GILES VOICEOVER: Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Buffy entering the living room.
Joyce lying on the sofa.
Paramedics working on Joyce.
PARAMEDIC: I'm sorry, your mother's dead.
XANDER: Anya, you wanna marry me?
Anya staring at Xander as he holds out the ring.
Buffy running across the platform on the tower, jumping into the wormhole.
The gang gathering around Buffy's dead body.
Xander reading from Giles's note.
XANDER: 'I've gone. Not one for long goodbyes, I thought it best to slip out quietly. Love to you all, Giles.'
Giles at the airport, turning away.
WILLOW: There he goes.
Giles's plane taking off.
WILLOW: Guys, I need you on board here.
XANDER: This is deep stuff, Willow. We're talking about raising the dead.
WILLOW: It's time we stop talking.
TARA: What if something does go wrong?
WILLOW: I can do this. I promise. But not without you.
The ritual at Buffy's grave.
WILLOW: Osiris, here lies the warrior of the people. Let her cross over!
Willow surrounded by orange light.
WILLOW: Release her!
Buffy's corpse regenerating itself.
Scruffy Buffy in an alley, backing away from the Scoobies.
WILLOW: It was Buffy, right? We saw her, and it was really Buffy.
ANYA: I think we screwed it up.
WILLOW: No! She's just disoriented from being tormented in some hell dimension.
Dawn, Buffy, and Spike in the house.
DAWN: She's been through a lot.
SPIKE: What did you do?
Spike and Buffy in the alley.
SPIKE: I haven't been to a hell dimension just of late, but I do know a thing or two about torment.
BUFFY: Wherever I ... was ... I was happy. I think I was in heaven. I was torn out of there ... by my friends. Everything here is hard ... and violent. This is hell.
Episode opens on Buffy walking slowly through a dark room, looking around cautiously. Sounds of dripping water. Buffy frowns, continues looking around. We see stairs in the background; she's in a basement.
She notices something, looks satisfied, walks over and stares upward. We see she's holding a wrench.
BUFFY: So. We meet at last, Mister Drippy.
Pan wider to reveal a pipe that's dripping water. Stairs to above are in the background. Buffy raises the wrench, climbs up on something and begins fitting the wrench to the pipe.
Dawn appears from above, comes halfway down the stairs and sits on them.
DAWN: Want me to call a plumber?
BUFFY: (turning wrench with great effort) No.
DAWN: You sure?
DAWN: (holds up cordless phone) Got the number.
Buffy turns to face Dawn, exasperated.
BUFFY: Dawn, I'm on it, okay?
Dawn shrugs skeptically.
Buffy gives the pipe one last twist. The dripping stops. Buffy smiles with satisfaction.
A beat. Groaning noises.
Suddenly water begins to spray from a dozen different places all over the basement. Several jets of water spray directly on Dawn, soaking her. Dawn shrieks and runs up the stairs. Buffy stands still, sighs.
BUFFY: There. All better.
Wolf howl. Opening credits.
Special Guest Star: Anthony Stewart Head. Guest starring Danny Strong, Adam Busch, Tom Lenk, Todd Stashwick, and Amber Benson as Tara. Written by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson, directed by Douglas Petrie.
Open on the kitchen, day. Dawn stands at the door to the basement, looking down. Sound of running water.
DAWN: Man. How much water can they fit in one set of pipes?
Cut to wider shot. We see Willow at the center island pouring a bowl of cereal, Tara moving around the kitchen. In the foreground we see Buffy staring at the sink as if mesmerized.
TARA: If I understand right? The entire city water supply.
WILLOW: It's like little clown cars in the circus.
DAWN: (sitting at the island) Told you we should have called the plumber.
BUFFY: (still staring) You were right. The plumber will make everything good.
Close shot of what Buffy's staring at. It's the kitchen sink. The faucet is running. The water drains out normally.
Buffy continues to watch the water flow.
TARA: Dawnie, you're not eating breakfast?
Dawn looks around at the food, makes a face.
BUFFY: (still mesmerized by the faucet) Dawn, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Dawn looks over at Buffy. Shot of Buffy's back (Dawn POV).
BUFFY: (still distractedly) It's unbelievably important. You should eat breakfast at least three times a day.
Another shot of the running water.
Willow comes over and turns off the faucet, gives Buffy a concerned look. Buffy looks at her.
DAWN: I'll, um, grab something before school. (Tara nods)
Xander and another guy emerge from the basement. All the women turn to look at them.
XANDER: And a big Sunnydale round of applause for Tito the Amazing, plumber extraordinaire.
TARA: So how's everything looking down there?
XANDER: Like we should start gathering up two of every animal.
TITO: Basically, your pipes are shot. I mean, the whole system's gonna have to be replaced. What you need is a full copper re-pipe job.
Willow comes over and Tito gives her a piece of paper.
WILLOW: Full copper re-pipe? That sounds potentially pricey.
TITO: Well, if you have any questions, our number's on the invoice.
Tito pats Xander on the shoulder and exits. Dawn goes over to Willow, looks at the invoice before Willow pulls it away.
DAWN: That's a weird phone number. Oh, wait. (to Xander) Is that the bill?
XANDER: Hey. Tito cut you a good deal down there. Those are his bargain prices. I did a little haggling for you.
BUFFY: Thank you. So we'll pay him, what's the big deal?
The others exchange looks.
WILLOW: Um ... Buffy, I-I know you're still getting back on your feet after...
BUFFY: Lying flat on my back?
WILLOW: Yeah. Uh, but there's some money stuff we're gonna have to talk to you about.
Cut to the living room. Buffy sits on the sofa looking at piles of paper all over the coffee-table. She has some more paper in her hands. She gives a disbelieving laugh and throws the papers down.
BUFFY: Okay ... so you're telling me I'm broke?
We see Tara and Willow sitting across from Buffy, with Dawn in the background.
WILLOW: Not yet, but ...
TARA: Money's definitely becoming an issue.
XANDER: As in your being almost out of it.
We see Xander sitting beside Willow and Tara. Anya sits at a desk off to the side, writing something.
BUFFY: But I haven't spent any money. I was all ... dead and frugal.
