TITLE: The Kingdom and The Power and The Glory, Pt. 1

AUTHORS: SpikeGirl and SarahElaine

PAIRINGS: W/T, S/B (eventually), who knows who else...

RATING: PG-13.  Nothing that wouldn't be on the show.

DISCLAIMER: We don't own the show.  We've accepted this (kinda).  Can't you?

SUMMARY: Yeah, most of season 6 sucked. We've taken it upon ourselves to fix all of the mistakes Joss made in this alternate season 7. This fic represents our ideal Buffy world. *sigh*  We know we'll never see it, so, please, let us dream.

FEEDBACK: PLEASE!  Nothing would make us happier!  Except certain celebrities in compromising positions. ;)  SpikeGirl is spike_girl@angelfire.com and SarahElaine is sarahelaine814@yahoo.com.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Spoilers through "Grave".

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

"The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, Pt. 1"

CAST LIST

BUFFY SUMMERS

Sarah Michelle Gellar

XANDER HARRIS

Nicholas Brendon

RUPERT GILES

Anthony Stewart Head

ANYA/ANYANKA

Emma Caulfield

TARA MACLAY

Amber Benson

WILLOW ROSENBERG

Alyson Hannigan

DAWN SUMMERS

Michelle Trachtenberg

SPIKE

James Marsters

GLORY

Clare Kramer

JONATHAN LEVINSON

Danny Strong

ANDREW WELLS

Thomas Lenk

EMILY

Emilie De Ravin

VAMP 1

VAMP 2

VAMP 3

VAMP 4


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

"The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, Pt.1"

SET LIST

INTERIORS

MAGIC BOX

      SHOP

      TRAINING ROOM

SUNNYDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY

BUFFY'S HOUSE

      BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM

      BUFFY'S DINING ROOM

      WILLOW'S BEDROOM

TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT

      TARA/GLORY'S LIVING ROOM

      TARA/GLORY'S BEDROOM

      TARA/GLORY'S KITCHEN

EXTERIORS

CITY STREETS

MAGIC BOX

SUNNYDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY

TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT

      FRONT DOOR

      BOTTOM OF FIRE ESCAPE

SUNNYDALE CITY LIMITS

SUNNYDALE CEMETARY


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

"The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, Pt. 1"

TEASER

               GILES (v.o.)

      Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

1    EXT.     BUFFY'S PORCH – DAY

     Buffy and Spike are sitting on the steps.

                 BUFFY

I don't understand about theology or dimensions, or any of it, really... but I think I was in heaven.

     Spike stares at Buffy, stunned.

                BUFFY

And now I'm not.  I was torn out of there. Pulled out... by my friends.

2    INT.     BUFFY'S DINING ROOM

     Tara and Willow are sitting at the table.

               TARA

I just... think we both need some... I don't know, space.

     Willow looks distraught. 

            TARA

         Oh, I can't believe I'm saying this.

            WILLOW

         Are you saying you're gonna leave me?

3    INT.     DOUBLEMEAT PALACE – BREAK ROOM

     Buffy is seated at the table and Manny is standing over her.

               MANNY

Why do you want to work here, Buffy?  You seem like such a sharp young woman, and there are a lot of other jobs.

      BUFFY

Well, I-I kinda need money pretty quickly, like, today, and, and so I didn't want to go through a lengthy interview process, and I figured this was probably the fastest... way... to...  Be... cause I... wanted to be part of the DoubleMeat experience?

4    INT.     ARCADE

Buffy and Willow are standing together, facing Jonathon, Warren, and Andrew.

                 BUFFY

So you three have, what, banded together to be pains in my ass?

      WARREN

We're your arch-nemisises... ses.

5     INT.     SPIKE'S CRYPT

     Buffy, in black commando gear, is standing in front of Spike.

            BUFFY

         Tell me you love me.

            SPIKE

         I love you.  You know I do.

     Buffy steps closer to Spike.

            BUFFY

         Tell me you want me.

            SPIKE

         I always want you.  In point of fact-

            BUFFY

         Shut up.

     Buffy pulls Spike down onto the crypt and kisses him.

6     INT.     WEDDING CHAPEL

Anya, in a torn and bloody wedding dress, is pleading with Xander, who is wearing a tux.

         ANYA

      So... we're ready now.  Let's get married.

Anya turns towards the altar but Xander stops her.

         XANDER

      I...

Anya turns back to face Xander.

         XANDER

I'm not.  I'm not ready. I can't, Ahn, I'm sorry.

7     INT.     DARKNESS

Anya is still wearing her wedding dress.  She is seated and crying.  A hand offers her a handkerchief, which she accepts.  The camera pulls back to reveal that D'Hoffryn is the owner of the hand.

         D'HOFFRYN

It's time you got back to what you do best... don't you think?

8    INT.     WILLOW'S BEDROOM – NIGHT

     Willow is sitting on her bed and Tara is standing in front of her.

               TARA

              You can't just have coffee and expect...

               WILLOW

              I know.

               TARA

There's just so much to work through.  And can we just skip it?  Can-can you just be kissing me now?

A look of hope spreads across Willow's face as realization dawns.  She stands up and walks over to Tara and they kiss passionately.

9    EXT. BUFFY'S BACKYARD - DAY

     Warren shoots Buffy.  He runs and fires a shot behind him.

10   INT. WILLOW AND TARA'S BEDROOM

Tara gets shot in the chest and falls to the floor.  Blood splatters Willow's shirt.

                 WILLOW

                Tara?  Oh, God!

Willow, who is holding Tara's dead body, looks up at the camera, her eyes red.

11   EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

Warren is strung up between two trees.  Willow, in all her dark magic glory, raises her hand and Warren's skin is removed.

12   EXT.     CEMETARY – NIGHT

Andrew and Jonathan are standing at the edge of a gaping hole in the Earth, where Buffy and Dawn have just fallen in.  They look over at Xander, who is lying unconscious on the ground.  Jonathan turns to Andrew.

             JONATHAN

            Mexico, huh?

They run off.

13   EXT. SATANIC TEMPLE ON BLUFF – DAY

     Willow is blasting the temple with magic.

                 XANDER

                I love you.

     Xander holds Willow as she cries.

14   EXT. CAVE SOMEWHERE IN AFRICA - NIGHT

     Spike is hunched, beaten, on the cave floor.

                 SPIKE

                Make me what I was.

                 DEMON

                We will return... your soul.

Spike looks up and screams as the demon places his hand on Spike's chest, effectively returning his soul.  Spike's eyes glow.

15   EXT.     STREETS OF SUNNYDALE - DAY

Zoom in on Xander getting out of his car.  He starts walking down the street, approaching the Magic Box.  Camera swivels to Magic Box window, where we can see Giles and Anya unpacking a box of books.  Anya's mouth is moving but we can't hear what she's saying.  Back to Xander, who is walking quickly past the shop, head down. 

                 XANDER

I can do this.  The Xan-man has faced much worse; praying-mantis substitutes and saving the world with yellow crayons, for example.  This is no big deal.

Xander stops walking and turns to face a building on his right, which we don't see as camera is on Xander's face.

                 XANDER

Xander is strong. Xander is a man.  (Hesitates)  Maybe Xander should do this later.  Maybe Xander should stop talking in third person.  (Pauses as he rubs his hands together)  This is for Willow.  This is for Willow.  Here goes nothing.

Camera moves behind Xander, as he walks through door of SUNNYDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY. 

16   INT. SUNNYDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY

We follow Xander into the building, looking around from his POV.  Xander stops and we again focus on him.  He spies the Information Desk and wiggles his eyebrows as he realizes that the librarian is very attractive.  Xander adjusts his coat and approaches the desk.

