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Daylight. In a hallway of Sunnydale High, students are picking up graduation caps and gowns. Cordelia and Xander are signing for their gowns.
Cordelia: I can't believe this loser look. I lobbied so hard for the teal. No one ever listens to me. A lone fashionable wolf.
Xander: I like the Maroon. Has more dignity.
Cordelia: Dignity? You? In relation to clothes? I am awash in a sea of confusion.
Xander: I just want to look respectable in this, considering I'm probably gonna die in it.
Cordelia: Excuse me?
Xander: I'm telling you. I woke up the other day with this feeling in my gut. I just know there's no way I'm getting out of this school alive.
Cordelia: Wow, you've really mastered the power of positive giving-up.
Xander: I've been lucky too many times. My number's coming up. And I was short! One more rotation and I'm shipping state-side, you know what I mean?
Cordelia: Seldom if ever.
They part. Cut to Willow and a guy standing at the foot of a stairwell, just after they sign each other's yearbooks. He leaves and Harmony walks down the stairs. All of Willow's lines are delivered with a compulsive smile.
Willow: Bye! We'll keep in touch!
Harmony: Willow, will you sign my yearbook?
Willow: Yeah. You have to sign mine too.
Harmony: You know, I really wish we woulda got to know each other better.
Willow: Me too.
Harmony: I mean, you're so smart. I always wanted to be like that.
Willow: Thanks. You're so sweet.
Harmony: I hope we won't lose touch.
Willow: No, we'll hang out.
Harmony leaves as Buffy walks down the stairs.
Willow: Oh, I'm gonna miss her.
Buffy: Don't you hate her?
Willow: (still smiling) Yes, with a fiery vengeance. She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp. It's like a sickness, Buffy. I'm just missing everything. I miss P.E.
Buffy: I think it's contagious. The whole senior class has turned into the Sixties, or what I would have imagined the Sixties would have been like without the war and the hairy armpits.
Willow: You don't feel it?
Buffy: No, I don't. I guess I'll miss stuff, but I just don't get the whole graduation thing. I mean you get a piece of paper and nothing changes. I don't even think I'm gonna go.
Willow: (affectionately to soda machine) Old trusty soda machine. I push you for root beer, you give me coke. (frowning at Buffy) What do you mean, not go? Why not?
Buffy: Ascension. Mayor becoming a demon. Snacking up on populace. I was planning on fighting him.
Willow: You can't do both?
Xander: (sits at their table) Both what?
Buffy: Go to graduation and fight the Mayor.
Xander: The Mayor? What, you guys didn't hear?
Buffy: Hear what?
Xander: Guess who our commencement speaker is?
Willow: One of the tigers?
Xander: Come out of the fantasy, Will.
Buffy: I don't believe this.
Xander: Lends credence to my whole "I'm gonna die" theorem, doesn't it?
Buffy: The Mayor at graduation? A hundred helpless kids to feed on. Got any other surprises for us?
Cut to the inside of an apartment. Eccentric taste. A knock sounds at the door and a man goes to the door. He's balding, wears glasses, and sports a bow tie.
Professor: Just a moment!
Faith: Hi, I'm looking for Professor Wirth.
Professor: Oh, well, that's me, but I should ask you to come back during office hours. Students generally make an appointment
Faith: Uh, I'm not from the college. I work for Mayor Wilkins. I'm Faith.
Professor: Oh, well, come in, please. I was so surprised when he called. Didn't expect a politician to be interested in my research.
Faith: He's a big fan, professor.
Professor: Oh, Lester's fine.
Faith: We alone here, Lester?
Professor: Well, yes. Lifelong bachelor. I like my space.
Faith: I hear that. (produces a knife) You want to turn and face the wall, Lester.
Professor: What are you doing?
Faith: I'll make it quick.
Professor: Put that away. I'll scream.
Faith: Who wouldn't?
Faith: Sorry, friend, boss wants you dead.
Faith: (stabs him) You know, I never thought to ask.
In Faith's apartment. The Mayor is tidying up. Faith is not in the room.