WILLOW: I-I know, this comes as a bit of a shock after ... a bit of a shock, but ... it took us by surprise too.
TARA: Your mother prepared everything really well. She had insurance ... (nervously) life insurance.
XANDER: Which should have left you covered, but ... hospital bills.
WILLOW: Pretty much sucked up all the money.
ANYA: Which you're still hemorrhaging, by the way.
BUFFY: (confused) How am I doing that?
ANYA: No, not you, the house. Uh, see, this house, just sitting here, doing nothing, um, by itself costs money.
DAWN: (worried) So, what do we do?
BUFFY: Easy. We burn the house to the ground and collect the insurance. (Dawn continues looking worried) Plus, fire? Pretty.
Everyone stares at her.
BUFFY: You guys, I'm kidding. Okay, it's, it's bills, it's money. It's pieces of paper sent by bureaucrats that we've never even met. It's not like it's the end of the world.
She thinks about that for a moment.
BUFFY: Which is too bad, you know, 'cause that, I'm really good at.
Dawn still looks worried.
BUFFY: (to Dawn) I'll take care of this. I promise. I ... just don't know how yet.
Anya looks like she really wants to say something. She pauses, takes a deep breath, speaks too loudly.
ANYA: I know how.
Everyone looks at her.
ANYA: Um ... i-i-if you wanna pay every bill here, and every bill coming, and ... have enough to start a nice college fund for Dawn? (big smile) Start charging.
BUFFY: (irritated) For what?
ANYA: Slaying vampires! (Xander looks embarrassed) Well, you're providing a valuable service to the whole community. I say cash in.
Awkward pause. Xander still looks uncomfortable. Anya doesn't pick up on it.
BUFFY: (carefully) Well, that's an idea ... you would have. Any other suggestions?
ANYA: (softly) Well, I mean, it's, it's not *so* crazy.
DAWN: Yes it is! You can't charge innocent people for saving their lives.
ANYA: Spiderman does.
DAWN: He does not!
ANYA: Does too.
DAWN: Does no-
Dawn stops herself, calms down a little.
Anya looks at Xander. He continues looking uncomfortable.
XANDER: (reluctantly) Action is his reward.
Dawn gives Anya a "told you so" look. Anya looks annoyed, stands up.
ANYA: (angrily) Why don't you ever take my side?
XANDER: What are you talking about, taking your side? Anya, I *am* your side!
Xander runs out after Anya. Willow watches them go with a small smile, then turns to Buffy.
WILLOW: You're throwin' away a gold mine.
Cut to the street. Anya strides angrily down the sidewalk. Xander comes down the steps and hurries after her.
XANDER: Come on! Wait up. Anya!
He runs in front of her.
XANDER: What's wrong with you?
ANYA: Why don't you ask your best friend Spiderman? You know, if you're not going to support me-
XANDER: I'm supportive! I'm totally supportive! I'm a flying buttress of support!
ANYA: No you're not.
She looks down. Xander sighs.
XANDER: This is because I haven't told them yet about the engagement, isn't it?
ANYA: (scoffs) No. Maybe. Yes! (whines) It's painful and confusing! I mean, first you, you give me this beautiful ring (holds up the box with the ring in it) ...and then I can't even wear it in public. I mean, do you know how depressing that is?
XANDER: Anya, I promise, your waiting days are almost over. I, I know it's frustrating ... but the way I understand this marriage thing, it's kind of a forever deal.
ANYA: Not if you never get started. (softly) I mean, don't you want to get married?
ANYA: So then why won't you tell them?
XANDER: (sighs, gestures) Because ... I'm still getting used to the miracle of a steady paycheck. And getting out of my parents' house. And this ... this husband thing ... it's a big step. Or ... a lot of little ones. And ... and I love you so much ... I just want ... every step to be just right.
ANYA: (hopefully) Really?
He nods. Anya walks up close to him and kisses him. They put arms around each other and continue kissing for a long moment. Suddenly Anya pulls away.
ANYA: (yells) Hey! You tricked me! Just now, w-with your fancy talk and, and lips! You keep doing this, and I keep forgetting, and you keep stalling!
She turns and stalks off angrily.
ANYA: (continues walking) When are you going to grow up, Xander?
Xander stares after her.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: There's a first time for everything is my philosophy.
Cut to Buffy sitting in an office. There are glass windows through which we can see people moving around. Buffy wears a conservative skirt-suit and her hair is pulled back in a neat bun. She smiles widely. The next series of sentences are intercut together in separate takes.
BUFFY: This is my first big loan.
Collateral? No problem.
I love that tie.
I'm a problem solver.
Let's crunch those numbers!
The final cut finds her staring down at herself looking annoyed.
BUFFY: (mutters) Stupid skirt.
She turns as a man enters the office. Buffy puts on her biggest smile, stands.
MR. SAVITSKY: Sorry to keep you waiting. Carl Savitsky. Loan Officer.
He sits behind the desk across from Buffy. She sits also.
BUFFY: Buffy Summers. Loan applier-for.
He smiles but doesn't seem amused. Buffy plunges on.
BUFFY: I, I didn't know exactly what you would need, so, um, I brought everything. (hands him a thick folder) I'm very responsible in that way.
He begins looking through the papers in the folder.
MR. SAVITSKY: Okay. I don't think I'll need this ... or these. Old report cards, definitely not.
Buffy smiles nervously. He continues looking at the papers, putting most of them aside.
BUFFY: So ... about my getting a loan.
MR. SAVITSKY: Yes, well, uh, it looks as if, financially, uh, we have a bit of a tangle.
BUFFY: I know. And I figured you could just, you know, cut through that tangle with scissors. You know, where the loan is the scissors? (makes scissors motion with her hand)
MR. SAVITSKY: (still not amused) Ms. Summers, the only collateral you have is your house, which was never fully leveraged, and has been losing equity over the last several years. For some reason, Sunnydale property values have never been competitive, and ... re-financing's out of the question...
Buffy's face falls as she realizes the news is bad. He gives her a little sympathetic smile.
BUFFY: Are you saying you won't give me my loan?