                 LIBRARIAN (EMILY)

                Can I help you find something?

                 XANDER

                I need a book.

                 EMILY

That's what we traditionally have here at the library.

                 XANDER

Of course!  I knew that.  I come to the library all the time.  My friends call me Crazy Library Guy.  They've just moved the books around since I've been here last.

                 EMILY

                You haven't been here since 1974?

                 XANDER

                (Laughing) 1974.  That's a good one. 

Xander searches his pockets for something.  He pulls a folded slip of paper out of his jacket pocket and opens it while Emily impatiently drums her fingers on the desk.

                 XANDER

                Here we go.  I need this.

     Xander slaps the paper down on the counter in front of Emily.

                 EMILY

                Beer?  Toilet Paper?

                 XANDER

Shopping list.  (Thinking quickly)  For a friend.  Try the other side.

     Emily picks up the paper and flips it over.

                 EMILY

Overcoming Death.  Cheery title.  Bit of light reading?

             XANDER

It was either that or Uncle Bozo's Crazy Clowns.  (Laughs at his own joke, which Emily doesn't find at all amusing.  Xander clears his throat.)  Do you have it?

Emily turns to the computer on her desk and presses a button.  Nothing happens so she presses another button.

                 EMILY

Stupid piece of crap!  (She turns back to Xander.)  My computer has decided to take a nap, so I can't find your book for you.  But we have patron computers over there that you're more than welcome to use. 

Emily points behind Xander, who turns and sees the bank of computers set up next to the entrance.  He pales and turns back to Emily.

                 XANDER

Computers and I do not get along at all.  We're like oil and water or... something equally unmixable.

                 EMILY

That's why we have assistants.  Let's see.  (Emily scans the library and points to a blonde girl whose back is to us)  There's one of them.  She'd be happy to help you out.

                 XANDER

Thanks so much.  You've been extraordinarily helpful.  How can I make it up to you?

Emily rolls her eyes and motions for Xander to move so that the next patron, who just showed up behind him, can be helped.  He waves stupidly at Emily and walks towards the assistant, who is shelving a small handful of books.

                 XANDER

Excuse me?  I heard that you might be able to interpret computer for me. 

The assistant turns around and we see that it's Tara, who gets a 'deer in the headlights' look, drops her books, and runs out of the library.  Zoom in on Xander, who is wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

                 XANDER

                Whoa.

BLACKOUT

END OF TEASER


ACT ONE

17   INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

     Xander and Buffy are sitting on the couch in Buffy's living room.

                

                 BUFFY

                Are you sure it was her?

                 XANDER

                Believe me.  I know what Tara looks like.

     Buffy raises an eyebrow at Xander.

                 XANDER

What?  I'm a heterosexual male!  Can you blame me?  Anyway, I asked the librarian at the desk and she said that the girl's name was Tara Maclay and that she'd started a week ago.  Which, even though we live in Sunnydale, is way too big of a coincidence.

                 BUFFY

                And she just ran off?

                 XANDER

                Yeah, which proves that it's Tara.

                 BUFFY

                Tara ran away from you a lot?

                 XANDER

No!  But she recognized me well enough to run.  And that just sounded bad.

                 BUFFY

What are we going to do?  Should we tell Willow?

                 XANDER

Yes.  No.  I don't know.  Maybe we should wait until we know for sure what's going on.  We don't want to give her any false hope.  You know how she's been since...

                 BUFFY

                I know.

DISSOLVE TO:

18   INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - DAY

Willow is sitting alone on her (and Tara's) bed, holding a picture of Tara.  Tears roll down her cheeks and she traces Tara's cheek with her index finger.  There is a knock at the door and Willow jumps.  She shoves Tara's picture under her pillow and quickly wipes the tears from her face.

                 WILLOW

                Come in.

The door opens to reveal Dawn, who enters the room and sits down next to Willow.

                 DAWN

Do you still want to go school shopping with me?  You don't have to...

                 WILLOW

Of course I still want to go, Dawnie.  I need to check in with Giles at the Magic Box, anyway. 

                 DAWN

He's still being pretty strict with the checking in, huh?

                 WILLOW

Yeah.  Can you blame him?  I'd be strict with me, too.  I'm surprised he even lets me in the store.

                 DAWN

Well you did pretty much fix it back up by yourself. 

                 WILLOW

                It was the least I could do after...

Willow looks past Dawn and tears come again to her eyes.  Dawn frowns.

                 DAWN

So should we go?  We can swing by the shop on our way.

     Willow smiles and stands up from the bed. 

                 WILLOW

Yeah.  Let me just wash my face and I'll be ready.

Willow leaves the room and Dawn stands up to follow when she sees the edge of the picture frame peeking out from underneath the pillow.  Dawn pulls the picture out and smiles at it.

                 DAWN

You'd be really proud of her, Tara.  She's doing really well.

Dawn kisses the picture before gently putting it back under the pillow.  She leaves the room, closing the door behind her, which the camera holds on.

DISSOLVE TO:

19   EXT. TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – FRONT DOOR - DAY

The bedroom door becomes the outside of an apartment door; 208, according to the metal numbers. 

20   INT. TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM - DAY

Camera goes through door and travels through apartment, revealing an immaculately furnished living room. 

DISSOLVE TO:

21   INT. TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – BEDROOM - DAY

We travel through open door on right to bedroom.  Clothes are being tossed haphazardly onto the floor from an unseen person inside the walk-in closet.

                 VOICE (O.S.)

Where is it?  I swear I put it in here when I unpacked.  A dress, a dress, my kingdom for a – here it is.

     A red dress is held up and Glory exits from the closet.

                 GLORY

     I have got to get me some new minions.

BLACKOUT

END OF ACT ONE


ACT TWO

22   INT. MAGIC BOX - DAY

Anya is dusting while Giles is seated at the table looking through some accounting ledgers.

                 ANYA

                But...

                 GILES

I'm sorry, Anya.  I'm not going to go back to England until I'm sure that Willow is fully recovered.

                 ANYA

She's fine!  It's been three months since she went all crazy and killed people.  Besides, if her hair shows any signs of turning black, I promise I'll call you.

Giles doesn't bother answering her.  He pauses to clean his glasses and continues.

                 GILES

And as I still technically own the store, you're just going to have to put up with me 'loafing around', as you so graciously put it.

                 ANYA

                Just admit it, Giles; you're prejudiced.

                 GILES

                Excuse me?

                 ANYA

You can't stand having a demon running your precious store.  You had no qualms about leaving the store in my hands before I returned to the vengeance fold.

Giles opens his mouth to answer when the bell clangs above the door.  Anya looks down at her feather duster and then around, searching for a place to stash it.  She tosses it behind the counter and turns toward the door, a wide smile on her face.  Her smile fades as she sees that only Willow and Dawn have entered the shop and, sighing, she exits to retrieve her duster.  Willow and Dawn join Giles at the table.

                 WILLOW

                Hey.

                 GILES

                Hello.  How are you feeling today?

                 WILLOW

                Not at all evil, thank you.  And you?

                 GILES

I'm almost certain that Anya has hired a hit man to kill me in my sleep.  But other than that, I'm smashing.

                 DAWN

                She still mad about you taking the store back?

                 GILES

                Quite.  How's Buffy's new job?

                 DAWN

It's great.  I still can't believe that she got it.

     Anya reenters and resumes dusting.

                 WILLOW

She's a security guard for the city cemeteries, Dawnie.  Who's more qualified?

                 DAWN

That's not what I meant.  Don't you think it's a little weird that Buffy quits the Doublemeat and the security job opens the next day?

