Title: Dancing With the Demons, Results Show 3
Author: redsrule1
Fandoms: Buffy, Angel, Dancing With the Stars
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I didn't make up the characters, the music, the shows, or the dances. I just live them sometimes.
Pairings: Gen
Characters: Just about everyone
Author's Notes: Thanks to yourlibrarian for the beta.
Summary: Nine couples, ONE winner, and you choose who becomes the champion!

DANCING WITH THE DEMONS
Results Show Three

(Music strikes a low chord and sustains it throughout the opening.)

ANNOUNCER
A new beginning with a new judge...

(Episode clip)
(DROGYN sits at the Judges' Table.)

DROGYN
My neck remains sore from my death and I am still somewhat disoriented from my recent resurrection. Ask me no further questions.

(Clip ends.)

ANNOUNCER
…a new attitude…

(Episode clip.)
(LORNE standing beside the Judges' Table.)

WESLEY
It was a great routine.

LORNE
But…?

WESLEY
No "buts". Just, "it was a great routine."

LORNE
You got anything to say about the heel leads? The unsteady frame?

WESLEY
No. Nothing at all, Lorne.

LORNE
You're not gonna make it through this whole program.

WESLEY
I'm enjoying my sixty minutes of popularity, Lorne.

(Clip ends.)

ANNOUNCER
And a new leader emerged from the pack!

(SPIKE appears on the stage, wearing a Royal Navy officer's dress uniform and strikes a dashing pose, chin held high.)

ANNOUNCER
The competition is heating up, but someone must go! Who will be eliminated tonight on DANCING WITH THE DEMONS?

(Theme music plays as the video introductions for all nine original couples roll, then the live camera pans across the seven remaining couples standing on the stage and steps in their dance costumes from the most recent episode.)

ANNOUNCER
Live, from Hollywood, this is DANCING WITH THE DEMONS: THE RESULTS!

(Music ends. Cut to LORNE and ILLYRIA standing beside the dance floor.)

LORNE
Hello, and welcome to DANCING WITH THE DEMONS! I'm Lorne, your host.

ILLYRIA
And I am Illyira, God-king of the Primordium.

(LORNE glances quickly at ILLYRIA, surprised. ILLYRIA stares unblinking at the camera. She reads the teleprompter with what she believes is melodramatic enthusiasm. The result is speech that is just this side of flat.)

ILLYRIA cont.
Tonight we will discover which of our contestants will move on to the next round, and which will go home.

LORNE
(Still taken aback.) Tha-- that's right, Illyria. But to start out, we have our first report from the newest members of our crew, who are going to take us backstage to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. It's Dawn Summers and the Groosalugg!

(Cut to filmed report.)
--------------------------------------------

(Shot of DAWN holding a reporter's microphone, and standing alone in the backstage interviewing area, with the familiar couch in the background.)

DAWN
This is Dawn Summers along with the Groosalugg behind the camera, and we're reporting today from backstage at DANCING WITH THE DEMONS. After the end of Round Two, one of the show's judges, Drusilla, had the tables turned on her when she was "eliminated" from the show. We asked Head Judge Wesley Wyndam-Price to explain why.
--------------------------------------------

(Shot of WESLEY sitting behind a desk. The words "Wesley Wyndam-Price - DWTD Head Judge" are superimposed at the bottom of the screen.)

WESLEY
I don't actually have anything to do with Drusilla's sacking.

DAWN
But you're the Head Judge, are you not?

WESLEY
I am, but I have no say over the hiring or firing of the judges. That comes from higher up.
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN, backstage standup.)

DAWN
"Higher up." So someone more powerful than the Head Judge wanted Drusilla gone. And not just Drusilla. In addition, beloved sound engineer Reg was also given his walking papers.
--------------------------------------------

(Shot of a middle-aged man and woman sitting in a room with audio equipment. "Harold Green - Sound Engineer" superimposed on screen.)

HAROLD
None of us could believe it when Reg was fired. He was the best engineer we had.

("Martha Baker - Sound Engineer" superimposed on screen.)

MARTHA
No he wasn't.

HAROLD
Okay, no he wasn't. But he sure was well liked. And he was… um…

MARTHA
Competent.

HAROLD
Competent.

MARTHA
Barely competent.

HAROLD
Barely competent.

MARTHA
Not very good, really.

HAROLD
He didn't have a clue. But he was trying. He tried hard. And he was learning. We were helping him.

MARTHA
Covering for him.

HAROLD
We covered his ass like a cheap pair of underwear. But-- but he was a great guy.