MR. SAVITSKY: Well, the problem is, you have no income. No job.
Suddenly the body of another man crashes through the glass window and lands on the desk. Sounds of screaming. Broken glass everywhere.
Buffy jumps up, looks out at the main bank area. People are running around screaming. A large demon stands in the middle of the room. He gives a loud roar.
BUFFY: (to herself) No job? (pouts) I wish.
Open on the same scene. The demon is roaring and throwing people around.
BUFFY: (OS) Hey!
The demon turns around to find Buffy behind him.
BUFFY: Are you in the wrong line? (points) That's for deposits, (points) that's for withdrawals, and this one ... is for getting kicked in the face.
She goes to kick the demon but can't move her legs. Pan down and we see that her long, tight skirt is restricting her movements.
BUFFY: (worried) Stupid skirt.
The demon hits her, hard. She goes flying back through the glass-less window and lands on Mr. Savitsky's desk. Mr. Savitsky pokes his head up from hiding behind the desk.
Buffy sees a pencil-holder on the desk with only one thing left in it.
BUFFY: May I?
Mr. Savitsky nods. Buffy takes out the letter-opener. She uses it to cut a slit in her skirt, freeing her legs. Puts the letter opener back and gets up.
The demon comes forward and Buffy kicks him back. She blocks a couple of punches, kicks him again. He surges right back and she blocks a couple more punches, ducks another punch, punches him in the face.
Fight noises continue as we see a close-up of someone's hands grabbing the money out of the teller drawers and putting it in a bag. We don't see the person's face, just the hands.
Cut back to the fight. Buffy raises her hands to swing, and the demon grabs her, lifts her up onto his shoulder. She kicks and hits his back as he carries her.
Suddenly we hear a gunshot. Both Buffy and the demon look over to a bank security guard standing there pointing his gun at them. He looks very nervous.
GUARD: Put the girl down.
The demon throws Buffy at the guard. She crashes into him and they both fall to the ground. As Buffy gets up to a sitting position, we see a couple of other male customers attacking the demon and getting quickly beaten up. Buffy picks up the gun.
BUFFY: (to guard) These things? Never helpful.
She tosses the gun away. In the background the demon is still fighting off various other people. The gun hits the floor and goes off. Buffy and the guard duck.
The demon runs for the door, shoving another guy into Buffy's path as she tries to pursue him. By the time she gets the guy out of her way, the demon has escaped. Buffy stares after him in frustration. Then she gives a determined frown.
Cut to Mr. Savitsky's office. Buffy storms in, puts her hands on the desk which is still covered with broken glass.
BUFFY: (panting) Now, about my loan.
Mr. Savitsky slowly raises his head to look at her. He's still hiding behind the desk.
BUFFY: I'm not saying I'm charging you for saving your life or anything, but ... let's talk rates.
Mr. Savitsky looks at her.
Cut to: exterior shot of the Magic Box, night.
WILLOW: (O.S.) He still turned you down?! That's crazy!
Cut to inside. Buffy is punching the punching bag while Willow sits nearby talking.
WILLOW: I mean, even if the bank did get robbed, which, you battling demons couldn't possibly know ... you would think there would be some kind of reward.
Buffy continues hitting the bag hard and fast.
WILLOW: But no, they're like, "Oh, we're not gonna give you money unless you prove you don't need it." I mean, what kind of system is that?
BUFFY: (pauses) You're asking the wrong gal.
She resumes punching.
WILLOW: (surprised) Hey. (gets down, goes over to her) Buffy, you're mad.
BUFFY: (stops punching) You noticed. (shrugs) It'll pass. (resumes punching)
WILLOW: No! Anger ... is a big, powerful emotion you should feel.
BUFFY: (stops punching) Well ... that's good then.
Buffy stands there, steadying the punching bag with her hands. She shrugs.
BUFFY: It's gone now.
WILLOW: Okay ... uh, let me make you mad again. Uh ... ready? Um ... (thinks, gets an idea) Last semester, I slept with Riley.
Buffy gives her a dubious look.
BUFFY: And you know I really doubt it.
WILLOW: Caught me. Big fib. To ... cover up the sleazy affair I had with Angel. (smiles proudly)
BUFFY: (frowning) Will ... what the hell are you doing?
WILLOW: Pissing you off.
BUFFY: Yes, true. Why?
WILLOW: Well, 'cause, you know, since you've ... been back, you haven't exactly been big with ... the whole range of human emotions thing.
BUFFY: (blankly) What do you mean?
WILLOW: (fidgets) Well, you haven't ... no, I mean it's just, um ... (Buffy still looks blank. Willow gives up) You know, this is really ... my problem. (backing away) I'm just, I'm all over the place and, you should just, uh, forget I even said anything, cause, cause, (sits back down) well, 'cause you know... banks, man.
Willow nods agreement with herself, looks at Buffy for agreement. Buffy just returns to punching.
ANYA: (O.S.) Don't be such a wiener dog.
Cut to the main magic shop room. Anya and Xander sit at a table with books open in front of them.
ANYA: Look at them. (Shot of Tara and Dawn at the other side of the room, making a pile of books) Researching demons for the billionth time. They could use a ... peppy boost of happy news.
XANDER: (nods, nervously) You're right. I'll tell them.
He stands up halfway, reconsiders, sits back down with a glance toward the back.
XANDER: As soon as Buffy and Willow come in.
ANYA: (exasperated) Chicken.
XANDER: Would you stop?
ANYA: Dare you.
XANDER: Anya. If I tell them we're engaged right after you dared me to ... wouldn't you always wonder if that's the only reason I did it?
Anya thinks about this, realizes he's right.
XANDER: Score one for Captain Logic.
ANYA: No, no. Captain Logic is not steering this tugboat. I smell Captain Fear at the wheel! (lowers her voice as Tara and Dawn move toward them) God, I hate this. This tone in my voice? I dislike it more than you do, and I'm closer to it!
Tara and Dawn come over to the table and put down some more books. Tara sits.
DAWN: Oh come on, Tara. I am so old enough to do research. Do you really think I'm not mature enough?
TARA: I think you're very mature for your age ... but you're still only fifteen.
