: She told me about you. 

Faith: Believe every word.

Robin: So, what changed? I mean, why didn't you fight back?

Faith: Other things matter more.

Robin: I think you're worried about her.

Faith: I think you need to brush up on your Buffy and Faith history.

Robin: Alright, if you say so, but I read people pretty well. It's a thing I do.

Faith: You, uh, live around here, right?

Robin: Uh, no, not exact-- Well it's-- It's the center of town really.

Faith: This town, walking anywhere after dark is like an extreme sport. Someone who didn't know you very well might think you were out looking for a fight or something. Maybe you got bigger issues than what's wrong with B. R read people too.

A car pulls into the driveway.

Faith: Xander's home.

Cut to church. Spike pushes open the door with Andrew behind him.

Andrew: No one's here. These kinds of places make me feel funny inside.

Spike: How 'bout that. You and me got something else in common after all.

A priest appears from the next room and tackles Andrew.

Andrew: Spike!

The priest then punches Spike in the face. Spike kicks him in the leg and the priest falls. Spike then grabs the priest's collar and slams him into the wall. After a moment, Spike rips off the priest's hood, revealing a scar on his face with the shape and size of Caleb's ring.

Cut to Buffy's house. Giles, Dawn, and the potentials are all inside with a few small decorations. Xander walks in led by Willow and Anya. They are followed by Robin and Faith.

Xander: Oh, God.

Kennedy: We didn't have time to do more.You have to pretend there's a big party here.

Dawn rushes over and hugs Xander.

Xander: That's fine. Parties in this house, I usually end up having to rebuild something.

Buffy enters.

Buffy: Welcome home, Xander. I wanted you to be here for this. I think you'll be interested in what I found out.

Willow: Wh-- What did you find out?

Buffy: It's about the cellar. Look, I-- I know that night wasn't fun for any of us, but I figured out some things about that place, and I realize now what we have to do. We're going back in.

PART THREE:

Cut back to Spike, Andrew, and the priest at the church.

Spike: Tell me about the mark. Hey. Are you part of Caleb's faction?

Priest: No, no.

Spike: Then tell me what happened.

Priest: I-I-I can't

Andrew: "Can't" is a four-letter word. I'm Andrew. I'll be your bad cop this evening. If you don't start singing, my associate here--

Spike: We're trying to fight him. Caleb. We need your help.

Priest: You can't fight him. You can't stop him. You can only run.

Andrew: "Run" is a four-letter wor-- Is a three-letter word.

Spike: Talk.

Priest: I'll do better. I'll show you.

Spike helps the priest up.

Priest: One night, some time ago, a man arrived at our doors.

Spike: And you said, "Come in. Do some damage"?

Priest: We are-- We are a benevolent order, and, yes, we welcomed him. We offered to feed him, but he had come for something else.

The priest pushes on a statue, revealing a false wall.

Priest: Behind this, he revealed something even we didn't know was here. A secret room. He was excited, talking the whole time. Destiny. That sort of thing.

Spike: Yeah, we hear he's a real smooth-talker.

Priest: He was going on about this ancient inscription.

Andrew: Neat.

Priest: He read it, and he didn't like what it said. His temper-- He was the purest evil I've ever seen. He burned his mark upon me. And then I ran, and I hid, and I listened to the others die.

Andrew: Running away saved your life.

Spike goes over to the inscription.

Andrew: What does it say?

Spike: "It is not for thee. It is for her alone to wield."

Cut back to Buffy's house where everyone is gathered.

Buffy: Look, I know what you're thinking, but I had a visit today at the school from Caleb.

Dawn: Buffy, wh-why didn't you--

Buffy: I'm fine. I mean, it wasn't fun, but I-I'm fine. I'm better than fine. I-I figured something out. He kept making all this noise about the school.

Robin: Is it that seal again?

Willow: Do we need to try shutting it again?

Buffy: No. That's just it. We've spent all this time worrying about the Seal and the Hellmouth. Wh-Why isn't Caleb guarding them? Why doesn't he have someone there protecting it? Why is he camped out at the vineyard? The bad guys always go where their power is. So, if the Seal was so important to Caleb and the First, they would be there right now. They're protecting the vineyard or something at the vineyard. I say it's their power, amd I say it's time we go in and take it away from them.

Faith: Or, in the alternative, how 'bout we don't? I mean, it's a neat theory B, but I'm not going back in that place, not without proof-- And neither should you and neither should they.

Buffy: I'm not saying it's gonna be easy.

Robin: I think Faith had the floor.