MARTHA
We all loved him. And then he gets the news on his birthday, of all days.
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to shot of a VASNU, a large, long-armed, alarming-looking demon holding a half blown up balloon. He is standing under an unfinished banner hanging in the back of the sound room. The banner is half decorated with drawings of stars and birthday cakes, and it reads "Happy Birthday, Reg, Our Favorite Sound". The balloon blubbers as it deflates.)
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN, backstage standup.)

DAWN
We went "higher up," to the person who runs the show.
--------------------------------------------

(Shot of LORNE sitting behind a desk. "Krevlornswath Of The Deathwok Clan - DWTD Host" squeezed onto the screen.)

LORNE
Look, Sunshine, I don't run the show. I'm just the host.

DAWN
Then who does run the show?

LORNE
The Producers do.

DAWN
And they are…?

LORNE
Evil lawyers in charge of everything.

DAWN
What do you mean?

LORNE
Well, Wolfram & Hart are the Executive Producers of the show, along with the Watchers' Council. This whole show is a joint goodwill effort by those two groups. They do all the hiring and firing.

DAWN
And how do they do that, exactly?

LORNE
They let us know their wishes. Through a representative.
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN, backstage standup.)

DAWN
And one of those representatives is a contestant on this very show: Lilah Morgan.
--------------------------------------------

(Footage of LILAH sitting at a conference table speaking with LINDSEY to her left. "Lilah Morgan - DWTD Contestant" superimposed on screen, followed by "And Emissary of the Senior Partners" superimposed on screen.)
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN, backstage standup.)

DAWN
My partner, the Groosalugg, was hired to do the actual firing. This reporter's first assignment was to accompany the Groosalugg as he informed the unlucky employees of their termination.
--------------------------------------------

(Hand-held camera shot of GROO standing outside of DRUSILLA's dressing room door.)

GROO
I expect her to be a formidable opponent. Even Angel seemed uncomfortable about doing battle with her, and I know him to be a great warrior.

DAWN
Angel's afraid of Dru? Wow. You learn all kinda things when you work with people. (Narrating GROO's actions as they occur.) Mr. Groosalugg knocks on the door. There is no answer. He is now trying the doorknob, to see if it is open.

GROO
I will try the doorknob to see if it is open.

DAWN
I just told them that! Pay attention to what you're doing. I'll narrate. The doorknob turns. It is unlocked. This is very exciting, ladies and gentlemen. Will Drusilla be angry? Is she lying in wait to attack? What will we find behind the door?

GROO
Nothing.

DAWN
What?

GROO
The room is empty.

DAWN
She's not there?

GROO
Nothing is there. The room has no personal effects at all. It has been cleaned out.
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN, backstage standup.)

DAWN
A similar occurance --occurred-- when Groo arrived in the audio department to give Reg the bad news.
--------------------------------------------

(Shot of GROO in a room full of audio equipment, talking to HAROLD, MARTHA, and the VASNU demon. The VASNU demon has his face buried in his hands, and is weeping unconsolably. MARTHA is patting him on the back, trying to comfort him.)

GROO
Reg the Sound Engineer is not here?

HAROLD
Nah, that vampire judge, the one with The Sight, came in here this morning and told Reg they were about to be canned.

("Thormash, Destroyer Of Worlds - DWTD Sound Engineer" superimposed on the screen.)

THORMASH
(Sobbing.) Oh, Reg, Reg! He's gone!

MARTHA
(To THORMASH) There, there. (To the camera) See what they've done? Broke poor Reg's heart… and ours.

THORMASH
Reg, come back!

HAROLD
It wasn't Reg's fault. They knew his abilities when they hired him. They saw his resume, knew this was his first job. But they made him head of the Sound Department anyway. They set him up to fail.
--------------------------------------------

(Cut to slow-motion, closeup footage of THORMASH crying and MARTHA consoling him. The film has been run through special effects to give it an eerie, black-and-white cast. There is no corresponding audio.)

DAWN
Two lives shattered. And those left behind can only try to pick up the pieces and struggle on somehow. Hired with full knowledge of their abilities, and fired on a whim. Can any of us feel safe in our own jobs? For the Groosalugg, I'm Dawn Summers saying good night.

GROO
And I am the Groosalugg. Good night.

DAWN
(Whispering) I said I'd say it for you.

GROO
(Puzzled) I am capable of announcing myself.

--------------------------------------------

(Film ends. Cut to LORNE.)

LORNE
(Somewhat shocked, forcing a smile.) Heh. Uh, thanks, Dawn, for that tongue-in-cheek report. But now it's the time I know our contestants have been anxiously awaiting!