                

                 GILES

(Looking uncomfortable) Someone might have called the city and complained about all the vicious attacks and apparent grave robberies.  And then that same person, posing as a different person, might have written a letter pointing out the need for nighttime security.

                 ANYA

                And by someone he means himself.

                 DAWN

I figured that much.  I just can't believe she's finally getting paid to slay.  Hey!  That almost rhymed!

The bell dings again and Anya tosses her duster under the table.  Buffy enters the store, followed by a very reluctant Xander.

                 ANYA

Geez!  Don't you people have anywhere else to go?  We're trying to run a business here!

                 BUFFY

                It's nice to see you too, Anya.

Buffy and Xander join Giles, Willow, and Dawn at the table which Anya disappears under to again retrieve her duster.

                 DAWN

                (To Buffy and Xander) What's up?

                 BUFFY

Nothing.  I just needed to talk to Anya about something.

Buffy says this nonchalantly but Giles, Willow, and Dawn stare at her.  Anya comes back up from under the table.

                 ANYA

                Nice shoes!  Talk to me about what?

                 BUFFY

It's kinda private.  Can we talk in the training room?

                 ANYA

Sure.  It's not like we ever have customers.  (Anya sets the feather duster on the table and follows Buffy toward the training room.)  And Xander?  Your pants are undone.

Xander turns red and fumbles to zip his pants.

DISSOLVE TO:

23   INT.     TRAINING ROOM - DAY

     Anya turns to face Buffy, as Anyanka.            

                 ANYANKA

                Is there a... wish that I can grant for you?

                 BUFFY

                (Quickly) No! 

     Anyanka scowls and turns back into Anya.      

                 BUFFY

                Xander was at the library today...

     Anya crosses her arms and stares incredulously at Buffy.

                 BUFFY

I know.  I didn't believe him at first either.  Anyway, he swears that he saw Tara.  And I was hoping that you could look on the internet and see if you could find anything like hotel registries or credit card receipts.  We'd have Willow do it, but...

                 ANYA

She's living in an apartment about a block away.

     Buffy crosses her arms and stares incredulously at Anya.

                 ANYA

I hear things in my line of work.  (Looks around her)  My other line of work.

                 BUFFY

                You could have said something.

                 ANYA

I figured that you'd know she was back if she wanted you to know.

     A beat as this sinks in.

                 BUFFY

Get your stuff and let's go.  You know where she lives?  Take me there.

                 ANYA

Was she happy to see Xander, Buffy?  (A beat)  Do you think she wants to see us?

                 BUFFY

It wasn't a request.  We need to know why she's back.

Willow walks into the training room and Buffy and Anya step back away from each other, looking guilty.

                 WILLOW

                What's going on?

                 BUFFY

                Nothing.

                 ANYA

                She needed advice... about sex.

BLACKOUT

24   EXT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – FRONT DOOR - DAY

     Buffy and Anya are walking up a flight of stairs.

                 ANYA

                I still don't think this is a good idea.

Buffy silences Anya with a withering look and they continue climbing the stairs.  They reach a landing and stop in front of a door; the door we saw before – 208.

BLACKOUT

25   EXT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – FRONT DOOR - DAY

     Buffy raises her hand to knock and Anya steps back.

                 ANYA

           So I brought you here and now I can go, right?

Buffy places her hand firmly on Anya's upper arm, which we zoom in on, then out as Buffy speaks.

                 BUFFY

                Why are you so freaked about this?

                 ANYA

                (Completely falsely) I'm not!

Anya nervously plays with her hair and shows a strained smile.  Buffy lets her hand drop from Anya's arm but puts it up on the banister, effectively blocking Anya's exit.

                 BUFFY

                Spill.

                 ANYA

(Angrily) I don't know anything specific, okay?  Just murmurs of something big; something big having to do with Tara.

                 BUFFY

Well she is back from the dead.  That's kinda big, right?

                 ANYA

                It's more than that. 

     Buffy glares at Anya and Anya puts her arms up in defense.

                 ANYA

                I told you, I don't know anything specific!

     Buffy sighs in frustration and Anya gestures at the door.

                 ANYA

Are you going to knock?  Cause I'm all for getting out of here if you are.

Buffy grabs Anya with her left hand and knocks on the door with her right.  Anya squirms for a few seconds, trying to break Buffy's grasp, but soon gives up, realizing that it's futile.

                 ANYA

                You don't have to be mean about it.

Buffy knocks again.

DISSOLVE TO:

26   INT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM - DAY

We travel through the door, again observing the living room. 

DISSOLVE TO:

27   EXT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – BOTTOM OF FIRE ESCAPE - DAY

We exit out the open back window and down the fire escape where we see Tara crawling down the ladder.  She jumps the last few feet, awkwardly as she's not the Slayer, and turns around, bumping right into Spike.

                 SPIKE

                How's it going, pet?

     BLACKOUT

28   EXT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – BOTTOM OF FIRE ESCAPE - DAY

     Tara and Spike are circling each other.

                 TARA

                It's daylight!  And you're out in it!

                 SPIKE

And you're alive.  Guess we've got some catching up to do.  (Pause) What are you running from?

                 TARA

                (Looking down) Buffy and Anya.

                 SPIKE

I get that.  Buffy can be so... bloody meddlesome.  Let me guess; she just found out that you're you again?

Tara nods and Spike hugs her awkwardly.  Tara returns the hug hungrily; she hasn't been hugged in a long time.  After a moment she steps back and Spike brushes his clothes off, trying to appear cool.

                 TARA

So what's with the sunlight?  And the hugging?  Not that I mind, of course.  It's been awhile.

                 SPIKE

                Long story or short story?

     Tara looks up at the landing by her apartment and bites her lip.

                 TARA

                Short story now, long story later.

                

                 SPIKE

      Went to Africa.  Fought a flame-y hand demon.  Cave guy made me human.  You?

                 TARA

      Woke up one morning in this apartment.  Realized I was no longer dead... after awhile.

                 SPIKE

                Sunnydale can seem kinda hellish at times.

Tara nods and there's a tender beat as Spike brings his hand up to rest on Tara's upper arm; like Buffy did with Anya, but gently.

                 TARA

                Want to get out of here?

     Spike nods.

                 SPIKE

                Let me just grab my stuff. 

Spike recedes down the alley, out of view.  Tara turns away from the fire escape and we hear a rush of air behind her.

                 TARA

                (As she's turning around) Spike?

     Buffy is standing in front of Tara, her arms folded. 

                 BUFFY

Not quite.  (A beat as Tara's question sinks in.)  Spike?

Anya jumps down from the fire escape, landing roughly and nearly falling.  Tara grabs Anya's arm to steady her and Anya flinches and pulls away.  She smiles guiltily at Tara.  Spike rounds the corner.

                 SPIKE

Tara?  (His eyes widen as he takes in the scene in front of him.)  Buffy...

                 ANYA

                Whoa.

BLACKOUT

29   INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Tara and Spike are sitting on the couch in Buffy's living room.  Anya is sitting in the chair and Buffy is pacing in front of them.

                 BUFFY

So let me get this straight.  You (pointing to Tara) just woke up one morning and you have no idea why or how.

Tara nods tentatively and everyone looks at her, knowing she's not telling the entire truth.  Buffy pauses, her arms crossed, for a beat before continuing her pacing.

                 BUFFY

And you (points to Spike) are back from... Africa... where you met a demon in a cave who made you human and you have no idea why or how.

                 SPIKE

                Pretty much, yeah. 

Everyone looks at Spike, knowing he's not telling the entire truth.  Buffy pauses, her arms crossed, for a beat before she sits down on the couch between Tara and Spike.  She hugs Tara.