Faith: Maybe it ends okay the way you wanna play it, but maybe it doesn't. and right now, I don't think I want you playing the odds.

Buffy: Did you come here to fight?

Faith: Listen, we're fighters, all of us, but you gotta give me something to fight-- Something real. Not--

Giles: Windmills.

Buffy: There is something there!

Giles: Maybe, but w-we can't be sure of that. Y-You-- This is a hell of a lot to ask.

Robin: Too much.

Buffy: I-I don't understand this. For seven years, I've kept us safe by doing this-- exactly this. Making the hard decisions. A-A-And now, what, suddenly you're all acting like you can't trust me?

Giles: Didn't you say to me today you can't trust us? Maybe there's something there that should be addressed?

Buffy: Is that why you sent Spike away, to ambush me?

Giles: Come on.

Rona: You know what? I am sick of your deal with this Spike guy. This isn't about him. This is about you. You're being reckless.

Buffy: What?

Rona: You are! I mean, I don't even know you and I can tell. You are so obsessed with beating Caleb, you are willing to jump into any plan without thinking.

Buffy: This is not what I'm doing.

Kennedy: Well, that's how it feels to us. People are dying.

Willow: Kennedy.

Kennedy: Why are you always standing up for her?

Willow: I'm not.

Buffy: What do you mean you're not?

Willow: With everything that's happened, I-- I'm worried about your judgement.

Buffy: Look, I wish this could be a democracy, I really do, but democracies don't win battles. It's a hard truth, but there has to be a single voice. You need someone to isssue orders and be reckless sometimes and not take your feelings into account. You need someone to lead you. 

Anya: And it's automatically you. You really do think you're better than we are.

Buffy: No, I--

Anya: But we don't know. We don't know if you're actually better. I mean, you came into the world with certain advantages, sure. I mean, that's the legacy.

Buffy: I--

Anya: But you didn't earn it. You didn't work for it. You've never had anybody come up to you and say you deserve these things more than anyone else-- They were just handed to you. So, that doesn't make you better than us. It makes you luckier than us.

Buffy: I've gotten us this far.

Xander: But not without a price.

Buffy: Xander.

Xander: I'm trying to see your point here, Buff, but I guess it must be a little bit to my left, because I just don't. 

Buffy: Look, I-I'm willing to talk strategy. Okay? I-I'll hear suggestions on how to break this down, but this is the plan. We have to be together on this, or we will fail again.

Giles: We ar clearly demonstrating that we are not together on this!

Buffy: Which is why you have to fall in line. I'm still in charge here.

Rona: And why is that exactly? 

Buffy: Because I'm the Slayer.

Rona: And isn't Faith a Slayer too?

Faith: What? Woah, woah, woah. So not what I meant. I'm not "in charge chick". I think B here just needs to chill out for a little bit, take a siesta or something, but I'm not the one you want.

Kennedy: Maybe we need a vote to see who wants Faith to have a turn in charge.

Buffy: No.

Kennedy: No what?

Buffy: No, you don't get to vote until I've had my chance to pal around you know, get everybody drunk. See, I-I didn't get that this was a popularity contest. I should have equal time to bake them cookies, braid their hair. 

Faith: Learn their names.

Buffy: You're just loving this, aren't you.

Faith: You have no idea what I'm feeling.

Buffy: Come in here. Take everything that I have. I mean, you did it before. Did you tell them that? Did you tell them that you used to kill people for fun? Hey, you guys think that's nifty?

Giles: Buffy, that's enough!

Faith: I didn't come here to take anything away from you, but I'm not gonna be your little lap dog, either. I came here to beat the other guy. To do right, however it works. I don't know if I can lead. But the real question is, can you follow?

Robin: So, we vote.

Buffy: Wait, guys. I can't watch you just throw away everything-- I know I'm right about this. I just need a little-- I can't stay here and watch her lead you into some disaster.

Dawn: Then you can't stay here. Buffy, I love you, but you were right. We have to be together on this. You can't be a part of it. So, I need you to leave. I'm sorry, but this is my house too. 

Buffy looks around then quiclky leaves the house.

Rona: Ding-dong the witch is dead.

Dawn: Shut your mouth.

Cut to Buffy outside. Faith joins her.

Faith: Hey. Look, I swear I didn't want it to go this way.

Buffy: Don't.

Faith: I mean it. I--

Buffy: Don't be afraid to lead them. Whether you wanted it or not, their lives are yours. It's only gonna get harder. Protect them. Lead them.

Faith nods and goes inside. Buffy waits a minute and walks away.

End credits roll.

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