ILLYRIA
(Somewhat flatly.) That is right, Lorne. We can now reveal in no particular order two of the couples who will be moving on to the next round. The first couple who is definitely going on is…

(Dramatic chord plays, spotlights flash on and off at the various couples.)

(Music stops, the blinking spotlights settle to illuminate SPIKE and FAITH.)

(LORNE looks expectantly at ILLYRIA, who continues to stare at the camera. SPIKE begins to wither under the bright light, shielding his eyes with his hand.)

LORNE
(Whispering loud enough for ILLYRIA to hear) I think that's long enough, Sweetie.

ILLYRIA
Spike and Faith.

(FAITH, still holding the bouquet of flowers that she used in their dance routine, grabs SPIKE in a hug.)

(Cut to LORNE.)

LORNE
One more couple is definitely going on to the next round. And that couple is…

(Cut to shot of remaining six couples as the spotlights flash.)

LORNE cont.
Lilah and Angel!

(A white spotlight hits LILAH and ANGEL. She gives him a congratulatory squeeze, but his attention is focused in a glare towards SPIKE who smirks at him.)

(Cut to LORNE.)

LORNE
Five couples still await their fate. Two couples are saved. Let's go backstage where Illyria is standing by with them. Illyria?

(Cut to backstage, where ILLYRIA stands with FAITH, SPIKE, ANGEL, and LILAH.)

ILLYRIA
You have been spared for the next round. What was going through your small, half-breed mind when the spotlight--

SPIKE
"Small, half-breed mind?" Oh, she's talkin' to you, Angel!

ANGEL
(To ILLYRIA) Can you just knock it off with the half-breed stuff? (Stepping menacingly toward SPIKE) And I was thinking we're going to have to endure another week of Spike and his--

LILAH
(Grabbing ANGEL's arm to hold him back.) Angel, we're on camera. Would you calm down?

ANGEL
I don't care! I'm--

FAITH
Hey, let 'em stew, Lilah. (Uses the bouquet of flowers that was a prop for her costume to point at ANGEL.) If you wanna throw down, that's fine with me, but if my dance partner misses a single practice, I'm comin' after your ass!

ILLYRIA
Mr. Head Judge Baboo and New Judge Drogyn The Imprisoner gave you both scores that--

ANGEL
Why are you threatening me? He's the one who started that fight yesterday!

FAITH
Maybe so, but you know he can't help himself! You're mature enough to walk away from this before my dance partner gets injured. He's not.

SPIKE
(To ANGEL) Yeah! --No, wait. (To FAITH) Hey!

FAITH
Shut up.

ILLYRIA
(Looking toward the DIRECTOR) Your prepared questions hold no interest for me or the contestants. (To CAMERA) I return your attention now to the Host.

(Cut to LORNE.)

LORNE
Is there a reason we do this show live? And props to her for trying, anyway. Well, as usual we took our cameras into the audience to see their reactions to the dances, and here's what they had to say!

(Cut to montage of Audience Interview Clips.)
--------------------------------------------

(The FURIES float facing the camera with the dance floor in the background.)

FURIES
Mmmm… Angel!
--------------------------------------------

(D'HOFFRYN, MAYOR WILKINS, and THE MASTER.)

MAYOR WILKINS
Another great job by Faith! If she keeps this up, works hard, and keeps her nose to the grindstone, well then, doggone it, I think she's gonna win!

D'HOFFRYN
She's got a good chance. If she can keep that vampire in line.

THE MASTER
Are you implying that vampires are incapable of hard work?

D'HOFFRYN
That one, yes!

THE MASTER
Touché.

MAYOR WILKINS
Mind you, I didn't like the way she threw herself at that vampire. Ulgh! (Shudders.)

THE MASTER
Your Anyanka had a nice routine.

MAYOR WILKINS
Yes, she did. At least she wasn't dressed as a streetwalker like that Cordelia!

D'HOFFRYN
Oh, don't even get me started on that "Addams Family" routine.

THE MASTER
I rather liked her outfit.

MAYOR WILKINS
Well, now, to be fair, the routine itself wasn't offensive, was it? It's the reference to the show that upsets you, not the routine.

THE MASTER
Why? What is the reference?

MAYOR WILKINS
You haven't heard of the "Addams Family?" Where were you in the sixties and seventies? And the nineties?

THE MASTER
Underground. Trapped. For 50 years. With no T.V.

D'HOFFRYN
It's shows like that that give demons a bad name. They portray us either as mindless killing machines or as laughable buffoons. If they're really trying to use this show to create goodwill between the demon and human communities, using songs like that is not the way to go about it.

MAYOR WILKINS
Still, that show was a hoot, wasn't it?