                 BUFFY

                (To Tara) I'm glad you're back. 

Tara smiles and returns the hug.  Buffy turns to Spike, who smiles, waiting for his hug.

                 BUFFY

                I'm not quite sure how I feel about you.

     Spike sinks back into the couch, disappointed.

                 TARA

                How's Willow?

Buffy opens her mouth to answer when we hear the front door open.  There is the sound of laughter and Dawn enters the room, followed by Willow.  They are both carrying packages from various stores.  Dawn is facing Willow and they continue laughing until they see Tara.  Dawn drops her packages and leaps onto the couch, hugging Tara fiercely.  Willow just stands there looking shocked.  Dawn pulls away and moves so that she is standing next to Buffy, who puts an arm around her sister.  Tara stands up from the couch and walks toward Willow.  Tears start to fall from Willow's eyes as Tara reaches for her and touches her shoulder.

             WILLOW

            Tara, I...

Tara places her finger on Willow's lips, silencing her and Willow dissolves into tears.  Tara holds Willow and they sink slowly to the ground until Tara is holding Willow in her lap and rocking her back and forth.  The camera pans over the other character's faces.  Spike is looking away, trying not to appear affected.  Anya is staring wide-eyed at Willow and Tara.  Dawn looks like she's about to squeal with happiness and Buffy has tears in her eyes.  Buffy glances quickly at Spike and then away.

             DAWN

            How...

Buffy moves to shush Dawn.  Willow stands up and gives the gang a watery smile.

             WILLOW

            I'm okay.

Tara stands up behind Willow and places a hand at Willow's elbow.  Dawn and Willow both notice Spike at the same time.  The next two lines are delivered simultaneously.

             WILLOW

            What is he doing here?

             DAWN

            I am so confused...

Everyone laughs awkwardly at Willow and Dawn and there's a moment of uncomfortable silence.

             TARA

(To Willow) I'm going to go freshen up, baby.

     Willow smiles at Tara as she exits and then turns to Buffy.

                WILLOW

When did this happen?  How long have you known?  Why didn't you tell me?

      BUFFY

We only found out today.  And we wanted to be sure before we told you.

      DAWN

Do we know why?  Not that it's not completely awesome to have her back, but...

Buffy shakes her head and looks down for a moment before looking back up at Dawn.

             BUFFY

We're trying to figure that out.  The only thing we know so far is that she's back and doesn't know herself how she got here.

      ANYA

At least that's what she says.

     Everyone turns to stare at Anya.

                ANYA

What?  It's true.  I know I'm not the only one who thinks she knows more than she's telling us.

Footsteps are heard coming from the kitchen and Willow turns towards them.

WILLOW

Tara? 

Glory enters the room.

GLORY

Not quite, lover.

BLACKOUT

29   INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Buffy shoves Dawn down onto the couch and steps between Willow and Glory.  Spike jumps up to stand next to Buffy while Anya tries to hide behind Willow.  Willow starts running towards the kitchen.

             WILLOW

            Tara!

             GLORY

            I wouldn't if I were you.

Willow stops and turns towards Glory, glaring.

             GLORY

            (Pointing to Dawn) She knows what I'd do.

FADE TO:

30   INT.     SUNNYDALE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL – EMPLOYEE BREAK ROOM (FLASHBACK)

Dawn sits in a chair and Glory stands with her back to Dawn, buttoning her blouse.  Dawn looks fleetingly at the door.

             GLORY

You'd never make it.  I'd rip out your spine before you got half a step. And those little legs?

     Glory looks at Dawn over her shoulder and smiles.

                GLORY

They wouldn't be much good without one of those.

FADE TO:

31     INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Dawn looks at Glory and shudders.  She looks away.

             BUFFY

            How did you get here?

             GLORY

That's for me to know and you to... well, never know.  Don't get testy now, girlie.  I'm not here to kill you.  I have much better things to do with my time.  Not that I won't kill you, of course.  I just don't really feel like it right now.

Buffy moves towards Glory and Spike moves to back her up.  Glory laughs at them and runs out the door.  As soon as Glory is gone, Willow bolts for the kitchen, returning a moment later, frantic.

WILLOW

Tara's gone.

                          BLACKOUT

END OF ACT TWO


ACT THREE

32     INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Willow is standing at the bookcase tossing things from shelves and opening books and tossing them behind her.  Everyone is standing around her looking uncomfortable.

             WILLOW

            Why did I get rid of all my stuff?

             ANYA

Cause you went crazy and tried to end the world.

Everyone looks at Anya, wide-eyed, except for Willow who doesn't even interrupt her search.  Buffy glares at Anya for a minute and Anya doesn't even react.

BUFFY

Come on, Willow.  You've been working so hard to control your magic.  Is it really worth giving all of that up now?  There's always another way.

WILLOW

I'm just going to do a locator spell to find Tara, not summon the dark forces of Hell to do my evil bidding.

                ANYA

(Sarcastically) And Tara would love you doing a spell to find her.  'Cause she just loves when you do magic.

Buffy, Spike, and Dawn look away from Willow.  Willow finally ceases her search and throws her arms up in the air.  Her lower lip starts to tremble.

WILLOW

(Choked as she tries not to cry)  I have to do something!  I can't just sit here and be useless.

     Buffy walks over to Willow and puts an arm around her.

                BUFFY

You're not useless, and you know it.  Remember?  You're my big gun, and I need you.  But, I need you ALL the way, which means I can't be afraid... you know... something might... happen.

     Buffy flashes Willow a big smile.

                BUFFY

How about we call Giles?  He's had way too much free time lately.  I actually saw him bringing the guitar out of the attic the other day--we have to nip that in the bud!  I'm sure he'll know what to do.

     Dawn walks over to Willow and joins the group hug.

                DAWN

He'll totally know what to do!  Why don't we just go down to the Magic Box and talk to him about it?

     Willow looks up at Dawn and Buffy and smiles.

                WILLOW

That's a great idea, Dawnie.  Then I'll feel like I'm doing something.

Buffy throws a look back at Spike and then nods and starts walking toward the door, pushing Dawn and Willow ahead of her. 

                BUFFY

So, why don't we go now?  The sooner, the better.

Willow puts her hand on the doorframe, bringing Buffy to a halt.  She looks from Buffy to Spike and back to Buffy.

             WILLOW

            You should stay here and... stay here.

Buffy looks at Spike and then back at Willow.

             BUFFY

No, really... I mean, you might need my help.  It wouldn't do any good if you were there and I was here, and you needed me, and I wasn't where you needed me to be, and... and I was here where you didn't need to be, and... I want to help, Willow.

Buffy reaches for the door.  Dawn reaches in her pocket and pulls out her cell phone, which she holds up to show Buffy.

                 DAWN

We'll be fine.  If we need you we'll 'reach out and touch you'.  Plus, you're needed here.

     Spike walks forward and sighs.

                 SPIKE

Bugger this.  I can take hint, you know.  I'll look for the little witch in my own way.  In the meantime, if something else comes up...

     Spike stops in front of Buffy and gazes into her eyes.

                SPIKE

           I've got your back.

Buffy looks back at Spike for a moment before looking away guiltily.  Buffy turns to Willow and Dawn.

BUFFY

Well, I guess if you really think you're okay, I can stay here.  But make sure to call the SECOND you find something.  Got it?

     Dawn rolls her eyes at Buffy and starts out the door.

                DAWN

           I think I can remember that, Miss Minchin.

Willow looks at Buffy and nods her head as if to say 'I told you so.'

ANYA (o.s.)

Oh!

Everyone turns to look at Anya, who is looking up and into the air.