Mayor: And everything went smoothly with Mr. Wirth?
Faith: Not if you're Mr. Wirth.
Mayor: (giggles) Well, that's swell. You know how I feel about loose ends. And the big day is so close, you can smell the excitement in the air. Say, are you ever coming out of there?
Faith: I don't know.
Mayor: Aw, come on.
Faith enters, in a pink/white dress, barefoot.
Mayor: Wow, aren't you a vision?
Faith: I feel I look stupid in this.
Mayor: You look lovely. Perfect for the Ascension. Any boys that manage to survive will be lining up to ask you out.
Faith: It just isn't me, though.
Mayor: Not you? Let me tell you something. Nobody knows what you are. Not even you, little Miss Seen-it-all. The Ascension isn't just my day. It's yours too. Your day to blossom, to show the world what a powerful girl you are. I think of what you've done, what I know you will do (caresses her face) no father could be prouder.
Faith: I hope I don't let you down.
Mayor: Impossible. Now come on, change back into your street clothes. I'll buy you an icee.
They share a smile.
Daylight outside Sunnydale High. Willow parks her bike. Percy, the jock from Dopplegangland, greets her.
Percy: Hey, Rosenberg!
Willow: Hey, Percy.
Percy: Check it out, history final.
Willow: B-minus, that's great.
Percy: I'm a scholar. I'm like a scholar.
Percy: Hey, listen. Thank you. I mean, for helping me. Being so patient. And also, for not kicking my ass like you did in the Bronze.
Willow: You know, Percy, that was actually... for your own good.
Percy: I know, I know.
Oz: (arrives) Hey.
Willow: Hey. (to Percy) History's important, you know.
Percy: No, I totally get that now. And I got the grades, I'm graduating tomorrow, can forget all this crap. (cheerfully, leaves)
Oz: On the bright side, after graduation, he may not have the chance to forget it all.
Willow: (unhappy) Uh-huh.
Oz: I was trying to keep things light.
Willow: But things aren't light. I mean, it's bad enough we have to fight the Mayor. I don't want him eating Percy and the whole class. We have to find a spell or something to stop the Ascension.
Oz: Then we will.
In a classroom. Class is in session. Xander tries to sneak in.
Teacher: Thank you for joining us, Mr. Harris.
Xander gives him a double thumbs-up.
Teacher: Look, I realize that you've all finished your finals and you're ready to move on. But you haven't graduated yet. This is still a class and everyone will participate. Mr. Harris, would you care to begin.
Xander: Ummm... E.
Teacher: No. There's no E.
Camera turns so that we can see that the chalkboard has the garrett of a game of Hangman drawn. The teacher draws in the head.
Teacher: They always go the the E. Next! Steven.
Anya is sitting directly to Xander's right.
Anya: So, I was wondering, maybe if you were free this weekend, maybe we could do some entertaining thing.
Xander: Would that be along the lines of you telling me about all the men you destroyed back in your demon days? Cause pencil me in.
Anya: Well, we could do something else you like. We could watch sports of some kind.
Xander: Uh, I don't know.
Anya: Men like sports. I'm sure of it.
Xander: Yes. Men like sports. Men watch the action move, they eat of the beef, and enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand years of avenging our wrongs and that's all you've learned?
Anya: I'm trying, okay? You don't need to take my head off.
Xander: I'm sorry. Look, I don't even know if I'm going to make it to the next weekend. I'll tell you what, I survive the Ascension and maybe you and I can do some sports related ... What?
Anya has a horrified look on her face.
Giles and Wesley are fencing. Buffy stands to the side, holding up a newspaper headline: PROFESSOR FOUND MURDERED
Giles: You sure?
Buffy: One of her pieces. I recognize the brush work.
Giles takes the paper and holds it in one hand, reading while parrying Wesley's light attacks.
Giles: Brutally stabbed. Mr. Wirth, visiting professor of geology. There's nothing in here that bellows motive.
Willow: Random killing, perhaps? Fit of rage? Everybody does seem to be going a bit mad, lately. Faith has something of a head start.
Buffy: Doesn't read. I think it's homework.