D'HOFFRYN
Oh, Lurch was the best!

MAYOR WILKINS
And that Thing, what a rascal.
--------------------------------------------

(Three GENTLEMEN sit in their seats with bloody stumps where their heads used to be.)
--------------------------------------------

(JOYCE SUMMERS and PRINCIPAL SNYDER.)

SNYDER
That sure is a shame that Buffy fell out of first place.

JOYCE
That was too bad. Poor Clem, they hurt his feelings. No wonder he had trouble concentrating.

SNYDER
Still, they did pretty well, huh?

JOYCE
They did.

SNYDER
Don't worry, they'll do better next round. I'm rooting for them.

JOYCE
Thank you. That's very kind of you to say so.

(SNYDER smiles politely and nods. JOYCE smiles at the camera. SNYDER starts to snake an arm around JOYCE's waist. JOYCE smacks it away without taking her eyes off the camera.)
--------------------------------------------

(Montage ends. Cut to LORNE and ILLYRIA in the ballroom.)

LORNE
Well, we'll have to see who's disappointed when we reveal who leaves the show tonight.

ILLYRIA
I tremor with anticipation. But now, the time has come to reveal the results for two more of our couples.

LORNE
That's right! --And surprisingly sarcastic. Clem and Buffy!

(Cut to CLEM and BUFFY as a white spotlight hits them.)

LORNE
You fell from first place on the Leader Board, but the judges still felt you danced well enough to stay near the top. Did the voters agree?

(CLEM shuts his eyes tight and crosses his fingers. BUFFY smiles and puts her arm around CLEM's back.)

LORNE
They did. You're coming back for the next round.

(CLEM opens his eyes and grins widely, and throws his arms around BUFFY as the spotlight fades.)

ILLYRIA
Harmony and Giles.

(Cut to HARMONY and GILES as a white spotlight hits them.)

ILLYRIA
The judges found your Mambo to be unsatisfactory enough to place you at the bottom of the Leader Board. Did the audience save you from the Bottom Two?

(HARMONY clasps her hands in front of her in a begging motion. GILES waits emotionlessly.)

ILLYRIA
They did not. You are in the Bottom Two.

(The spotlight changes to red and HARMONY deflates with a sad look on her face. GILES smiles as the spotlight fades.)

(Cut to LORNE.)

LORNE
Another couple saved, one couple in the Bottom Two. Three more couples await their fate, but let's go backstage where Illyria's waiting with those who know their results.

(Cut to backstage where ILLYRIA stands with CLEM, BUFFY, GILES, and HARMONY. FAITH and SPIKE sit on the couch in the background,
and ANGEL and LILAH stand behind the couch.)

ILLYRIA
(To CLEM) Do not embrace me.

CLEM
Right. Sorry. Okay.

ILLYRIA
Are you happy that you will be continuing to the next round?

CLEM
Yes! Yes! Oh, yes. Thank you! I'm so happy!

(CLEM starts to throw his arms around ILLYRIA, but stops when he sees her warning gaze.)

CLEM cont.
(Calmly.) Um, yes. Very happy.

(ANGEL is slowly reaching his hands down toward SPIKE's neck.)

ILLYRIA
Do you not feel that dropping from first place calls into question your ability to win this competition?

CLEM
Oh, no, not at all. (Shakes his head earnestly.) All that really matters is making it to the next round. Spike and Faith were in last place in Round Two and now they're in first!

(CLEM turns to wave at SPIKE and FAITH, who return the wave. ANGEL quickly withdraws his hands.)

ILLYRIA
Harmony Kendall and Rupert Giles, you have gone from near the bottom to near the top, and are once again near the bottom. How do you feel now?

HARMONY
Disappointed and scared.

GILES
(Under his breath) Relieved.

(ANGEL once again sneaks his hands toward SPIKE's neck.)

ILLYRIA
Rupert Giles, do you not wish to continue in this competition?

HARMONY
(Eyes wide and threatening tears.) You wanna lose?

GILES
What? Oh, dreadfully sorry. No, o-of course not. I, er, will always try my utmost to perform as well as possible and, ultimately, to win this competition. However, given that, if the voters do not wish for us to continue, well, I do have a Watchers' Council to get back to running. There are many, many Slayers, and the Council could do with having me back. But I will represent the Council in this competition as best I can.

(FAITH is bapping ANGEL's hands away from SPIKE with her flower bouquet.)

ILLYRIA
So winning the trophy is of secondary importance to you. I blame you not. The trophy is unappealing, and the contest is trivial.

GILES
No, I, er--

BUFFY
I'm sure Giles wants to win just like everyone else. It's just not the only thing in his life. All of us have other commitments. I have my slaying, Harm--

(GILES shakes his head emphatically at BUFFY.)