ANYA

I need to... um... go somewhere else.  Some girl just found her boyfriend in bed with her best friend in El Salvador.  I'll be back soon.

Anya teleports away.  Spike looks shocked but no one else seems to have even noticed.

             DAWN

(To Spike)  She's been doing that all summer.  It's getting kinda old.  Can I talk to you?  (To Willow)  I'll be right out.

Buffy and Willow exit through the front door.  Dawn puts her hand on Spike's arm.

DAWN

I know that you have a soul now, but having a soul doesn't necessarily make you a good guy.  And if you do anything to hurt my sister?  I'll rip your spine out.  And those legs?  They wouldn't be much good without one of those.

Dawn removes her hand from Spike's arm and walks toward the door.  Buffy comes back in as Dawn is leaving.  She looks quizzically at Dawn as she walks out the door.  Spike nods at Buffy and starts to follow Dawn out.

SPIKE

Lil' sis is growing up right proper, isn't she?  Guess she's learning from the best.

     Spike turns to Buffy, suddenly serious.

                SPIKE

           You take care of her, Buffy.

     Spike turns back around and starts opening the door.

                BUFFY

           Spike?

Spike turns back to face Buffy again and watches as she sits down heavily on the couch.

                BUFFY

           You have two minutes.  Explain.

                SPIKE

           Explain what, pet?

Spike sits down next to Buffy and Buffy scoots away without realizing it.  She looks up at him guiltily and awkwardly looks down at her hands.

             BUFFY

            I'm sorry.

Spike looks up at Buffy, surprised.

             SPIKE

            No, Buffy.  I'm sorry.

Spike slowly, almost reluctantly, reaches up and gently runs a finger along Buffy's jaw line.  They lean in to each other, painfully slow, and their lips almost touch when Buffy turns away.

             BUFFY

I can't do this.  The last time I saw you, you tried to...

Spike pulls back abruptly and tears come to his eyes.  He glances away, ashamed.

SPIKE

I know; God, how I know. If you only knew how many times I've replayed it in my mind...

     Spike stands up and starts pacing in front of the couch.

                SPIKE

I realize nothing I can say will make it better, and I'm okay with that. I just... you have to know... I never meant to hurt you. I never realized I was capable of it. As soon as I saw the look on your face, something inside me snapped. That was the moment I saw me, and I hated what I saw. So, I decided to make a change...

      BUFFY

I get that you've changed, Spike, but I can't just forget what happened because you're different now...

                SPIKE

I don't want you to forget, Buffy. Never forget. I was... something horrible; disgusting. I may not be any better now, but I'm trying.

     Spike smiles weakly at Buffy.

                SPIKE

           That's got to count for something, right?

     Buffy looks at Spike and then away.

                BUFFY

           (Quietly) I don't know.

     Spike nods at Buffy and starts for the door.

                SPIKE

I'll take it. Better than the 'I never want to see you around here again' I was expecting.

     He reaches for the door and pauses, his hand on the knob.

SPIKE

But you will let me know? If you need anything?

Buffy nods and smiles.  Spike walks out the door, closing it behind him.  Buffy sits alone for a few minutes, and the camera zooms in on her.  She takes a watery breath.

BUFFY

(Whispering) I need you.

             BLACKOUT

33   EXT.     SUNNYDALE CITY LIMITS – DAY

Tara is standing behind some bushes about ten feet in front of the 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign.  She gazes longingly at the bus stop about a hundred feet past the sign.

             TARA

Thirteenth time's a charm.  Bus should arrive in about ten minutes and I need to be standing next to that sign... simple. 

She steps out from behind the bushes and we see that she has a full backpack on her back and a suitcase in her hand. 

TARA

Here we go...

            DISSOLVE TO:

34   INT.     MAGIC BOX – DAY

Willow, Dawn, Giles, Anya, and Xander are sitting at the table, books spread in front of them.

             XANDER

            Where's Buffy when you need donuts?

             ANYA

            Why don't you go get donuts?

             XANDER

'Cause Buffy's Little Miss Money Bags now with her new cushy city job.  If I go get donuts then I have to pay for them.

      GILES

I'll give you the money if you leave now and shut up about donuts.

Xander sits up straight and looks up at Giles, a goofy smile on his face.

XANDER

Really?

Giles pulls his wallet out of his pocket and opens it.  He takes out a $20 bill and tosses it onto the table.  Xander picks it up and gazes at it happily, slowly rising from his seat at the table.

XANDER

Ah, sweet, beautiful Andrew Jackson.  You are my secret to happiness... and donuts.

                GILES

           We had a deal.

Xander mimes zipping his lips and shoves the bill in his pocket as he walks briskly out of the store.

             WILLOW

            Thank you.

             GILES

I was about to give him $500 and send him to Mexico for his blasted donuts.

     Dawn looks up from her book and sighs loudly.

                DAWN

This is pointless.  Didn't we already not find all this research when we were trying to find out about Glory the first time?

     Willow and Anya look up from their books to agree with Dawn. 

                WILLOW

           I just wish I knew what Glory did with Tara.

                DAWN

           I'm sure she's okay.

                GILES

(Suddenly)  What spell did you do to take Tara's brain back from Tara?

      WILLOW

I don't know.  It was a spell from...

Willow looks at the spines of the books in front of her and then over at Giles'. 

WILLOW

That one.

Giles takes his glasses off and rubs the bridge of his nose and he hands the book to Willow and points at a page.

GILES

Was it this spell?

Willow looks at it and smiles.

WILLOW

That's it.

Giles replaces his glasses and sighs.

GILES

I know what happened to Tara.

Everyone looks up from their books to stare at Giles.

WILLOW

What?

GILES

She's Glory.

BLACKOUT

35   EXT.     SUNNYDALE CITY LIMITS - DAY

Tara is where we left her.  She starts walking towards the bus stop, slowly at first but quickly gaining speed.  She's running as she passes the town sign and she morphs into Glory, who comes to a screeching halt and looks down at the bags in her hand.  She turns around and saunters back to Tara's previous spot in the bushes.

             GLORY

You're strong, girlie, but not strong enough.  We're not leaving this town, at least not yet.  And you're getting tired but I could do this all day.

Glory morphs back into Tara, who is breathing hard and looks exhausted.  She sighs and frustrated tears come to her eyes.  She bites her lip and takes a few deep breaths to control her tears.  She starts walking away from the town sign.  She opens the trunk to a car parked by the side of the road and puts her bags in. 

             TARA

Fine.  We'll stay.  But I'm not giving up yet.  And definitely not without a fight.  I won't let you hurt the people I love... no matter what I have to do.

Tara gets in the driver's side of the car.  She starts the car and speeds away.

DISSOLVE TO:

36     EXT.     SUNNYDALE CEMETERY - NIGHT

     Spike walks away from his crypt, muttering.

                SPIKE

First it's all 'sure, Spike, I'll just stay here until you're back--no problem.' Then I come back and it's 'hey, Spike, just give me a few days to find a place of my own.' NOW, it's bloody 'do you really think a human should be living out here? You can stick around for a bit until you find someplace to stay, but there's this girl...'

     Spike kicks a tombstone over angrily.

                SPIKE

Clem's my mate and all, but come on! All for some girl?

     Spike pauses and smiles to himself.

                SPIKE

           Can't really fault him, can I?

Spike quietly continues his inner monologue, allowing three vampires to sneak up behind him.

                VAMP 1

Look what we have here, boys. All alone in the cemetery at night.  Almost like he knew we were coming.

     The other vampires laugh and begin to close in on Spike.

                VAMP 1

           So... any famous last words?

Spike laughs heartily, which confuses the vampires, who are now circling him.