Giles stops sparring.
Giles: The Mayor wanted the good professor out of the way.
Buffy: Which leads to the question, how come? I'm gonna destroy the entire city, but I take the time to kill harmless Lester first?
Giles: Tying up loose ends? Lester had something or knew something.
Buffy: Then I wanna know too. The Mayor's trying to hide. I say we go seek.
Wesley: Ah. By attempting to keep a valuable clue from us, the Mayor may have inadvertently led us right to it. (with a sword flourish)
Buffy: What page are you on, Wes, cause we already got there.
Wesley: Yes, well. You will go tonight. Look over his apartment. Anything of note, report back here.
Buffy: I just love it when you take charge, you man, you.
Wesley: Uh, we... was that a yes? I have trouble keeping track.
Buffy: I'll go.
Giles: Be careful. If Faith should show up...
Buffy: I don't think she'll show. Been there, killed that. She's not much for follow-up.
Giles: Nonetheless, keep watch. Faith has you at a disadvantage, Buffy.
Buffy: Cause I'm not crazy or cause I don't kill people?
Giles: Both, actually.
Buffy: I hear you. I can't kill her, fun as it may sound. I can make her cry uncle, though, and I mean to.
Wesley: Don't let your feelings about Faith interfere with your work.
Buffy: Stopping Faith is my work. Take a beat to love the synergy.
Willow: Faith is a footnote. Our priority is stopping the Ascension.
Xander enters, pulling Anya by her arm.
Xander: Easier said than done, (malarkey? monkey?) boy.
Wesley: Xander, if you don't have something constructive to add?
Xander: You guys want to know about the Ascension? Well meet the only living person who's ever been to one.
Cut to an overhead shot. Same group gathered around the library table.
Anya: About eight hundred years ago in the Kastka Vallies above the Urals, there was a sorcerer there who achieved Ascension. Became the embodiment of the demon Lo-Hash. I was there cursing a shepherd who had been unfaithful. (merrily) His wife had wished that all his sheep would lie with...
Buffy: Can we get back to the chase?
Anya: Sorry. Lo-Hash was ... It-it decimated the village within hours. Maybe three people got out. I've seen some horrible things in my time. I've been the cause of most of them, actually, but this...
Wesley: Ahem, I'm sorry, but Lo-Hash was a four-winged soul killer, am I right? (Giles nods.) I was given to understand that they're not that fierce. Of all the demons that we've faced...
Anya: You've never seen a demon.
Buffy: (raises her hand) Uh, excuse me? Kind of professionally, four years running.
Anya: All the demons that walk the earth are tainted, are human hybrids like vampires. The Ascension means that a human becomes pure demon. They're different.
Anya: Well, for one thing, they're bigger.
Daylight, outside. Chairs are being set set up in rows for the commencement address. Snyder is showing the Mayor the arrangements.
Snyder: Kids are here. Parents off to the side there. We'll go up, they'll play the processional, and they you'll give the address.
Mayor: It all looks wonderful.
Snyder: As long as nobody makes any trouble.
Mayor:: Oh, stop worrying. You just make sure the kids show up. Anybody who doesn't feel like coming to graduation, well, they'll just have to live without a diploma.
Snyder: They'll be here, sir.
Mayor: Call me Richard. You've done a great job here. I know things are, well, different here in Sunnydale. We've both seen all sorts of things. What's important is that we keep it under control, and that's what you've done.
Snyder: I believe in order.
Mayor: Sunnydale owes you a debt. It will be repaid. Yessir, we'll mark that invoice paid in full.
The Mayor walks away. Snyder watches him with a worried expression.
In the library. Anya et al. are continuing their discussion. Willow and Oz enter.
Anya: It doesn't sound like Lo-Hash. The rituals are all different.
Giles: I wish that was a relief.
Oz: What's going on?
Willow: How come evil girl's in the mix?
Giles: Anya witnessed an Ascension.
Willow: Oh, okay then.
Buffy: What about the spiders? The Mayor had a box of spiders that he had to eat. The Box of... I want to say Grav-Locks?