DAWN: Right, fifteen. As in *teen*ager. You know, if you don't let me look at the pictures, I'm gonna learn everything I know about demons on the street.
Tara sighs, hands her a book.
TARA: Knock yourself out.
DAWN: Thank you. See? (sits) No biggie. I can totally handle it.
She opens the book and checks out the first page.
DAWN: That's a weird place for a horn.
She looks again, slowly closes the book.
DAWN: (quietly) That's not a horn.
XANDER: (quickly) You know, I still don't get it. I mean, what kind of a demon would rob a bank?
ANYA: The kind that wants money.
XANDER: What do you even call that?
She holds up a book, turned to a picture of a demon.
DAWN: I'm guessing on how you say it. It's got an apostrophe. I think it's MmmFashnik. Like "Mmm, cookies."
XANDER: Or maybe, Muh-Fashnik. Like Muh...(lamely) Fashnik.
Buffy and Willow emerge from the back room. Dawn holds up the book toward Buffy.
DAWN: This your guy?
BUFFY: (to Dawn) You do research now? Want a cappuccino and a pack of cigarettes to go with it?
DAWN: Would you just look at the picture?
XANDER: Doesn't exactly fit the profile for your typical bank robber.
BUFFY: Maybe they turned down his loan application. (smiles at Willow, then looks at Dawn's book) That's him. Big bad. This thing was strong, guys. No weapons that I could see, but ...
Buffy notices something across the room, stares that way as her mouth finishes the sentence on its own.
BUFFY: ... still ... real ... dangerous.
The others turn to see what she's looking at.
Reveal Giles standing by the door, holding a couple of suitcases, staring at Buffy.
Buffy stares back. Giles puts down his bags, comes forward. Buffy walks forward until they are face-to-face.
GILES: (smiling) Oh God, Buffy.
He hugs her. She hugs him back, closes her eyes.
GILES: You're alive. You're here. And you're still ... (strained) ...remarkably strong.
BUFFY: Huh? Oh. (lets him go) Sorry.
GILES: Willow told me, but I didn't really let myself believe ...
BUFFY: I take a little getting used to. I'm still getting used to me.
GILES: It's, uh ... you're ...
BUFFY: A miracle?
GILES: Yes. But then, I always thought so.
Giles puts his hand on Buffy's cheek and looks at her fondly. The others watch, smiling.
Cut to: the street, night. The M'Fashnik demon walks along, growling softly.
Cut to the workout room. Giles and Buffy stand facing each other, a little awkward.
GILES: So ... (punches the punching bag lightly)
BUFFY: I can start. How was England? (sits) How was ... life?
GILES: Uh, I'm not really sure how to answer that. Um, well, I arrived home, I, uh, met with the Council.
BUFFY: Always a good time.
GILES: Yes. Otherwise, there's, uh, nothing really to report. I, um, I keep a flat in Bath. I, I, uh, met with a few old friends. Almost made a new one, which I think is ... statistically impossible for a man of my age.
He takes off his jacket, tosses it onto the sofa.
BUFFY: And now you're back.
BUFFY: Wow. Giles, are you miserable about it, or just really British?
GILES: (smiles, takes off his glasses) I can't lie to you, Buffy. (sits beside her) Um ... leaving Sunnydale was, uh, was difficult. And, uh, coming back was...
BUFFY: I'm guessing the word is "inconvenient"?
GILES: No. Bewildering.
Buffy looks down. Giles puts a hand on her shoulder.
GILES: And how are you? Really? You look tired.
BUFFY: Me? Nah. Fine.
Giles gives her a look and she drops the act.
BUFFY: I mean, yeah, you know, sleeping's hard, but ... just because of the whole waking up in a box thing. So maybe waking up's the problem. You know, but just for a second. I sleep okay. Great even. Except, you know, for the dreams ...
She trails off, looks away again.
GILES: You seem to be doing remarkably well under extreme circumstances. I'm proud of you.
BUFFY: Well, actually, it wasn't me. Willow brought me back. I just lay there.
GILES: You-you know -- I meant -
BUFFY: I know what you meant. It was just a little post-post-mortem comedy.
Giles smiles a little. Buffy gets up.
BUFFY: Well, I, I, uh, better start prepping. The slayage.
She begins wrapping protective bandages on her hands. Giles stands up too.
GILES: Yes, there is always that, isn't there? (picks up his jacket)
BUFFY: Seems that way.
Giles looks at her, leaves.
Cut to the main magic shop room. Giles emerges from the back. The others are still sitting around the table, except Anya, who is standing.
Anya goes to Giles and gives him a big hug. He smiles.
ANYA: We're so glad to see you. We missed you. (pulls back to look at him) You can't have the store back.
GILES: I know.
ANYA: You signed papers.
GILES: I did. And, do we have information on this new demon that I suddenly find so desperately interesting?
Giles gently moves Anya aside and goes over to the table.
XANDER: That we do.
WILLOW: This one robs banks.
DAWN: I found him. (gives Giles the book)
GILES: (looks at book) M'Fashnik. Oh.
DAWN: Aha! Like Mmm, cookies.
GILES: Uh, no, quite different, actually.
TARA: You know it?
GILES: By reputation, yes. They, they come from a long line of mercenary demons that perform acts of slaughter and mayhem for the highest bidder.
XANDER: Well, it is the American way.
GILES: Yes, but, uh, the question now becomes, what's out there powerful enough to control one of these things?
Cut to: a basement somewhere. The M'Fashnik demon angrily shoves over a pile of boxes that look like they recently held computer or electronics equipment. He points a finger and speaks to someone we don't see.
DEMON: We had a deal. You got what you wanted. Now give me what I want. The head of the Slayer.
Now we do see who he's talking to: the Geek Trio. They are Jonathan (see episodes "Earshot," "Superstar," and others), Warren ("I Was Made To Love You"), and Andrew. They sit on beanbag chairs, each holding a stack of money. Behind them is a large TV. They look up at the demon in surprise.
ANDREW: We can do that.
Open on the same scene. The demon paces back and forth in front of the Geek Trio.
DEMON: You hired me to create chaos and carnage for you. Told me you were powerful men, commanding machines, magicks, the demon realms below.