BUFFY cont.
I don't have my slaying. (GILES nods.) …'Cause it's wrong. Apparently. So very, very wrong. An' I didn't know what else Harmony has to do, anyway.

(HARMONY, distracted, sees FAITH hitting at ANGEL and walks over to her. She takes the bouquet from FAITH like a parent taking an annoying toy from a child, effectively ending the tussle. HARMONY returns to stand next to GILES.)

GILES
Because of the truce between the human and demon worlds for the duration of this competition.

BUFFY
(Unenthusiastically) Oh. Yeah. That.

ILLYRIA
An interesting revelation. I return you now to the Host.

(Cut to LORNE in the ballroom.)

LORNE
She's actually being a co-host tonight! But speaking of the truce between humans and demons, with many people watching our show now, we've decided to send Harmony and Giles out to a Los Angeles Galaxy soccer game to do a little PR, and to help show that humans and demons really can get along. Our reporting team of Dawn and Groo tagged along. Let's see what happened! (To DIRECTOR) Did anybody pre-screen this one?

(Cut to film of soccer game.)
--------------------------------------------

(DAWN standing in the stands at a soccer stadium. Fans are milling about, and the game is being played on the field.)

DAWN
Dawn Summers here with my partner Groosalugg where Harmony and Giles are here to do a little bit of PR.
-------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN interviewing GILES on the field before the game.)

DAWN
As a representative of the Watchers' Council, it makes sense that you were chosen to be the first to begin doing PR. What do you hope to accomplish with this visit?

GILES
Well, Dawn, we hope to show that humans and demons really can live in some sort of peace.

DAWN
And do you think attending a soccer game will help to achieve that?

GILES
I think anything that gets exposure for our television show will help to achieve that. If the general public's first encounter with vampires and demons are as celebrities, rather than as someone chasing them down a dark alley, I think they will be more receptive to the fact that not all demons are evil.
-------------------------------------------------

(Cut to shot of GILES and HARMONY on the field during the pre-game ceremonies.)

STADIUM P.A. ANNOUNCER
Now, ladies and gentlemen, let's introduce two celebrities who are joining us for the game tonight. From the hit show "Dancing With The Demons," it's Rupert Giles and his vampire partner, Harmony Kendall!

(Applause from the CROWD. HARMONY beams, basking in the celebrity, and waving to the CROWD with both hands above her head. GILES smiles uncomfortably and nods his head instead of waving.)
--------------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN interviewing a pair of teenage girls on the stadium concourse.)

DAWN
So who are your favorites on the show?

GIRL 1
Ummmm, I don't know. Maybe Spike?

GIRL 2
That Clem is so weird! And the host guy! But he's kind of funny too. It's just all really weird.

GIRL 1
Yeah, but some of the guys are hot.

DAWN
Is there anything about the show you like? Besides the hot guys?

GIRL 1
Um, well some of the audience comments are kind of funny.

GIRL 2
The audience people are so weird! And that vampire judge freaks me out.

GIRL 1
The co-host scares me.

GIRL 2
Yeah, she's really weird too.

GIRL 1
Yeah, weird.
----------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN interviewing GILES sitting in the stands.)

GILES
I thought that introducing Harmony as a vampire was a bit much. I mean, I know that the show is getting good ratings, so people are getting used to the idea that demons are real, but are they ready to be shown a real live-- or dead-- vampire in person? At a sporting event? Where there could have been panic and a stampede? But fortunately, no one panicked and I think most of the men there were more interested in Harmony's somewhat revealing outfit than they were in her feeding habits. (Smiles sheepishly.) And the women we met seemed rather more interested in the fact that I could dance than the fact that I am head of a council that fights monsters and demons.
-------------------------------------------

(Cut to shot of HARMONY and GILES sitting at a fold-out table on the concourse, autographing publicity photos of the entire cast. GILES signs and hands a photograph to an older teenaged boy.)

GILES
There you go.

BOY
Which one are you?

GILES
(Pointing at the photo.) I'm that one there. In the corner.

BOY
(Nods toward HARMONY, who is signing a photo for someone else.) Which one's she?

GILES
She's actually on the opposite side from me. (Looks at the photo and points.) Right there.

(The BOY takes the photo and rips it in half, dropping the part that GILES signed onto the ground as HARMONY finishes with the other fan.)

BOYGROO
You are familiar with the dance competition.

WOMAN
Oh I think it's really exciting. I watch it every week. But I don't get why some of the people dress up like monsters. Anyway, it's nice that Giles and Harmony are here but I was really hoping Angel or Gunn would be here.