                VAMP 2

I don't think you quite get it. We're here... to kill you.

     Spike wipes tears from his eyes and stares at the vampires.

                SPIKE

Oh, come on! Is this for real? Where's the hidden camera?

Spike glances from left to right, and then looks at the confused vampires.

                SPIKE

What, you're going to suck me dry? Ooh- better yet- sire me?

                VAMP 3

           Well, since you ask-

Spike smiles again. Unseen by him, Buffy, dressed in a Sunnydale Security uniform, strolls by with a stake, obviously on patrol. She takes stock of the situation and is about to jump in when she hears Spike speak. She ducks behind a headstone and watches, curious.

                SPIKE

It's a little redundant, is all. You sire me? Been there, done that, got over it.

                VAMP 3

What the hell are you talking about? If you think the crazy talk will spare you, you've got another thing coming. You're human. H-U-M-A-N. Heart beating, breathing, living.  Hate to break it to you, but you're not a vampire.

     Spike rolls his eyes.

                SPIKE

Not anymore, obviously. But I was. 120 plus years and regret, mate.

     Spike straightens up proudly.

                SPIKE

I've moved onto a new stage of life; living it.

     The vampires look at each other and laugh.

                SPIKE

You don't believe me? I'm sodding William the Bloody!

     The vampires look at Spike blankly.

                SPIKE

Spike? I'm a bloody living legend! Didn't your sires teach you anything?

                VAMP 3

Spike!  He did mention something about a Spike, I think... but this Spike guy is ruthless!  And this guy?

      VAMP 1

Not so much with the ruthless.

Spike looks offended and raises his fists to fight.  He looks down at himself, shakes his head, and puts his fists down.

                VAMP 2

Right. You're 'Spike'.

Vamp 2 makes air quotes whenever he says Spike and winks at the other vampires.

VAMP 2

Okay, 'Spike'... prove it.

Spike sighs and lifts up his hands in a in a 'grrr' gesture and growls. Buffy giggles slightly from her hiding place, but her laughter is cut short when the three vampires descend on Spike at once. Before she can jump in, she is grabbed from behind and we see she is faced with her own vampire.  Vamp 1 grabs Spike by the neck and goes straight for the bite, while Vamp 2 and Vamp 3 hold him back by his arms. With a yell, Spike kicks Vamp 1 in the stomach and twists out of the grip. He steps back and smiles, a hint of his old self coming through.

                SPIKE

           Step on up, kiddies, thrashings for all.

Vamp 2 lunges first and Spike easily dodges him and produces a stake from his jacket pocket. He fumbles for a moment.

                SPIKE

I've really got to see about getting that duster back. These pockets are pathetic.

Spike lands a powerful uppercut on Vamp 1 as Vamp 2 and Vamp 3 prepare to attack him from behind. Vamp 1 falls to the ground and Spike easily stakes him. With a grin, he turns towards the others.

                SPIKE

           Look at that! Human or not- I still kick ass!

We cut to Buffy, who is brushing dust off of her sweater and turns worriedly towards Spike. She sees him stake Vamp 3, then move quickly behind Vamp 2 and pin his arms around his back.

                SPIKE

           Come on... say 'uncle' when it hurts.

Vamp #2 wrenches away from Spike and lifts a tombstone out of the ground. He hurls it at Spike, who goes down quickly. Buffy runs over to help, but Spike is up before she gets there. He's bleeding from a gash on his forehead but otherwise unharmed.

                SPIKE

           Is that all you've got, then?

                VAMP 2

But... you're a human! Just an average, puny human. That should have killed you!

     Spike grins and wields his stake.

                SPIKE

           Guess I'm not so average, huh?

Spike throws the stake at the last vampire, hitting him in the chest and dusting him.  He moves to retrieve his stake when he is tackled from behind and brought to the ground.

                SPIKE

           What the Hell?

He lashes out, ready to fight, when he recognizes the figure on top of him:

                SPIKE

           B... Buffy?

     Buffy stands up and offers him a hand.

                BUFFY       

           You're bleeding. We should get you bandaged up.

     Spike stares at her in awe; Buffy looks uncomfortable.

                BUFFY

           Unless you want to drink it...

Spike snaps out of his trance and accepts her hand. He stands, but their hands linger in each other's for a moment longer than necessary.  There's a beat as they look at each other.  Buffy drops Spike's hand and starts walking.

                BUFFY

Let's get you home, then. I have a feeling there are some things you still haven't told me.

Spike nods and walks alongside her as they exit the cemetery. The camera zooms out on their backs as they pass through the cemetery gates.

                SPIKE

Buffy, luv... You wouldn't happen to know where my coat is, would you?

DISSOLVE TO:

37   INT.     MAGIC BOX – NIGHT

Willow, Anya, Giles, and Xander are sitting at the table, still researching.  Anya looks thoroughly bored as she looks up from her book and glances off screen.  The camera follows her gaze and we see Dawn shrugging into Spike's duster.

             ANYA

Why are you still wearing that thing?  I thought you hated Spike.

      DAWN

I don't hate Spike.  I want to rip his intestines out through his throat.  It's completely different.  Plus, the coat is cool.

      ANYA

Do you wish that you could pull his intestines out his throat?

      DAWN

That would be- NO!

Willow looks up from her research and glares at Anya.  She points behind Anya, who turns and reads a sign posted, which says: 'No Vengeance in the Magic Box.  This means you, Anya.'  Anya rolls her eyes.

             ANYA

            Fine.  I was just trying to help.

             XANDER

            Don't.

Anya glares at Xander and opens her mouth to say something but stops when Dawn starts towards the door.  She taps Willow on the shoulder and gestures at Dawn.  Willow looks up.

             WILLOW

            Um, where are you going, Dawnie?

             DAWN

I have homework.  Which I traditionally do at home.  Hence the name homework.

      WILLOW

Do you want me to walk with you?

     Xander looks at Anya and then at Dawn.

                XANDER

           No, let me.  Please.

     Dawn shakes her head.

                DAWN

Guys, I'm in high school now.  I can really walk a few blocks by myself.  Plus?

     Dawn pulls a stake and cross out of the duster pocket.

                DAWN

           I can take care of myself.

     Dawn walks out the door.

DISSOLVE TO:

38   INT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – KITCHEN – NIGHT

Tara is standing in front of the kitchen sink.  She has a bottle of sleeping pills in one hand and a bottle of Vodka in the other.  She glances from one to the other and a tear falls onto her cheek as she sets the Vodka down on the counter and starts to open the pills.  Her hands are shaking and she drops the bottle on the floor, spilling the pills all over the place.  A frustrated growl escapes her throat and she sinks to the floor, her head in her hands. 

             TARA

            I have to take care of this myself.

There is a knock at the door and she quickly wipes the tears away from her eyes.  She gets up from the floor and walks into:

39   INT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Tara opens the door to reveal Dawn standing on the doorstep, still wearing Spike's coat.  Dawn pushes her way into the living room and spins around to face Tara, who closes the door.

             DAWN

            Why didn't you tell us?  About Glory?

Tara bites her lip and looks at the ground for a minute before answering.  She glances guiltily toward the kitchen before looking back up at Dawn. 

             TARA

Can we talk about this later?  Does anyone even know that you're here? Everyone is probably really worried about you. 

                DAWN

They think I'm at home.  And we need to talk about this now.  Because we need to figure out how to fix it.

Tara flashes a watery smile, touched at Dawn's concern.  She reaches out and pushes a lock of hair behind Dawn's ear. 

