The first four Bringers pull Pauline away from the seal and push her up against the wheel. The pentagram closes back up as her dripping blood is taken away. As the Bringers start to tie her wrists to the wheel, she sees Dawn and the other Bringers.
Oh, God, Dawnie! They've got you too!
It'll be okay, Aunt Polly. I'm sure Buffy's on her way.
What can Buffy do? When we were driving up, your Grandma told me that Grandpa was involved with vampires. I thought the whole thing was crazy, until now!
These aren't vampires. They're something much eviler.
The Bringers finish tying Pauline's wrists and crouch down, starting on her ankles.
Dawnie, if you get out of this alive, tell Colette and Cyndi and Eric and Uncle Matt I love them very much.
You'll be able to tell them yourself, Aunt Polly. Because these bastards don't have me....
She reaches up and grabs the outside hands of the two Bringers, then pulls them across her, using their knives to slash each others' throats.
... I've got them!!!
As the two Bringers drop dead, she grabs their knives in either hand, throws one knife into the back of one of the other Bringers at Pauline's feet, then leaps into the remaining three with a flying kick, bowling them over.
NOTE: Dawn is not nearly as smooth and graceful as Buffy in this sequence, but she gets the job done!
Dawn uses the other knife to slash the rope binding one of Pauline's wrists, then gives her the knife. As Pauline cuts her other wrist free, Dawn pulls the first knife out of the back of the dead Bringer, then drives back the other three Bringers with kicks and knife slashes.
Run, Aunt Polly!!!
Pauline drops off the wheel and scrambles for the tunnel, then turns around to look back at Dawn, who is continuing to hold the Bringers at bay.
I can't keep holding them! Go!!!
Pauline disappears into the tunnel.
Dawn continues kicking and slashing, trying to block the three Bringers from getting to the tunnel. She succeeds for several seconds, and then one Bringer slashes her in the abdomen just below the ribcage, but the Bringer's follow through motion exposes its back to her and she stabs it. As she does so, the other two Bringers get past her and start up the tunnel.
INSERT CLOSE SHOT of the slash in the fabric of Dawn's blouse, as blood starts to soak through it.
Dawn pulls the knife out of the Bringer's back as it falls dead, and she takes a step toward the tunnel before collapsing on her belly right on top of the seal.
ANOTHER ANGLE looking down as Dawn's blood flows onto the seal, and then it starts sparkling with green electricity.
INT THE TUNNEL. The camera leads as Pauline runs, occasionally SCREAMING FOR HELP. As the tunnel winds and twists (generally heading upward), we occasionally see the two remaining Bringers several seconds behind her and slowly gaining on her.
INT AN UNDERGROUND CAVERN. The same one where the First and the Ubervamp had kept Spike in captivity in "Bring On the Night" and "Showtime". Spike leads as Buffy, Xander, Carl and Joan follow. In addition to their weapons, Buffy and Carl hold flashlights. All are rushed but with increasing apprehension. Spike and Carl in particular glance around nervously.
They pass the spot where Spike had been tied to the cave wall when Buffy rescued him (at the end of "Showtime"), then go a few feet further where the cavern narrows and curves.
I've never been past this point.
They go around the curve a few more feet.
Down here is where we blew up the tunnel to close it off after I escaped.
They go further and find the opening to a tunnel with rocks and rubble piled on either side of it.
And they've opened it back up! Looks pretty recent too.
Buffy and Carl shine their flashlights down the tunnel.
We see Pauline running up the tunnel toward them, with the two Bringers close behind. As she reaches the mouth of the tunnel, the Bringers dive for her ankles and trip her, then start dragging her back. Pauline SCREAMS.
Spike vamps out as he and Buffy grab the two Bringers and yank them into the cavern. As the Bringers now start to fight for their lives with Buffy and Spike, Pauline scrambles free and into the arms of both Carl and Joan, sobbing hysterically. By both of them hugging Pauline, Carl and Joan end up hugging each other as well.
Both Bringers draw out their knives, but Spike simply picks up the Bringer he faces and throws it up against the cave wall, then grabs it again and snaps its neck.
Buffy dodges the knife of the remaining Bringer, grabs its wrist, flips the Bringer to the ground, kicks it a couple of times, then takes the knife and stabs it in the back.
Buffy, Spike and Xander gather around Carl, Joan and Pauline. Pauline and Joan watch in disbelief as Spike morphs back to human face.
Aunt Polly! Where's Dawn?
Somewhere back there. Maybe back in the cave. She killed a couple of those guys and cut me loose, then she tried to fight the others off so I could get away.
INT THE SEAL CAVERN. Dawn lies motionless with eyes closed in the same position she fell, surrounded by the dead Bringers, but there is no longer a seal underneath her, only solid rock which has a slightly greenish glaze. In the distance, we hear the VOICES of Buffy, Xander, Carl, Joan and Pauline taking turns calling out "Dawnie!", punctuated with Spike calling out "Niblet!"
As the voices get louder, Dawn opens her eyes and slowly rolls on her side so we see her slashed and bloody blouse, but no blood on the rock underneath her. She slowly pulls up the front of her blouse and looks down at her midriff, where we see sparkles of green electricity over the slash just below her ribcage.