GROO
Angel and Gunn are your favorite warriors?

WOMAN
Angel and Gunn are hot.

GROO
I have indeed seen Gunn sweat, but Angel is actually quite cold. I know. I have fought with them.

WOMAN
You fight with them? How dare you! They're nice boys!

(Camera cuts away from GROO's puzzled frown.)
------------------------------------------

(Cut to GILES and HARMONY signing autographs. An attractive middle-aged woman approaches GILES.)

GILES
Er, ah, hello.

WOMAN
I love you on that show. I think you dance beautifully.

GILES
Erm, yes, ah--

WOMAN
Can you make this out to "Desiree"?

GILES
(Nods) Y-yes…

DESIREE
There's nothing more sexy than a man in a tuxedo-- who can dance as well as you.

GILES
Isn't there?

(GILES looks down at the photo and signs it, then hands it to DESIREE.)

DESIREE
Thanks. Maybe I'll get to see you dance in person sometime.

GILES
Well, er, tickets to the show are uh, available.

DESIREE
Well, thanks, Rupert. (Walks away.)

HARMONY
Smooooooooooooth.
---------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN interviewing HARMONY in the stands.)

HARMONY
Giles was getting tired in practice so I guess this is a good break for him. I guess that happens to you when you're old. I'm glad I don't have to worry about getting old anymore. I'm gonna look young and pretty and thin forever-- unless I drink too much blood, I guess. I mean, look at Angel. Maybe I should only drink the blood of thin people. Less fattening that way. Anyway, Giles tried to explain the soccer game to me but it was real boring. I don't think these teams are very good 'cause nobody's scored a touchdown yet or whatever. But we got to meet that one movie guy so that was kinda cool.
-------------------------------------------

(Cut to HARMONY and GILES on the field before the game, meeting the players.)

HARMONY
You're who?

DAVID BECKHAM
I'm David Beckham.

HARMONY
Oh, you're that guy in the movie! I didn't see it. Did you get bent?
------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN, standing with a middle-aged man who seems quite pleased to be interviewed by her.)

DAWN
So, do you watch the show?

MAN
Uh, the show with the Demons? (DAWN nods and smiles, tilting the mic forward encouragingly) Nah, dancing's not my thing. The wife likes it.

DAWN
So you never see it?

MAN
Nah. (Sees DAWN's disappointment) Maybe if they got sports stars on it.
------------------------------------------

(Cut to GROO interviewing a 13 year old boy.)

BOY
Yeah, I like Illyria. She's cool.

GROO
You admire the co-host.

BOY
And Faith. She's cool too.

GROO
Actually, as I was trying to explain to that woman, Illyria and Faith would be rather warm, whereas--

BOY
Most of the dancing's kind of lame, but Illyria doesn't dance, she likes to fight with swords. And I think she's probably gonna kill somebody before the show ends. Maybe she'll kill that host guy. That'd be cool.

GROO
You see, only the vampires are--

BOY
Oh, and that'd be cool to see Faith actually stake a vampire.. And maybe she'll fight with Illyria.

GROO
…the vampires are cold-blooded, and--

BOY
And maybe if Illyria kills Faith, she'll take on Buffy next, she's a slayer too, right?
--------------------------------------------------

(Cut to DAWN interviewing GILES while standing on the concourse, with HARMONY in the background surrounded by men and signing autographs.)

GILES
I think that this event will definitely boost Harmony's confidence for our routine this week. At least it seems as if we'll have quite a few people voting for us. Perhaps I should get back there and help Harmony sign photos.

DAWN
I think she's got it covered. Or, just enough uncovered. She might just get you some votes. (To camera.) And remember, half the scores come from the audience, so keep watching and sending in your votes. Back to you Lorne!
--------------------------------------------

(Film ends. Cut to LORNE and ILLYRIA in the ballroom.)

LORNE
Well, looks like someone's winning a few popularity contests. What did you think of that segment, Illyria?

ILLYRIA
The Houston Dynamo have no chance to repeat as champions now that David Beckam has been conscripted to the Los Angeles team.

LORNE
(Eyes wide.) You continue to amaze me, Blueberry Muffin.

ILLYRIA
The most mundane and insignificant tasks seem godlike to lesser beings.

LORNE
There's the Illyria we all know and love. But now, three more couples await their fate.

ILLYRIA
Two of the remaining three couples will escape elimination. The third will suffer in the Bottom Two.

(Cut to shot of the three remaining couples on the stage. A dramatic chord plays, and spotlights flicker on and off of all three.)