TARA

We'll figure it out, Dawnie.  We always do.  But everyone getting mad because you're missing in Sunnydale, again, is not going to help.  You should be at the Magic Box with the rest of the Scoobies, laughing with Willow and trying to keep Anya and Xander from killing each other.

     Dawn smiles back at Tara and suddenly hugs her tight.

                DAWN

How did things get so messed up, Tara?  Why can't things be like they were before when everyone was together and happy and...

Dawn breaks off as she notices the pills on the floor of the kitchen.

DAWN

What were you doing?

Dawn starts for the kitchen and Tara puts her hand on her arm, trying to stop what is inevitably coming.  Dawn shakes it off and continues to the kitchen.

TARA

(Lightly and quickly) I had a headache.  And, clumsy old me, I dropped the bottle of aspirin all over the floor and then you came to the door so I didn't have time to clean it up...

     Dawn enters:

40     INT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – KITCHEN – NIGHT

Dawn picks up the empty pill bottle and reads it.  She is trying hard not to cry; trying to be adult.

             DAWN

            Must have been one hell of a headache.

             TARA

            Dawn, this isn't what it looks like.

             DAWN

You were going to leave again.  You were going to leave me.  You were going to leave Willow. 

      TARA

No!  I don't want to leave.  I just... I can't control what Glory does or when she does things and I... I wouldn't be able to handle it if she did anything to any of you and I can't... (Tara's voice breaks)... I don't know what else to do. 

Dawn reaches down and picks the pills up off the floor.  She throws them down the sink and pours the entire bottle of Vodka down after them.  When the bottle is empty she tosses it in the trash and starts the garbage disposal.  We zoom in on the sink drain for a few minutes until the sound of grinding changes to a smooth whirring, indicating that there's nothing left of the pills.  A hand reaches into the frame to shut of the disposal and retreats, leaving the room in silence.  We pull back from the disposal and turn slowly to the door, which is closing. 

             DAWN (o.s.)

            Everything's gonna be okay.

The door closes completely and locks.

                           BLACKOUT

END OF ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

41   INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Buffy and Spike are sitting on the couch.  Buffy is wiping the blood away from Spike's forehead.  Spike winces but is silent.  Buffy pours disinfectant onto her cloth and wipes Spike's forehead again, very gently this time.  The silence becomes a little awkward as Buffy concentrates on not hurting Spike.

             SPIKE

            Thanks, luv.

Buffy pulls her hand back, startled at the break in silence.

             BUFFY

It's really not a problem. I figure it's the least I can do after... (beat) Let me just grab a bandage and you'll be as good as new, okay?

Spike nods and Buffy leaves the room. As soon as she's gone, we can see he's in some major pain. He drops his head into his hands and bites back a scream. Unbeknownst to him, Buffy returns and watches him from the doorway. She stomps her feet loudly a few times to let him know she is coming. Spike immediately straightens up and smiles weakly at her as she enters.  Buffy sits back down and affixes the bandage over Spike's wound. He flinches, but quickly recovers.

             BUFFY

Remember, you're human now, Spike. It'll take more than a few hours for you to heal. You'll just have to get used to having an actual immune system again.

     Spike smiles and closes his eyes.

                SPIKE

You know, you'd be surprised at how much you can forget in a hundred and twenty years. Guess I took the accelerated healing for granted. Just like the whole going to the bathroom thing. Do you know how weird it is to...

Buffy finishes taping the bandage down and surveys her work, effectively cutting him off.

             BUFFY

Done! And not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Usually I'm the one getting patched up, so I'm a little rusty at the actual administering of the first aid.  Tara was always our little doctor...

      SPIKE

Did you find out anything more about why she's back?

      BUFFY

No.  Glory showed up and Tara disappeared and it all became really complicated.  The gang is at the Magic Box right now researching it and I should be there, too, but I always just get in the way.  I'm better at the whole 'shoot first, ask questions later' thing.  Substituting staking for shooting, of course.  (A beat)  Do you feel any better?

Spike raises his eyebrows experimentally a few times and sighs.

             SPIKE

Does it always hurt this much?  I'm barely scratched, and it feels like I ran into a wall.

     Buffy smiles tenderly at him.

      BUFFY

You know, there is one thing I forgot. Mom always guaranteed that this would heal any ailment ten times faster.

     Spike perks up.

                SPIKE

Well, what is it?  I'm dyin' over here, Buffy, and not in the 'being resurrected as the evil undead' kind of way.

Buffy leans over and places a small kiss on top of the bandage. Spike's face lights up, and she backs away, embarrassed.

             BUFFY

(Quickly)  So, wow. You were big with the ass-kicking tonight.  Even as a human, you dusted three vamps and only came away with a cut. Have you been working out or something?

Buffy looks at Spike pointedly. Spike, still reeling from her affectionate gesture, shifts uncomfortably under her gaze.

                SPIKE

I'm still not quite sure what I am. A human-vampire hybrid? The male equivalent of a Slayer?

     Spike winks at Buffy.

                SPIKE

It doesn't really matter, I suppose. In the whole vast scheme of things, I'm nothing. Just a mistake, really.

His voice is quiet. Buffy gives him a sympathetic glance and begins to say something, but stops herself.

             BUFFY

Now that you're all fixed up I think I'll head to the Magic Box and see what's up.

Buffy stands and walks over to the door, then turns back to Spike. He is still sitting on the couch, making no motion to leave.

             BUFFY

           Right. I'm leaving now. To go to the Magic Box.

     Spike still doesn't move.

                BUFFY

You know, the Magic Box. That is NOT in this house. Meaning I will be exiting the premises now.

     A beat.  Spike is still on the couch.

                BUFFY

For crying out loud, Spike! Shouldn't you be getting home? You've lost a lot of blood, and you need to get some rest.

     Spike finally starts to stand.

                SPIKE

It's a lot easier to go home when you have a home to go to, kitten.

We hear the front door open and Dawn enters the living room, followed by a morose Tara.  Dawn leads Tara over to the couch and sits her next to Spike.  When Tara is settled, Dawn pulls Buffy into the corner.

DAWN

Can I talk to you?

BUFFY

Isn't that what we're doing?

DAWN

I just found Tara home alone surrounded by sleeping pills and alcohol.     

There is a beat while Buffy looks horrified and glances over at Tara, who is staring at her hands.  Buffy looks back at Dawn.

BUFFY

Oh my God.

DAWN

I know.  We need to get to the Magic Box and figure out what's going on before something happens.  But I can't leave Tara alone right now.

     Buffy looks at Tara again and then at Spike.

                BUFFY

           I think I have a solution to both our problems.

Buffy leaves Dawn, who is looking very confused, and approaches Tara.

BUFFY

Hey, Tara? Dawn told me you weren't feeing too well...

      TARA

I'm fine.  Really.  I just can't handle being...

      BUFFY

Alone. I know. That's why Spike here is going home with you.

      SPIKE

Going home with-what?

      DAWN

Buffy, what Tara's trying to tell you is that...

      BUFFY

She needs a little bit of company. I know, Dawn, I'm not blind. Spike needs a place to stay, and Tara needs a friend. It's perfect!

      SPIKE

Yeah, but I really don't want to impose on...

      BUFFY

Impose on who? Tara doesn't mind, do you Tara?

Buffy grabs Spike's hand and then Tara's.

             BUFFY

You two get going now. It's late, and you know dangerous it is. Stop by sometime tomorrow and I'll let you know what happens at the meeting tonight. Bye, now!

Buffy has been ushering them to the open door during this speech, and gently pushes them out of the house.  Spike gets a glimpse of Dawn as he passes her on his way out.

             SPIKE

Hey! Wait a bloody minute! What have you got on there, Nibblet?