WARREN: We are.
JONATHAN: We're like, Super Villains.
They all laugh dorky super-villain laughs.
DEMON: Which of you is the leader?
ANDREW/JONATHAN/WARREN: (unison) I am.
DEMON: I will kill the leader.
ANDREW/JONATHAN/WARREN: (unison, pointing at each other) He is.
DEMON: I will kill you all.
JONATHAN: Wait! Uh! No fair!
Jonathan gets up, goes over to confront the demon.
JONATHAN: It's not our fault the Slayer was there. We said we'd pay you, and we're gonna.
Jonathan waves money in the demon's face. Warren jumps up, comes over and goes to his knees beside Jonathan. Andrew does the same.
WARREN: Yes! Truly, Lord Jonathan is the wisest of us all.
ANDREW: Uh, yeah, long live our noble lord and master.
JONATHAN: You guys suck.
The demon grabs Jonathan by the throat and lifts him off his feet.
DEMON: You can't pay me with paper, tiny king. You pitted me against the Slayer. For that, I must kill you.
Andrew and Warren snicker and grin at each other.
DEMON: Then I will suck dry your bones and use them to beat your subjects to death.
Andrew and Warren look alarmed, jump to their feet.
WARREN: Whoa, whoa whoa whoa, big guy, hey, let's back things up a parsec, okay. You kill us ... everybody loses. You let us live, we give you...
DEMON: Give me what?
JONATHAN: (choking) Name it!
The demon drops Jonathan, who falls to the floor choking and gasping. He slowly straightens up.
WARREN: Well, between the three of us, we can pretty much do anything.
JONATHAN: Like, you want a spell to make you look super-cool to the other demons? (grins) I'm all over that action, my friend.
WARREN: Or, just throwing it out there, robot girlfriend. Huh? For those long, lonely nights after a hard day's slaughter?
DEMON: (interested) You can do this?
Jonathan and Warren nod.
ANDREW: Don't trust him. Robo-pimp daddy's all mouth.
WARREN: Shut up, Andrew! You're just mad I wouldn't build you Christina Ricci.
ANDREW: You owe me, man.
WARREN: Oh, or else what? You'll train another pack of devil-dogs to ruin my prom? Ha! Graduated!
ANDREW: That wasn't me! How many times do I have to say it? The prom thing was my lame-o brother, Tucker.
JONATHAN: Yeah, well tell him I was at that prom.
ANDREW: Hello! Screen-wipe, new scene. (makes screen-wipe gesture) I had nothing to do with the devil dogs. I trained flying demon monkeys to attack the school play. School play, dude!
Beat. Warren and Jonathan hold their angry looks for a moment, then break and grin at each other, nodding.
WARREN: (grinning) That was cool. That was kinda cool.
JONATHAN: (laughs) Remember, everyone was like, "Run, Juliet!"
They all grin, nod at each other, laugh their dorky laughs again.
DEMON: (roars) ENOUGH!
The three geeks shut up, look scared. He advances on them, and they back up.
DEMON: Nothing you can offer me will satisfy your debt to me. I don't want your toys, or your spells, flying monkey-demons. (yelling) I want the Slayer dead!
ANDREW: (nervous) Okay.
JONATHAN: (nervous) Done.
WARREN: (nervous) One dead Slayer, coming up. Um, could you just give us a minute?
DEMON: For what?
WARREN: Well ... we just really wanna nail down the optimum method for us to wipe out the Slayer for you.
The geeks turn away to confer together.
DEMON: Make sure it involves ... pain.
The demon grins evilly.
BUFFY: (O.S.) I know they're ... so cute you could die, but...
Cut to the Summers living room. Buffy stands holding up a pillow to Giles. The pillow case is decorated in bright kiddie patterns. On the coffee-table is a pile of similar sheets.
BUFFY: ...it's all I got.
GILES: (laughs) Think nothing of it. It's, it's, uh, whimsical.
Giles takes the pillow, tosses it onto the sofa. Buffy begins unfolding a sheet.
BUFFY: They were mine when I was little. Couldn't find the guest sheets. (quietly) Mom always did this stuff.
Buffy kneels, tries to fit the sheet onto the sofa.
BUFFY: They don't actually fit.
Giles leans over, helps to make the bed.
BUFFY: I blame the sofa. (stands) We need one of those pull-out kinds. The kind with no payments 'til two-thousand-and-infinity.
BUFFY: Oh, it's ... just money stuff. (sits on coffee table) It turns out ... Mom left me some, and while I was dead, it got squandered on luxuries like ... food and clothing.
GILES: (sits on sofa) How bad is it?
BUFFY: Anya says pretty bad. I'm kinda taking her word for it. Actually, I'm kinda trying to not think about it.
GILES: Sound policy. At least for tonight.
BUFFY: Figured I'd put it out of my mind. You know, take a break. Get some perspective ... and then wake up at four a.m. terrified.
Buffy moves to sit on the sofa beside Giles, holding the top-sheet against her chest. She sighs.
GILES: Buffy, perhaps you're putting too much pressure on yourself. I mean, to return from some ... unknown level of Hell ... it's only natural that coming back ... will be a process.
BUFFY: In the meantime, I'm scaring people.
GILES: Well, that can take time, too.
Buffy stares into the distance as Giles looks at her with concern.
GILES: Well, if it's any consolation, life can be ... pretty overwhelming even for people who haven't been ... where you have.
BUFFY: (softly) I guess.
GILES: Look, tomorrow morning, you and I will sit down together and we'll go through everything. Every bill, one by one. We'll work it out together.
Buffy looks at him. They gaze at each other.
BUFFY: I'm glad you're back.
GILES: Well, I'm glad you are too.
Giles reaches out to put a hand on her shoulder, but she stands up and walks off before he can touch her. Giles sits there looking concerned, watching her go.
JONATHAN: (O.S.) Are we really gonna kill her?
Cut back to the Geek Trio conferring in their basement lair.
JONATHAN: That's so sad.
WARREN: (scornfully) Shut up, Whine-athan.
ANDREW: But ... I, I don't want to kill Buffy either.