Anya: It doesn't ring a bell.
Buffy: Well, there must be something that you can remember that would be helpful.
The Mayor enters, alone. The group pulls back, Willow pulling Oz back. Buffy slips the newspaper (PROFESSOR FOUND MURDERED) out of sight.
Mayor: So, this is the inner sanctum. Faith tells me this is where you folks like to hang out, concoct your little schemes. I tell you, it's just nice to see that some young people are still interested in reading in this modern era. So, what are kids reading nowadays?
The Mayor walks to the table and picks up a book. Giles stands his ground and doesn't flinch at the proximity.
Mayor: "The beast will walk upon the earth and darkness will follow. The several races of man will be as one in their terror and destruction." Aw, that's kind of sweet. Different races coming together.
Buffy: You never get even a little tired of hearing yourself speak, do you?
Mayor: (chuckles, to Giles) That's one spunky little girl you've raised. I'm gonna eat her.
Giles grabs Wesley's sword from the table and thrusts it through the Mayor's chest. The Mayor staggers back but regains his balance.
Mayor: Whoa! Well now, that was a little thoughtless. (pulls the sword out of his chest) Violent outbursts like that, in front of the children? You know, Mr. Giles, they look to you to see how to behave.
Buffy: Get out.
The Mayor takes a handkerchief and slowly wipes the blood from the sword.
Mayor: I smell fear. That's smart. Some of your deaths will be quick, if that's worth anything. Well, see you all at graduation. (tosses the sword back to Giles) You don't want to miss my commencement address. It's going to be one heck of a speech.
Fade to commercial.
In a hallway, not really crowded, but with plenty of students. Xander runs after Anya.
Xander: Anya, wait! Where you going?
Anya: Anywhere. If there's a lunar shuttle going up anytime soon, I'm on it.
Xander: We need you here. You might be able to help.
Anya: Or I might be able to live. You can't stop the Ascension,
Xander. You were right the first time. The only thing any sane person can do now is run. (she leaves)
Anya leaves, passing Cordelia.
Cordelia: What's her saga?
Xander: She's freaking.
Cordelia: About what?
Xander: The Mayor is going to kill us all during graduation.
Cordelia: Oh. Are you going to go to fifth period?
Xander: I'm thinking I might skip it.
Cordelia: Me too.
Daylight. Inside the Summers house. Buffy is packing.
Joyce: Buffy, I'm home. Do you wanna go to, uh, ...? What are you doing? You're running away again? And you're taking my clothes.
Buffy: Mom, I need you to leave town. Tonight.
Joyce: Buffy, I'd miss your graduation.
Buffy: Yeah, that's sort of the idea.
Joyce: There's no way. I wouldn't dream...
Buffy: Mom, graduation is a pointless ceremony where you sit around and listen to a bunch of boring speeches until someone hands you a piece of paper that says you graduated which you already know and maroon does nothing for my complection, so don't argue, okay?
Joyce: (sarcastic) What, is some terrible demon going to attack the school. (Buffy glares, keeps packing) Oh, I see. Oh, you know, Buffy, looking back on everything that's happened, maybe I should have sent you to a different school.
Buffy: Just promise me that you'll be far away from here.
Joyce: I'm not leaving you to face an awful monster. If I go anywhere, you're going with me.
Buffy: You know that I can't.
Joyce: Well then I can't either.
Buffy: Mom, I know that sometimes you wish I were different.
Joyce: Buffy, no.
Buffy: I wish I could be a lot of things for you. A great student, a star athlete, remotely normal. I'm not. But there is something I do that I can do better than anybody else in the world. I'm gonna fight this thing, but I can't do it and worry about you.
Joyce: Buffy, you just can't ...
Buffy: You stay, you'll get me killed. You'll have to trust me on this. Can you do that?
In Willow's room. Amy-rat is nibbling something in her cage. Oz is typing on the computer. Willow is laying on the bed, reading.
Willow: Oh, this is so frustrating.
Oz: Nothing useful?
Willow: No, it's great. If we want to make ferns invisible, or communicate with shrimp, I've got the goods right here.