LORNE
(From off camera.) Sebassis and Willow! The judges called your routine commendable and enjoyable. But did it keep you out of the Bottom Two?

ILLYRIA
Xander and Anya. Your routine, too, was called "enjoyable." But did the voters enjoy it enough send you to the next round?

LORNE
Gunn and Cordelia! Your Addams Family routine landed you in a third place tie on the Leader Board. Will you be there for Round Four? Let's find out now. The first couple who will definitely be continuing is…

(Pause.)

LORNE cont.
Gunn and Cordelia!

(GUNN and CORDELIA give each other a hug as the spotlight fades from them. Cut to a split screen with XANDER and ANYA on one side, and SEBASSIS and WILLOW on the other.)

ILLYRIA
Sebassis and Willow. Xander and Anya. One couple will continue to the next round, and one couple is in the Bottom Two. The couple definitely moving on to Round Four is…

(XANDER looks at the floor, biting his lip. ANYA looks threateningly at XANDER. WILLOW shuts her eyes tight and grimaces, and SEBASSIS stares stoically at the camera.)

ILLYRIA cont.
Xander and Anya.

(WILLOW winces. ANYA tries to hug XANDER, but he reaches out to squeeze WILLOW's hand and gives her a sad "I'm sorry" look. SEBASSIS pats WILLOW on the back as the red spotlight hits her and SEBASSIS.)

LORNE
So there we have it: the Bottom Two for this round is Sebassis and Willow along with Harmony and Giles. We'll find out which couple is eliminated next. But first, earlier this week, Illyria sat down with someone who knows what it's like to be eliminated: Lindsey McDonald.

(Cut to film of interview.)
--------------------------------------------

(ILLYRIA and LINDSEY sit in a special interview set backstage, with their chairs arranged in a "V" shape so that they face toward each other but also face the camera.)

ILLYRIA
Your partner Darla is not here. Where is your partner, Lindsey McDonald?

LINDSEY
She decided not to come along. She's still a bit upset.

ILLYRIA
As well she should be. Your scheme to win the affections of the audience failed and you have been eliminated. What do you have to say for yourself?

LINDSEY
Well, we would have preferred to have gone farther in the competition, but it's always hard to anticipate how the audience is going to vote. We could have been in first place but still voted out.

ILLYRIA
But you were not. You were among the lowest ranked of the contestants.

LINDSEY
We weren't last, though. Spike and Faith were, but they didn't get voted out. Look, I knew we'd be near the bottom as far as the judges were concerned. As I said before, it was a calculated risk. It just didn't quite pan out.

ILLYRIA
Perhaps you should have planned your strategy better.

LINDSEY
It doesn't really matter. Sure, this is a dance competition, but no one's really here to see who the best dancer is.

ILLYRIA
Your response confuses me. Is this not a contest of skill?

LINDSEY
Well, yeah, but the ability to dance isn't the most important skill here, is it?

ILLYRIA
Is it not?

LINDSEY
No. Look, regardless of their skill all the contestants are getting something out of being here.

ILLYRIA
Explain.

LINDSEY
For one thing, I used to be dead.

ILLYRIA
Yes. I have observed that many of the contestants are formerly deceased. The judges as well.

LINDSEY
And that's just the beginning. Win or lose, we all get something much more out of this.

ILLYRIA
Yes? What is that?

LINDSEY
(Chuckles.) You really don't know, do you?

ILLYRIA
You dare to laugh at--

LINDSEY
The answer is "celebrity," honey. We get celebrity.

ILLYRIA
"Celebrity?"

LINDSEY
There's lots of shows like this, and many people will take part in these shows just to revive a flagging career. Or to start a career to begin with. Television has been a pretty powerful medium to make people popular. It can even take a creep like Angel and make him a hot commodity.

ILLYRIA
Are we popular?

LINDSEY
Yes we are. The show has been getting good ratings in its first few episodes, though it's been kind of tricky calculating viewership for all the different dimensions where we're broadcast.

ILLYRIA
These viewers determine popularity, as in the audience vote.

LINDSEY
That's just for the contestants. But everybody on the show, the Judges, Lorne, you-- we all benefit from the popularity.

ILLYRIA
Perhaps that explains the giant images of the Host and me that I see on walls and buses and signs. Although it insults me that his image is larger, and in front of, mine.

LINDSEY
Well, he is, as you say, the host of the show. But yeah, you check the trade papers, and the show isn't reaching all the demographics, but it's definitely getting a lot of demons and humans to tune in. So it'll have a significant effect for a lot of our futures.

ILLYRIA
And this makes us more powerful.

LINDSEY
Yeah, I guess you could say that.