JONATHAN: Yeah, she saved my life a bunch of times! Plus, she's hot.
WARREN: It's her or us. I mean, we have to do it.
ANDREW: We're talking about murder.
WARREN: No, we're talking about staying alive, and since this is my mom's house, I think what I say goes.
ANDREW: But aside from the moral issues, and the mess, we can get in trouble for murder.
WARREN: Duh! You know, the last I checked, the authorities also frowned on bank robbery too. Genius!
JONATHAN: I don't even know if we could kill Buffy. She's got super-strength.
ANDREW: And, you know, killing people, this is not why we got together in the first place.
JONATHAN: Yeah. We teamed up with one clear, super-cool mission statement. Remember?
Flash-cut to the three of them in the basement, sitting around a table with cans of soda, playing a board game.
WARREN: So ... you guys wanna team up and take over Sunnydale?
Andrew and Jonathan look at each other, shrug.
ANDREW/JONATHAN: (unison) Okay.
Flash back to the present.
WARREN: Of course I remember. It was last month.
JONATHAN: Then you know we have a mission! (points) Shrink rays...
We see what he's pointing at. It's a whiteboard labeled at the top "TO DO" and including the following items:
- Control The Weather
- Miniaturize Fort Knox
- Conjure Fake I.D.s
- Shrink Ray
- The Gorilla Thing
JONATHAN: ...trained gorillas. Workable prototype jetpacks ... and chicks, chicks, chicks. I know that's the action I signed on for.
ANDREW: Me too. Ixnay on the urder-may.
WARREN: (frustrated) Vote.
JONATHAN: Okay. Who's for not killing Buffy?
Andrew and Jonathan hold up their hands, making the Star Trek "vulcan salute." They both look at Warren.
Long shot of the three of them. We see the demon in the background still pacing and waiting for them to finish.
Finally Warren gives in and holds up his hand too.
They all look relieved, give each other nervous looks.
JONATHAN: So what are we gonna do about this Mm'Fashnik guy?
WARREN: Ah, wait here. Okay, I got an idea.
Warren goes over to the demon, puts his arm around the demon's shoulders turning him away from the other two. He reaches his other hand in his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper.
WARREN: (whispers) Here's the Slayer's name, address, and telephone number. You wanna kill her? Make it so.
The demon takes the paper with a low growl, leaves. Warren pats him on the back, turns around and sees the others watching him. Warren swaggers back over to them as they stare, impressed.
JONATHAN: (awed) How'd you make him do that?
ANDREW: What are you, some kind of ... Jedi?
WARREN: (casual) The Force can sometimes have great power on the weak-minded.
Andrew and Jonathan nod and go "Hmm" in awe.
Cut to: Summers house, night. Giles comes into the darkened kitchen with a towel over his shoulder.
WILLOW: Hey Giles.
Giles comes in, not smiling.
WILLOW: (oblivious) You have a good talk with Buffy?
Willow takes a box of cookies or something from the cupboard, goes to sit by the island.
GILES: (closes the door behind him) Yes, now that she's back.
WILLOW: (smiling) Isn't it awesome?
GILES: (goes over to the sink) Mmm. (removes his glasses) Tell me about this spell you performed.
WILLOW: (excited) Oh, okay, first of all? So scary. Like, the Blair Witch would have had to watch like this.
She covers her eyes with one hand, peeks through parted fingers. Then drops the hand and grins. Giles looks grim. Willow continues, not noticing his expression.
WILLOW: And, and, and this giant snake came out my mouth and there was all this energy crackling, and this pack of demons interrupted, but I totally kept it together. And then, the next thing you know? (triumphant) Buffy.
She smiles proudly, takes out a cookie from the box and takes a bite. Giles has his back to her, doing something in the sink.
GILES: (over his shoulder) You're a very stupid girl.
Willow pauses chewing, slowly stops smiling and frowns.
WILLOW: What? Giles...
GILES: (turns to face her) Do you have any idea what you've done? The forces you've harnessed, the lines you've crossed?
WILLOW: I thought you'd be ... impressed, or, or something.
GILES: Oh, don't worry, you've ... made a very deep impression. Of everyone here ... you were the one I trusted most to respect the forces of nature.
WILLOW: Are you saying you don't trust me?
GILES: (intensely) Think what you've done to Buffy.
WILLOW: I brought her back!
GILES: At incredible risk!
WILLOW: Risk? Of what? Making her deader?
GILES: Of killing us all. Unleashing hell on Earth, I mean, shall I go on?
WILLOW: No! (stands) Giles, I did what I had to do. I did what nobody else could do.
GILES: Oh, there are others in this world who can do what you did. You just don't want to meet them. (turns away again)
WILLOW: No, probably not, but ... well, they're the bad guys. I'm not a bad guy. (upset) I brought Buffy back into this world, a-and maybe the word you should be looking for is "congratulations."
GILES: Having Buffy back in the world makes me feel ... indescribably wonderful, but I wouldn't congratulate you if you jumped off a cliff and happened to survive.
WILLOW: That's not what I did, Giles.
GILES: (angry) You were lucky.
WILLOW: I wasn't lucky. I was amazing. And how would you know? You weren't even there.
GILES: If I had been, I'd have bloody well stopped you. The magicks you channeled are more ferocious and primal than anything you can hope to understand, (even more angry) and you are lucky to be alive, you rank, arrogant amateur!
Giles angrily grabs his towel and turns to leave.
WILLOW: You're right.
He pauses by the door, looks back at her.
WILLOW: The magicks I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off.
Giles stares at her, then looks away. After a moment, Willow relents.
WILLOW: Come on, Giles, I-I don't want to fight. I ... Let's not, okay? I'll think about what you said, and you ... try to be happy Buffy's back.
GILES: (quietly) We still don't know where she was ... or what happened to her.
Cut to the back porch. Buffy stands there, hugging herself. We see her from the back.
GILES: (O.S.) And I'm far from convinced she's come out of all this undamaged.
Pan around to Buffy's front. She just stands there, looking blank.
Suddenly a cigarette butt lands on the porch by Buffy's feet. She looks down, puts out her foot and grinds it out.