INSERT CLOSE SHOT of the green sparkles dissipating and leaving only a pink, superficial scratch.
Dawn tries to push herself up, but collapses weakly back on the rock surface.
The others enter from the tunnel. Pauline now has a bandage on her arm improvised from a handkerchief.
Oh, God! Dawnie!
Buffy reaches Dawn first, the others close behind, all horrified.
Buffy kneels next to Dawn, sees the slashed and bloody blouse and lifts it to see the wound. Dawn opens her eyes.
Buffy? I'm okay. Just a little weak....
Dawnie! Thank God!
The others gather and kneel around the two as Buffy helps Dawn sit up and then hugs and kisses her, then everyone takes a turn at hugging Dawn (including Spike) ad lib. After hugging Dawn, Carl starts looking around the cavern.
Dawnie, thank you! You saved my life!
I'm just glad you're okay, Aunt Polly.
Dawnie, you did all this?
I'm just learning, Grandma. You should see what Buffy can do!
This is the place. There's no mistaking it. This is where I was. Thirty-two years ago.
Except... the seal's gone!
It was right here, Daddy! The big round metal thing with the star and the goat head. Dawnie, do you know what happened?
I don't know, Aunt Polly. It was right here.
They all start patting their hands or stamping their feet on the rock floor, determining that it's solid.
I was bleeding pretty bad when I passed out right on top of it.
I thought that blood was supposed to open the seal.
Especially Kolchak blood.
DAWN'S POV of Carl smiling at her: silent, but loving, knowing and proud.
You're not a Potential, Dawn. You're already something else. Not exactly a Slayer, someone with most Slayer powers and maybe some of whatever powers you may have had before you became human.
Come on. Let's get out of here.
She and Xander help Dawn stand, and then support her with her arms around their shoulders as everyone starts back up the tunnel. The camera follows.
Dawnie, are you sure you're all right? I don't understand how a scratch like that could bleed so much.
I'll be okay, Grandma!
Ma'am, if you haven't learned this about your granddaughters yet, there's a lot of questions that you're never gonna get the answer to!
Joan nods. All her anger, tension and anxiety have drained away, and she is almost high with relief.
Yes, Xander. I guess it runs in the family.
She puts her arm around Carl, who is taken by surprise and then reciprocates.
So, Carl Kolchak! We have a lot of catching up to do. A lot's happened since John F. Kennedy was President!
Yes, and speaking of John F. Kennedy...
I think we can safely say that the torch has been passed on to a new generation!
So Buffy and Dawnie tell me you never remarried or got involved with anyone all these years.
It just never felt right. I never forgot you or stopped caring about you.
I was just furious tonight because I thought you were placing Joyce's girls in danger.
Oh, no! They appear to do that quite well on their own without me.
A beat as they continue walking.
Excuse me, Spike. Maybe I shouldn't even be asking, since you saved my life, but was I imagining things or...
No, you weren't. I am a vampire.
But he has a soul!
A vampire with a soul?
It's a long story!
INT DAWN'S ROOM-- DAY. Dawn sits up in bed as Buffy and Willow sit on the edge of the bed with her.
Giles and Althenea both think it was probably a combination of that particular seal, plus the fact that they tried to use your grandfather's blood to open it the last time, plus your having his blood, plus your being the Interdimensional Key. A million to one shot.
So you can forget about trying to bleed on that other seal in the school basement. Not gonna risk your life or an apocalypse on "maybe".
Oh, good. I really wasn't looking forward to cutting myself.
But you would if it meant saving the world.
Of course! I take after my big sister!
Buffy kisses her.
Thanks! I'm proud of you, Dawnie!
INT THE FOYER/LIVING ROOM. Xander supervises as a crew of his WORKERS put the finishing touches on the repaired windows and door. Carl, Joan and Pauline stand around. Pauline's arm is more properly bandaged.
I've set up the account already. So, if this ever happens again, you pay for the materials and labor courtesy of royalties from The Night Stalker and The X-Files.
What do you mean "if"? This arrangement's gonna keep my company solvent indefinitely.
Buffy, Dawn and Willow come down the steps, Dawn still in her sleeping clothes and a robe.
Buffy, Dawnie, you sure you girls don't want to spend the rest of your Spring Break with us? We can wait for you to pack up and change.
Thanks, Aunt Polly. But we've got a lot more to do, right here in Sunnydale.
Besides, Grandpa needs to get to know his other grandkids without us tagging along.
In the meantime, you know where to reach me. Either Glendale or La Jolla.
I'll be riding with Grandma and Aunt Polly in her van. Quality time on the road. So you kids have fun with my Mercedes until we come back for it. When we do, I'll do a little stuff with the Potentials.
And tell Giles I'm ready to restart the Council whenever he and Robson are up to it.
There is an exchange of hugs and kisses ad lib, and then Carl, Joan and Pauline leave.
Xander returns to supervising the workers. Buffy, Willow and Dawn pass through the living room toward the back door. The camera follows them partway and then stops at the ledge on the stairwell wall, zooming in on the pictures. We see a new framed snapshot of Carl and Joan with their arms around each other, next to the portrait of Joyce.
FADE TO BLACK