Oz: Our lives are different than other peoples'.
Willow: Oh, who am I kidding? I'm not going to find a spell to stop the Ascension. I'm no witch. I can't even change poor Amy back to a person.
Oz: But you got the swinging Habitrail going. I think Amy is in a good place emotionally.
Willow: Could you just pretend to care about what's happening? Please?
Oz: You think I don't care?
Willow: I think we could be dead in two days time and you're being ironic detachment guy.
Oz: Would it help if I panic?
Willow: (babbling) Yes, it would be swell. Panic is a thing people can share in times of crisis. And everything's really scary now, you know, and I don't know what's gonna happen. And there's all sorts of things that you're supposed to get to do after high school, and I was really looking forward to doing them, and now we're probably just gonna die and I would like to feel that maybe you would ...
Oz leans forward and kisses her, slowly.
Willow: What are you doing?
In Professor Wirth's apartment. Buffy is collecting papers and books and putting them in a file box. Angel appears at the front door (it's open) and stumbles over the door jamb.
Angel: Not my best entrance. I think they were mopping in the halls.
Buffy: What are you doing here?
Angel: I checked in with Giles. He asked me to back you up.
Buffy: He's afraid I'll run into Faith.
Angel: And you're not?
Buffy: It's gonna happen sooner or later.
Angel: What's that?
Buffy: A report. Excavation of some old lava bed. Guy was a volcano-ologist or something.
Angel: Anything in there that connects him to the Mayor?
Buffy: I looked through it, but the only thing I understood were the commas. Gonna bring it to Giles, see if he can do better. (picks up the file box)
Angel: Let me give you a hand.
Angel takes the box. They leave the apartment. Cut to outside as they leave the building.
Buffy: You know what? Thank you, but I can take it from here.
Angel: It's alright. I'll walk you there.
Buffy: Look, I don't need an escort. I'm a big girl. Superpowers, remember? I don't need you crowding me.
Angel: I didn't think I was.
Buffy: No, of course you don't. You just show up at the prom and then you disappear into the ozone. For all I know, you left town.
Angel: Are you mad at me for being around too much or for not being around enough?
Buffy: Duh. Yes.
Angel: I don't get you.
Buffy: No, you don't, not anymore.
Angel: Are you just making this harder to make this easier on yourself?
Buffy: Could we stop with the brain-teasers? I just wish it was over, done.
Angel: It's not that simple. I mean, once the Mayor ...
Buffy: I know, world in peril and we have to work together. This is my last office romance, I'll tell you that.
Angel: I'll get out of your face.
He drops the box at her feet and turns away.
Buffy: Isn't it even a little hard for you?
Angel: How can you ask me that? Just because I'm not acting like a brat doesn't mean I don't feel...
Buffy: It's nice to know what you thing of me!
Angel: What do you expect me to say when you just attack?
Buffy: I just can't do this anymore. I can't have you in my life when I'm trying to move on.
The sound of an arrow striking. The arrow was fired above and behind Angel, and has passed through his back so the point sticks out the front of his jacket. He falls and Buffy catches him.
Behind a neon sign atop a nearby building, Faith and a vampire look down at the couple.
Vampire: Missed the heart.
Faith: Meant to.
Fade to commercial.
In the library. Angel sits in a chair. Giles cuts the arrow shaft where it enters Angel's back.
Buffy: Okay, ready? (grasps the arrow's point)
Buffy: On three. One. (pulls the arrow out)
Angel: I knew you were going to do that.
Giles: Not too much blood here.
Angel: I heal pretty fast. I should be alright.
Buffy: (while swabbing the exit wound) I'm just glad Faith's such a suck shot.
Giles: You sure it was her?
Buffy: Well, I've narrowed down my list of one suspect.
Buffy and Giles continue bandaging Angel. Wesley is sitting at the table, reading.
Wesley: It seems our Mr. Wirth headed an expedition in Hawaii, digging in old lava beds near a dormant volcano.
Buffy: I'm not fascinated yet.
Wesley: He found something underneath. A carcass, buried by an eruption.