BUFFY: (not looking up) Hello, Spike.
We see Spike standing on the lawn.
SPIKE: You hear all that noise? (looks toward the kitchen door)
BUFFY: (nods) Just enough to make me feel crappy.
SPIKE: You know watcher-boy doesn't mean anything by it.
Spike comes closer, steps onto the first stair. Buffy shrugs.
BUFFY: I guess. Everyone ... (long pause) they all care. They all care so much, it ... makes it all harder.
SPIKE: I'm not sure I followed you around that bend, luv. (steps onto second stair)
BUFFY: I don't know. I just, I feel like I'm spending all of my time trying to be okay, so they don't worry. It's exhausting. And then, I...
She trails off, makes a frustrated gesture and then clenches her hand into a fist.
SPIKE: And that makes 'em worry even more.
Buffy looks at him, doesn't reply. Spike walks the rest of the way up onto the porch, comes to stand next to her.
SPIKE: You want me to take them out? Give me a hell of a headache, but I could probably thin the herd a little.
After a moment Buffy smiles a little. Spike looks pleased.
SPIKE: Knew I could get a grin.
They exchange a look.
Buffy moves forward, sits on the top stair, sighs deeply. Spike sits beside her.
BUFFY: Why are you always around when I'm miserable?
SPIKE: 'Cause that's when you're alone, I reckon. I'm not one for crowds myself these days.
They look at each other again.
BUFFY: Me neither.
SPIKE: That works out nicely then.
They sit there quietly, staring out at the night. Long shot of the two of them on the porch.
BUFFY: So what do you know about finances?
Spike looks at her.
Cut to: exterior shot of the front of the house, night. The front porch light is on, and one light upstairs.
Cut to inside. Dawn comes down the stairs, wearing pajamas.
GILES: (O.S.) Dawn?
We see Giles in the living room, sitting on the sofa/bed, reading a book. He gets up.
GILES: Couldn't sleep?
DAWN: Not really. You?
GILES: (smiles, indicating his book) Evidently not. (puts the book down)
DAWN: You ever try mixing parts of every cereal you got in one bowl?
GILES: (yawning) Does it work?
DAWN: (shrugs) Gonna find out. Wanna come join the experiment?
GILES: I'm an ideal control group. (walks closer to her) I find as you get older, that you lose patience with... (looks at something in the foyer) ...throwing up.
Dawn turns to see what he's looking at. Shot of the inside of the front door. The doorknob is rattling and turning.
GILES: (quietly) Is that locked?
DAWN: (nervous) It should be.
Suddenly the door smashes in, hitting Dawn. She screams as she goes flying back into the dining room. The M'Fashnik demon comes in, sees Giles, backhands him. Giles crashes into the stairs, smashing the banister, then falls to the floor.
The demon turns, sees Dawn, who is still lying on the floor, looking fearfully at him.
DEMON: You're not the Slayer.
Dawn sits up and stares at him.
DEMON: But you'll do for a start.
He lunges for her. Close shot on Dawn screaming.
Open on the same scene. Dawn continues screaming as the demon rushes at her. Before he reaches her, Buffy grabs him from behind and pulls him back to face her.
BUFFY: You're payin' for that door, buddy.
She flings him into the living room. He lands on his back on the coffee-table, smashing it to pieces.
BUFFY: Ooh! (winces) Table!
The demon gets up, holding a piece of the table. He looks at it, tosses it aside. It smashes a lamp on a side table.
DEMON: You have cost me, Slayer.
BUFFY: I cost *you*? That's a designer lamp, ya mook!
The demon charges her, grabs her around the waist and brings her to the floor in the dining room. She hits him, then kicks him off of her. He lands on the dining-room table, smashing some dishes. Buffy gets up and the demon kicks her, she stumbles backward and knocks into a side table. A glass vase falls, and Buffy catches it with both hands, looks at it in relief.
The demon charges her again and she kicks him back while still holding the vase, then puts the vase carefully back on the table. She kicks the demon again and he falls back against the wall, smashing some picture-frames.
Spike appears and grabs the demon from behind, wrestles him back.
BUFFY: Spike, no! I want him in the kitchen!
Spike holds the demon in the doorway and steps aside. Buffy gives the demon a serious kick in the chest and he flies backward through the door into the kitchen, flies across the room and bangs into the door leading to the back porch. The glass part of the door shatters. The demon growls, swipes at Buffy but she ducks and punches him.
Spike follows them into the kitchen and watches Buffy hitting the demon. Buffy gets the demon in a head-lock.
BUFFY: Open the door! (Spike looks confused) The basement! I'm taking him down.
Spike opens the door to the basement and Buffy wrestles the demon through it. They both topple down the stairs, but Buffy manages to grab the banister and stop her fall as the demon continues falling, landing with a splash.
The demon gets up and we see that the basement is still flooded ankle-deep with water. Buffy comes down the stairs and grapples with the demon again.
They exchange a few punches. Buffy grabs a pipe for support, then kicks the demon back.
The demon looks up, grabs a piece of pipe along the ceiling and breaks it off.
BUFFY: (angrily) No!
Water begins spraying again from the broken pipe.
The demon tries to attack Buffy with the pipe but she grabs it, kicks him in the groin and then hits him with the pipe. He goes down with a big splash.
Buffy begins hitting him with the piece of pipe, one stroke for each word.
BUFFY: Full... copper... re-pipe! No... more... full... copper... re-pipe!
Finally she stops. The demon is floating face-down in the water.
Buffy drops the pipe into the water, looks up, sighs and pouts. Walks over to where the pipe attached to the ceiling is still emitting a steady trickle of water. She stares at it unhappily.
SPIKE: (OS) Whoa.
We see Spike standing at the top of the stairs staring down.
SPIKE: Did you know this place was flooded?
Buffy closes her eyes in frustration.
WARREN: (O.S.) I think we have a lot to feel good about.
Cut to the Three Geeks' basement lair. The bank money bags are lying empty on the floor. The lair has been fully furnished with chairs, rugs, etc. It looks very posh. We see Andrew setting up a periscope viewer, Jonathan doing something at a display case, and Warren fiddling with a piece of equipment that looks like a gun. Electronics equipment everywhere.