ILLYRIA
This has been enlightening. You will teach me to read the "Trade Papers" so that I may reach more "Demographics."

LINDSEY
Sure, I'll show you as soon as we're done here.

ILLYRIA
Then we are done here.
--------------------------------------------

(Film ends. Cut to LORNE and ILLYRIA in the ballroom.)

LORNE
I pity the "demographics." It's too bad Darla was unavailable. Maybe we can catch up with her next week.

ILLYRIA
That is unlikely. Your human assistants cannot match the speed of a vampire.

LORNE
Probably not. But now the moment of truth has arrived, and it is time to reveal the results for our final two couples.

(Cut to SEBASSIS, WILLOW, HARMONY, and GILES standing on the stage under red spotlights.)

LORNE cont.
(From off camera.) After totalling the judges scores and the viewers' votes, the couple with the lowest combined score and therefore leaving the competition tonight is…

(WILLOW buries her face in her palms, as SEBASSIS continues to pat her back. HARMONY bounces and shakes the bouquet of flowers nervously as GILES rolls his eyes.)

LORNE cont.
Sebassis and Willow.

GILES
Oh, bloody hell! (Grabs the bouquet from HARMONY and hits her in the chest with it, pretending to stake her. HARMONY disappears into a pile of dust. The CROWD gasps. LORNE gasps. GILES stands dumbfounded.)

LORNE
You staked Harmony!

GILES
I--I didn't mean to…

WESLEY
You can't do that!

OZ
I think he just did.

GILES
But I don't see how, I mean, I just hit her with this bouquet of--

(GILES drops the bouquet in shock. It clatters on the floor as the flowers fall away to reveal the wooden stake hidden within.)

DROGYN
That is the bouquet of flowers the Slayer used in her routine with the Vampire.

GILES
Oh, dear. I'd wondered where she'd gotten it from.

LORNE
I ask again, we broadcast this show live WHY? Well, kids, this is… unprecedented. What do we do now?

SEBASSIS
The witch child and I will take their place and remain for another round.

WILLOW
Yeah, we could do that! We'll do better next time!

ILLYRIA
You have already been eliminated. Do not disgrace yourself with groveling.

WILLOW
(Angrily) I wasn't--

LORNE
Okay, kids, settle down. Wes, you're the Head Honcho. I'm gonna haveta ask you for a ruling.

WESLEY
Unfortunately I do not believe there is anything in any dance competition handbook regarding the staking of one's partner.

DROGYN
That is true. The rules do not even state that one must wear shoes. Or even clothes.

OZ
(Looking pointedly at GILES.) No, it just kinda goes without saying!

GILES
Look, it was an accident! The Producers can just bring her back-- it's not like half the participants on this show aren't dead anyway.

WESLEY
Yet rules are rules, Rupert. And I would have to think that one of the most cardinal rules, written or not, is that one is not to stake one's partner. I believe I'm going to have to think this over long and hard, in consultation with my fellow judges.

LORNE
Um, so…?

WESLEY
We'll have to get back to you, I'm afraid. I don't want to make a snap judgement here. We need to make certain that we do this right. Much is at stake here.

OZ
No pun intended.

ILLYRIA
There is nothing to discuss. Rupert Giles put his partner to the stake, so Rupert Giles should be put to the stake. (To GILES) Or, if you prefer, I have a sword in my dressing room.

DROGYN
That punishment seems extreme, Old One. It was, after all, accidental. We should discuss this off camera, and announce our decision on the next show.

WESLEY
Yes, yes, quite right. We will do as Drogyn says, Lorne.

ILLYRIA
(Eyes narrowing. Growls.) So be it.

LORNE
Well, there you have it, folks! A dramatic finish to a dramatic round. We hope you'll join us to find out what the judges decide on the next episode of DANCING WITH THE DEMONS!

(Roll end credits.)

Author's Note:
Just a note to everyone reading along here, I'm sorry this episode ended up getting posted late. It's been more difficult to keep up the weekly schedule lately and with upcoming travel and other things I thought it would be better to put the show on hiatus rather than keep running episodes behind. So the next episode will start again at the end of July.

Perhaps in not very good timing I also wanted to thank everyone from the Wanton Folly Awards for the Runner-Up WIP award here. I promise this story won't stay a WIP. It'll definitely be getting its ending this year. Someone has also kindly nominated my Day in the Life of PuppetAngel story in Round Two for Best Characterization so thank you very much!

Also, I wanted to mention that my beta yourlibrarian has been nominated for Best Beta over at the SunnyD Awards (as is this story). Pop on over and vote for her, ( http sunnydawards com / vote html )but do it soon since voting wraps up May 13.