Giles: A carcass?
Wesley: A very large one. Mr. Wirth posits that it might be some heretofore undiscovered dinosaur.
Angel: A demon?
Giles: Yes, that would be something that the Mayor would want to keep a secret. If it's the same kind of demon he's turning into and it's dead, it means that, well, he's only impervious to harm until the Ascension. In his demon form, he can be killed.
Buffy: Great. So all we need is a million tons of burning lava. We're saved.
Angel: Well, it's a start, anyway.
Buffy: Okay, you've been a real klutz today. You need ...
Angel falls to the floor, unconscious. Cut to Giles sniffing the arrow's point.
Giles: We'll have to run some tests.
Buffy: You're burning up.
Angel: It's poison. I can feel it.
Giles: Call the others. Get them here. We need to move him to the safety of his own bed before the sun comes up.
Buffy: Will you be able to find out what this is?
Wesley: The Council has all the known toxins on file, mystical or otherwise. I'll contact them immediately.
Buffy: Thanks. (to Angel) You're going to be okay.
Willow's bedroom. Clothes are scattered on the floor and draped over Amy-rat's cage. Willow and Oz cuddle in the bed. Oz strokes Willow's hair.
Willow: I feel different, you know. I-I guess that makes sense. Do you feel different. Oh, no, you've already, probably, no big change for you. It was nice. Was it nice? Should this be a quiet moment?
Oz: I know exactly what you mean.
Willow: Which part?
Oz: Everything from 'it's different'.
They kiss. The phone rings, Willow answers.
Willow: Hello. (listens, hangs up) We've gotta go.
In the Mayor's office. He places the Box of Gavrock on his desk as Faith enters.
Faith: He's dropped, boss.
Mayor: Applause, applause.
Faith: Right in the back. He pitches over and Buffy's freaking, looking around, all panicked. It's a good time.
Mayor: Well, that should keep her occupied for a spell.
Faith: What next?
Mayor: The Ritual of Gavrock. I have to ingest several of the inhabitants of this box.
Faith: You're wicked gross.
Mayor: (chuckles) Well, you don't have to watch. Just, you know, go home, take it easy. It's a big day tomorrow.
Faith: You gotta give me something to do. There's no way I'm sleeping. Don't you need anyone dead? Or maimed? I can settle for maimed.
Mayor: (chuckles) You little firecracker.
Faith: My mom used to call me that when I was little. I was always running around.
She falls silent. The Mayor observes her with a look of concern.
Faith: Tomorrow, at the Ascension and all that, am I going to get to fight?
Mayor: If everything goes smoothly, you won't have to. But how often do things go smoothly?
Faith: So you'll still need me in there.
Faith: When I was a kid, a couple of miles outside of Boston there was this quarry. And all the kids used to swim there and jump off the rocks. And there was this one rock like forty feet up. I was the only one that would jump off it. All the older kids were too scared.
Mayor: Not you though.
Faith: Naah. I could do it easy.
Mayor: Get some rest.
Faith: Good luck with your spiders there.
Oz, Willow, and Xander are gathered in a Sunnydale High chemistry lab. Oz is peering through a microscope. Willow tears a page out of a notebook and hands it to Xander.
Willow: They should have all this at the magic shop. I can run a trace analysis, see if it's a mystical poison.
Xander: I'm a little short on cash.
Willow: Just tell them it's for me.
Cut to Xander walking in a darkened school hallway. Anya meets him.
Xander: What are you doing here? I thought you'd be in Aruba by now.
Anya: Hey, I'm packed. My car's right outside. I-I just, um, I-I had to, uh...
Anya: You could come with me.
Xander: Come with you? You mean that?
Anya: Why not? We could just get in the car and drive. No one would miss us. We could take turns driving. Keep each other awake. You're going to die if you stay here.
Xander: I guess I might.
Anya: When I think that something could happen to you, it feels bad inside, like I might vomit.
Xander: Welcome to the world of romance.
Anya: It's horrible. No wonder I used to get so much work.
Xander: Well, I'm sorry I give you barfy feelings.