WARREN: We got the money. We got the lair. And our one loose end has been taken care of ... (lifts his weapon) by the Slayer.
He pushes a button and flame shoots out of the thing he's holding.
WARREN: Flamethrower's up.
Andrew manipulates the periscope controls. Behind him, on the TV, we see the periscope image. It pans across grass to reveal a woman kneeling on the lawn.
ANDREW: Periscope's working.
Jonathan closes the glass doors of the display case. A bunch of action figures are set up inside it.
ANDREW: It looks like your mom's weeding tulips again.
Jonathan turns away from the display case and folds his arms triumphantly.
JONATHAN: Action figures? Fully deployed.
Warren goes to sit in a chair, smiling.
ANDREW: I still can't believe it. We did it! We can do anything. We could stay up all night if we wanna.
WARREN: (sarcastic) Whoa, whoa, whoa don't get all crazy on us, Andrew.
ANDREW: (pouty) I was only saying.
JONATHAN: What are we gonna do about Buffy? You know sooner or later, the Slayer's gotta come after us.
ANDREW: Bring her on.
WARREN: We could, uh, we could hypnotize her.
ANDREW: Make her our willing sex bunny.
They all laugh their dorky laughs again.
JONATHAN: I'm putting that on the list!
Jonathan goes over to the white-board.
ANDREW: Is this the life or what?
ANDREW: I mean, here we got all the stuff we ever wanted... (we see Jonathan writing "Hypnotize Buffy" on the To Do list) and we didn't even have to...
WARREN: Earn it?
JONATHAN: (turns away from whiteboard to face them) It's true, my friends. The way I see it ... life is like an interstellar journey. Some people go into hypersleep and travel at sub-light speeds... (the others nodding agreement) ...only to get where they're going after years of struggle, toil and hard, hard work. We, on the other hand ...
ANDREW: Blast through the space-time continuum in a wormhole?
They all nod and smile happily.
JONATHAN: Gentlemen ... crime is our wormhole.
Jonathan lifts a cigar to his mouth with one hand, with the other hand a flaming piece of paper money. He lights the cigar and takes a triumphant puff.
ANDREW: But ... everyone knows... (Jonathan frantically blowing out the fire on the bill) if the width of a wormhole cavity is a whole number of wavelengths, plus a fraction of that wavelength? The coinciding particle activity collapses the infrastructure.
Warren turns to face Andrew. Warren is wearing a virtual-reality headset that covers the whole top half of his face.
WARREN: Dude. Don't be a geek.
Cut to: interior Summers house, day. Dawn and Willow sitting on the sofa trying to fit together the pieces of the broken lamp. Pan across to show the destruction: front door standing open with a big hole in it, banister on the stairs broken, pieces of coffee table on the floor. Xander sits across from the sofa, trying to fix the coffee table. In the background Anya and Buffy sit by a desk looking at papers. Buffy's chair is held together with duct tape.
BUFFY: This is going to take forever, isn't it?
ANYA: Not forever. Just a very long time. Uh, here it is. (shows Buffy some papers) Your first approximation of your spanking new debt.
BUFFY: (stares at the paper in dismay) I've trashed this house so many times. How did Mom pay for this?
XANDER: For starters, she saved money with this crappy-ass coffee table.
ANYA: Well, there's always that charging option.
BUFFY: No! I will definitely ... probably not be doing that.
Giles and Tara enter from the kitchen.
GILES: Well, I know I'm back in America now I've been knocked unconscious. (Tara hands him an ice-pack) Thank you.
BUFFY: Aw. Poor lumpy Giles.
TARA: What do you think the demon wanted, anyway?
Dawn jumps as the piece of lamp in her hands crumbles.
TARA: I mean, aside from costing you a bundle.
BUFFY: Don't know. Now he's way too dead to answer that question. Wish I knew who hired him.
WILLOW: Ooh, I could do a locator spell...
Giles looks up from holding the ice pack against his head, gives Willow a look.
WILLOW: (stops smiling) Or not.
XANDER: That's it. (drops the table leg) Four hours. I'm calling it, people. This coffee-table is gone. (melodramatically) Damn it!
DAWN: Also, this lamp's in critical condition. (shot of Buffy looking worried)
WILLOW: Well, uh, let's take these things out to the trash and give 'em a decent throwin' out.
Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya pick up the various pieces of lamp and coffee-table, and exit. Giles walks over to Buffy, looking concerned. Dawn watches them anxiously.
GILES: (sits next to Buffy) Buffy?
BUFFY: (quietly) I don't think I can do this.
GILES: Yes you can. Your mother dealt with this sort of thing all the time. (Buffy looks up) She took ... one crisis at a time ... without the aid of any superpowers ... and got through it all. So can you.
BUFFY: You sure?
GILES: I'm positive.
Buffy looks slightly reassured. The phone rings.
BUFFY: (gets up) Who's calling me? Everybody I know lives here. (walks toward kitchen) I'll be back.
Buffy exits into the kitchen.
DAWN: (to Giles) I bet it's creditors. The hounding's begun. I read about it. So you think we'll starve?
GILES: I very much doubt it.
DAWN: No chance I'd have to quit school to work assembling cheap toys in a poorly-ventilated sweatshop?
GILES: Poorly-ventilated ... What have you been reading?
Buffy returns, walking quickly and purposefully toward the front.
GILES: Buffy, what is it?
She turns back to face them, pauses for a moment before speaking.
GILES: Is he in trouble?
BUFFY: He knows that I'm ... (trails off. Shot of Dawn watching with concern) He, he needs to see me. I have to see him.
GILES: Yes, of course. You'll leave for L.A. tomorrow.
BUFFY: (shakes her head) Not L.A. And not here. Somewhere in the middle. There's a, a place.
GILES: I see. Well, we should get all these ... bills and things out of the way before-
BUFFY: I gotta go now.
She starts to leave, pauses and turns back again.
BUFFY: Um, thanks for taking care of this for me.
She exits, leaving Dawn and Giles staring at each other in dismay in the trashed living room.
Executive Producers: Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon.
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