Spike reaches out and touches Dawn's arm, smiling as he feels the leather. 

             DAWN

            Becoming human has made you delirious.

Dawn pushes Spike and Tara out the door.  Buffy shuts the door behind them and peers out the window for a few moments.

             BUFFY

Good.  They're gone.  What else did you want to tell me?

      DAWN

Do you remember how Ben was Glory?

      BUFFY

And Glory was Ben?  Yep.

      DAWN

Well now Tara is Glory!  And Glory is Tara!

      BUFFY

(A beat)  Huh?

      DAWN

Willow's spell where she put Tara back into Tara actually put some of Glory into Tara so when Glory was here before and Tara was gone she wasn't really!  She was Glory!  And now you just sent Tara away!

      BUFFY

(Slowly)  So you're saying Tara is Glory, and Glory is Tara, and I just sent Spike away with her?

      DAWN

(Flustered)  Yes!

      BUFFY

Oh. (pause) Damn it, Dawn! Spike's all human and vulnerable now, and I just... He doesn't know! Now Tara could turn into Glory at any second, and... Why couldn't you have told me this sooner?

      DAWN

I've been trying to tell you since I got home!  But you had to explain your stupid plan and no one could get a word in edgewise!

      BUFFY

It wasn't a stupid plan! Well, I mean, now it seems stupid, but it was good at the time! And come on! You're my little sister. Your job in life is to interrupt me! You pick today as the day you won't butt in on everything I say?

Dawn opens her mouth to rebut but takes a deep breath instead.

             DAWN

It's not going to do us any good if we stand here fighting about it.  What happened happened and we can't change that now.  We need to get to the Magic Box and figure something out.

     Buffy nods and opens the door.

                BUFFY

Hey--wait a minute! When did you get mature? I'm supposed to be the adult here.  Just because you're taller than me now doesn't mean that-

     Buffy sighs.

                BUFFY

Look, I'm sorry. It's not your fault, I know. I just feel- I mean, Spike's gone and now- The Magic Box. Check. Giles will know what to do.  (A beat)  Won't he?

     Dawn pulls Buffy out the door.

                DAWN

           If Giles doesn't know what to do, someone will.

     The door closes.

                DAWN (o.s.)

           Everything's gonna be okay.

                                  DISSOLVE TO:

42   INT.     TARA/GLORY'S APARTMENT – KITCHEN – NIGHT

Tara and Spike are sitting at the kitchen table, a shot glass in front of each of them.  Spike is obviously quite inebriated and Tara is pouring him another shot of Jack Daniels.  She finishes his shot and picks up a large bottle of water up off the floor next to her, which she uses to fill her shot glass.

             TARA

You've gotta keep up, Spike.  We've only had 15.  I'm not even feeling it yet.

Spike grabs for the glass and almost falls out of his chair. He looks Tara up and down. When he speaks, his words are very slurred.

             SPIKE

I don't get it, luv. Fifteen. That'sha lotta alco-alco- shots. I shuppose one more can't hurt, though.

Spike tries to toast with Tara but completely misses her raised shot glass.  They knock back their respective drinks and Tara slaps her glass down on the table.  Spike tries to follow suit but completely misses the table and falls on the floor on his face.  Tara jumps up and kneels next to him.  Spike is completely unconscious and snoring.  Tara pulls her coat off the back of her chair and shrugs it on.  She heads toward the door but turns back before she leaves the kitchen.

             TARA

I'm sorry, Spike, but it's for your own good.  I don't know what Glory would do to you if she found you here, so I'm just going to walk until I can figure out what to do.  You'll hate yourself, and probably me, in the morning, but you'll thank me later.

We zoom on Spike, who doesn't move.  The closing of the door can be heard behind his drunken snoring.

DISSOLVE TO:

43     INT.     MAGIC BOX – NIGHT

Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow, Dawn, and Giles are sitting around the table, researching.  Xander looks up from his book and glances around.

             XANDER

            Has anyone seen my donut?

             ANYA

For the hundredth time, Xander, no one has seen your donut!  You probably ate it!

                 WILLOW

                I found it!

                 XANDER

                You found my donut?

                 WILLOW

(Ignoring Xander) There's a spell called 'Aigne a Colann' that will take Glory's mind out of Tara's body!

      GILES

But...

      WILLOW

(Interrupting Giles) All we need is an Orb!

      XANDER

Why is there always an Orb?

      ANYA

Which Orb is it?  Cause we have some of them.  Like the Orb of Gramaich and the Orb of Dan.

      WILLOW

It's the Orb of Aine (AN-yuh).

Everyone turns to look at Anya, eyebrows raised.  Dawn crosses her arms in front of her chest and Buffy flexes her fists.

             ANYA

It's not me!  Look!  It's spelled A-I-N-E!  I'm Anya!  A-N-Y-A!  Totally different!

Everyone moves to look at the book.

             DAWN

(Reading) Aine was very revengeful, and it was not a safe thing to offend her.

                XANDER

           (To Anya) Are you sure it's not you?

                ANYA

Okay, it sounds like me, but it's not!  It's not me!

                WILLOW

Aine was a Celtic Goddess.  There was this stone, Cathair Aine, that belonged to her. Everyone who sat on the stone was in danger of going insane.  If they sat on the stone three times they would lose their mind forever.

      XANDER

(To Anya) You're totally sure that this isn't you...

      ANYA

Xander!  It's not me!

      WILLOW

They transferred the power of the stone into this Orb of Aine and if we can do the spell and we have the orb Glory will be trapped in it forever.

      DAWN

But this stone thing made people crazy the third time!  And Tara and Glory have been... joined... twice, right? 

      WILLOW

I'll just have to do it right this time.

      BUFFY

This time?

      GILES

This is the spell you did before, Willow.

      WILLOW

Yep.

      DAWN

But it didn't work that time!  I mean, it worked, but only until Tara... 

      WILLOW

We didn't have the orb then.  We will this time.

      XANDER

Willow, are you sure that...

                BUFFY

(Interrupting) If Willow says it will work then I'm gonna trust it'll work.  How do we get this orb thing?

DISSOLVE TO:

44   EXT.     CITY STREETS – NIGHT

We see a light approaching and think for a moment that this is the Orb.  But the light becomes two headlights and as they approach we see that they are attached to a semi.  The semi pulls up to the curb and stops.  The passenger door opens and Andrew jumps down from the truck, followed by Jonathan.

             JONATHAN

(To unseen trucker)  Bye, Bubba!  Thanks for the lift!

      ANDREW

(Also to trucker)  Muchos gracias, mi novia.

The door slams shut and the truck pulls away as Jonathan smacks Andrew in the shoulder.

ANDREW

Ow!  What was that for?

JONATHAN

You just called him your girlfriend!

ANDREW

I did not!  Novia is friend!

JONATHAN

Amigo is friend, dumbass.  Novia is girlfriend.  Didn't you learn anything while we were in Mexico?

      ANDREW

I was on a quest for redemption, Jonathan.  I didn't have time to master Mexican.

      JONATHAN

(Mumbling) They speak Spanish in Mexico, stupid.

      ANDREW

What?

      JONATHAN

Nothing.  Let's just get this thing to Buffy so that we can be redeemed and move on with our lives.

      ANDREW

Cause we're good now!  We're on the side of good!

      JONATHAN

Right!  (A beat)  Do you have the thing?

      ANDREW

(Sarcastically)  No, I left it in Mexico.  Of course I have it!

Andrew reaches into his backpack and pulls out the Orb of Aine.  Jonathan and Andrew both stare at it for a few beats.

             JONATHAN

            The Orb of Aine...

             ANDREW

            It's so shiny!

END OF EPISODE