Anya: Come with me.
Xander: I can't.
Anya: Why not?
Xander: I got friends on the line.
Xander: That humanity thing's still a work in progress, isn't it?
Anya: Are you really going to be that much help to them? I mean, you'll probably just get in the way.
Xander: Your stock is plummeting here, sweetheart.
Anya: Fine! You know what? I hope you die.
Xander walks past her.
Anya: Aren't we gonna kiss?
Inside Angel's mansion. Angel lies in bed, sweating. Buffy holds his hand, soothes him with a cool, wet rag.
Buffy: It'll be okay. You'll be okay.
She hears a door opening and goes to the living room. Wesley enters, looking upset.
Giles: Did you reach the council?
Wesley: Yes. They, they couldn't help.
Wesley: Wouldn't. It's not Council policy to cure vampires.
Giles: Did you explain that these were special circumstances?
Wesley: Not under any circumstances, and yes, I did try to convince them.
Buffy: Try again.
Wesley: Buffy, they're very firm. We're talking about laws that have existed longer than civilization.
Buffy: I'm talking about watching my lover die. I don't have a clue what you're talking about and I don't care.
Giles: Buffy, we'll find a cure.
Wesley: The Council's orders are to concentrate on ...
Buffy: Orders? I don't think I'm gonna be taking any more orders. Not from you, not from them.
Wesley: You can't turn your back on the Council.
Buffy: They're in England. I don't think they can tell which way my back is facing.
Wesley: Giles, talk to her.
Giles: (while walking to Buffy's side) I've nothing to say right now.
Buffy: Wesley, go back to your Council and tell them, until the next Slayer comes along, they can close up shop. I'm not working for them anymore.
Wesley: Don't you see what's happening? Faith poisoned Angel to distract you, to keep you out of the Mayor's way, and it's working. You need a strategy.
Buffy: I have a strategy. You're not in it.
Wesley: This is mutiny.
Buffy: (long pause) I like to think of it as graduation. Giles, I can't stay here any longer. I'm gonna see if I can help the others.
Giles: Of course.
Buffy: You'll watch him?
Giles: I'll call if there's any change.
Wesley: Buffy, you don't know what you're doing.
Buffy: Get a job. (marches off)
In the chemistry lab: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Oz.
Willow: Finding the poison wasn't that hard. It's a mystical compound. The latin name translates roughly to Killer of the Dead. Used on vampires.
Buffy: And the cure?
Willow: There aren't a lot of instances of it being cured.
Buffy: But there are some?
Willow: One or two. Pretty vague accounts. How is he?
Oz: (reading) Hold it.
Xander: You got something?
Oz: I'm not sure.Buffy: Be sure.
Oz: Okay. Killer of the Dead. That's our boy, and here's a vamp that walked away from it.
Willow: Does it talk about the cure?
Oz: No, it's in here, but...
Willow: (reading over his shoulder) Wait, completely reversed the effects. Oh.
Xander: Come on guys, the suspense is killing Angel.
Oz: The only way to cure this thing is to drain the blood of a Slayer.
Buffy: (long pause) Good.
Xander: Good? What did I miss?
Buffy: No, it's perfect. Angel needs to drain a Slayer, then I'll bring him one.
Willow: Buffy, if Angel drains Faith's blood, it'll kill her.
Buffy: Not if she's already dead.
Fade to commercial.
Willow and Oz at a computer terminal.
Oz: Leasing agreement. It should be recent. It won't be in her name but if the Mayor's putting her up, it might be in his.
Willow: Maybe he's charging it to the city?
Oz: Right, cross-reference Realty with Municipal Funds.
Willow: You wanna drive? (smiles)
Oz caresses her hair and Willow loses her typing rhythm for a moment.
In the library, Buffy and Xander are heading to the book cage.
Buffy: Someone should take over for Giles after a while. Watch Angel.
Xander: I don't mean to play devil's advocate here, but are you sure you're up to this?
Buffy: It's time.
Xander: We're talking to the death.
Buffy: I can't play kid games anymore. This is how she wants it.
Xander: I just don't want to lose you.
Buffy: I won't get hurt. (reaches into a weapons cabinet)
Xander: That's not what I mean.
Buffy: Just get me an address.
They stare at each other for a moment, then Xander leaves. Buffy is holding Faith's fancy knife.
Quick fades between scenes:
- Faith working out on a punching bag.
- Buffy washing her face and staring at herself in a mirror.
- Angel's delirium.
- Faith ending her workout.
- Buffy walking away from the mirror.
- Willow at her computer terminal.
Willow: I got it.
In Faith's apartment. She reads a comic book while music blares.
Cut to show Buffy behind her, across the room. Buffy turns off the stereo.
Buffy: Thought I'd stop by.
Faith: Is he dead yet?
Buffy: He's not gonna die. It was a good try, though. Your plan?
Faith: Uh-huh. The Mayor got me the poison. Said it was wicked painful.
Buffy: There's a cure.
Faith: Damn. What is it?
Buffy: Your blood. As justice goes, it's not un-poetic, don't you think?
Faith: Come to get me? You gonna feed me to Angel? You know you're not going to take me alive.
Buffy: Not a problem.
Faith: Well, look at you. All dressed up in big sister's clothes.
Buffy: You told me I was just like you. That I was holding it in.
They approach until they're standing face to face.
Faith: Ready to cut loose?
Buffy: Try me.
Faith: Okay then. Give us a kiss.
Buffy punches her in the jaw. They fight for a while.
Faith: Not getting tired are you? I'm just startihg to feel it.
They fight some more. They fall together through a window, landing on a terrace. While Faith is recovering from the fall, Buffy handcuffs Faith's right wrist to Buffy's right wrist. The fight continues.
Buffy: Stick around.
Cut to Angel's bed. Oz and Willow watch him.
Cut to the library.
Giles: Right. Right. (heads for a bookshelf)
Xander: Something about the demon?
Giles: The local villagers near the volcano site made reference to the legend of Ollokai. Might be a bastardization of Olvikan.
Xander: Who's Olvikan?
Giles: I know it's a demon, a very old one. Might have a picture.
Xander: Boy, it's a good thing no one ever wanted to check any of these books out, hunh?
Giles: Yes, very convenient. (flipping pages)
Xander: Come on Olvikan. Hey.
Giles stops flipping pages. Xander unfolds a page, twice (like a centerfold).
Xander: We're going to need a bigger boat.
In the Mayor's office. On of the Gavrok bugs is pinned, unmoving, to his desk with a knife. The camera pans up to show two of the legs sticking out of the Mayor's mouth. He chews and swallows. A vampire looks on uncertainly.
Mayor: Mmm. My god, what a feeling. The power of these creatures. It suffuses my being. I can feel the changes begin. My organs are shifting, changing, making ready for the Ascension. Plus these babies are high in fiber. And what's the fun in becoming an immortal demon if you're not regular, am I right?
A second vampire bursts into the room.
Mayor: We don't knock during dark rituals?
Vampire #2: Sir, there may be trouble. At Faith's.
On the terrace at Faith's building, the fight continues.
Buffy: What's the matter? All that killing, you afraid to die?
Faith spins Buffy so she can get the leverage to use her legs and manages to snap the handcuff chain. They face off. Faith holds a length of pipe. Buffy pulls out Faith's knife.
Faith: That's mine.
Buffy: You're about to get it back.
They exchange blows, Faith dodging the knife. They move to the edge of the terrace and Faith holds Buffy at the edge.
Faith: Man, I'm going to miss this.
Buffy breaks Faith's grip and plunges the knife into Faith's abdomen. Both of them looked stunned for a moment.
Faith: (weakly, but smiling) You did it.
Faith throws Buffy away from her.
Faith: You killed me.
Faith climbs onto the low wall at the edge of the terrace and looks down.
Faith: Still won't help your boy,though. Shoulda been there, B, quite a ride.
Faith falls backward off the wall and lands in the bed of a moving truck. Buffy scrambles to the wall and sees Faiths body, unmoving, ride away.
"To Be Continued"