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|Doomed||The I In Team|
Buffy and Riley are alone together in Buffy’s room, making out on her bed. Buffy isn’t expecting any interruptions. Willow is spending the evening at the science library. Suddenly Willow bursts into their room. There’s trouble. A fire breathing demon has just come in through the rec room windows.
Buffy and Riley head for the rec room. Riley suggests that he call for backup, but Buffy tells him they don’t have time. She wants to kill this thing quickly so she can get back to kissing Riley. She hands him her crossbow and sends him around to the other entrance to the rec room.
Buffy enters the darkened rec room with a stake at the ready. The lights suddenly come on, and the room is full of people yelling “Surprise!” A banner reads “Happy 19th Birthday Buffy!” Buffy quickly lowers her stake and hides it behind her back. Riley comes through the other door, armed with the crossbow, which he also quickly hides.
“Guess you won’t be killing anything tonight after all.” Willow tells Buffy.
“Don’t be so sure,” says Buffy.
Giles is feeling a little out of place at Buffy’s party. Not counting Anya he is at least twice as old as anyone else there, and Anya is still working on her “how to make polite small talk” skills. He doesn’t really have anyone there he can talk to. He ends up sitting in a chair off to the side by himself. Willow brings him a piece of birthday cake, just before Buffy brings Riley over to meet him. Giles puts his cake down to shake Riley’s hand.
Buffy tells Riley that Giles was the librarian at her high school. “Ah. I’ve seen the library,” says Riley. “It’s gone downhill since you left.”
Giles chuckles. “Yes. I’m embarrassed to say that I actually miss it at times.”
“So…you’re retired?” asks Riley.
“I’m sorry?” says Giles.
Riley realizes that Giles didn’t like the implication that he is old enough to be retired. “Or…you’re working somewhere else now?”
This isn’t much better territory for Giles. “Uh, well, not, um…sort of between projects…uh, right now. It’s a personal—”
Buffy notices that Giles is without cake, so she sends Riley off to get him some while she stays to talk. “Oh, he’s just nervous, but this is so nice, having everyone together for my birthday. Of course, you could smash in all my toes with a hammer, and it would still be the bestest Buffy birthday bash in a big, long while.”
Giles tells Buffy that it was Willow and Xander who were responsible for the party. He wouldn’t have gone with the surprise party if it were up to him. Buffy has enough things jumping out of the dark at her.
“Professor Walsh says adrenaline is like exercise, but without the exorbitant gym fees,” says Buffy. “You should meet her. She’s absolutely the smartest person I’ve ever met.”
“Perhaps we should have invited Professor Walsh to the party,” says Giles.
“Oh, no. I mean, she’s, like, forty. She’s got better things to do than hang out with a bunch of kids.”
Riley returns with another piece of cake for Giles. “Here you go, sir.”
Spike packs up to leave Xander’s basement. Since he doesn’t have much of his own stuff to pack, he tries to pack some of Xander’s. Xander is not amused.
Spike is going to get his own place. He’s thinking of finding a nice dark, dank crypt. Nothing as dark and dank as Xander’s basement though. Anya agrees that Xander’s place is pretty depressing.
“I’ve known corpses with a fresher smell,” says Spike. “In fact, I’ve been one.”
Xander has had enough. It is time for Spike to go. Anya picks up Xander’s lamp to give to Spike as a house warming present for his new place. She has read about those. Xander takes the lamp back. He tells Anya that gifts are only for people you like. Spike declines it anyway. His new crypt probably won’t have electricity.
“Well, what about running water?” asks Anya. “A fridge to keep your blood fresh?”
“No.” Spike realizes that there may be some flaws in his crypt plans.
“Oh, well, that’s going to suck,” says Anya. “You should just get a hotel room or something.”
“Demon girl’s got a point,” says Spike. “Need fresh blood. If I had a few bob for a room with an honour bar—”
Xander has really had enough. He wants Spike out now. If Spike doesn’t go, he’s is going to invite Buffy over to kick him out. Spike is a little disappointed that Buffy didn’t show up to see him off anyway.
“Well, she has an appointment with someone who’s actually still scary,” says Xander.
Buffy and Riley are meeting with Professor Walsh. “So, the Slayer,” says Walsh. “We thought you were a myth.”
“Well, you were myth-taken,” says Buffy.
Walsh ignores the pun. Now she understands why Buffy only got a B-minus in her class, when she seemed capable of so much more. Her attention was directed to the same place as the Initiative’s. “It’s only our methods that differ. We use the latest in scientific technology and state-of-the-art weaponry, and you, if I understand correctly, poke them with a sharp stick.”
“Uh, it’s more effective than it sounds,” says Buffy.
Maggie is sure that it is. She is also sure that Buffy and the Initiative have much to learn from each other. She expects Buffy to find their operation to be most impressive. “Agent Finn here alone has killed or captured—how many is it?”
“Seventeen,” says Riley, “Eleven vampires, six demons.”
“Oh. Wow.” Buffy tries to sound impressed. “I mean, that’s—seventeen.”
“What about you?” asks Maggie.
“Me?” asks Buffy.
“How many hostiles would you say you’ve slain?” 1
Giles is dusting his book shelves. He notices one of his books, and remembers something. He pulls it off the shelf, and flips through the pages to look something up. He starts counting on his fingers while muttering under his breath. “The third new moon after the 900th Feast of Delthrox. Oh, crap!” He rushes for the phone.
Giles tells Willow that the Demon Prince Barvain is going to rise that night. Buffy isn’t in. “Well where is she?”
Buffy’s with Riley, walking through the campus. Riley is still kind of stunned. Buffy tries to make him feel a little better. She only told her best stories, she left out all the “Buffy breaks her butt” ones.
“But you killed the… You did the thing with that… You drowned. And the snake? Not to mention daily slayage of… Wow.”
Buffy tries to tell Riley that it’s no big deal. Riley isn’t buying it. “When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. It turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse.”
Buffy tries to reassure Riley. She’s had more time to build up her resumé after all. She has been doing this since she was fifteen.
“Fifteen?” asks Riley.
“I know. Wow. The point is, that we have different amounts of experience, you know? And plus, I do have that whole preternatural Slayer strength deal.”
“I’ve seen,” says Riley. “Don’t get me wrong, the girls I grew up with could hold their own, but, well, I’m not even sure I could take you.”
“That all depends on your meaning,” says Buffy.
Giles knocks on the door of Maggie Walsh’s office. “Professor Walsh, I presume. You’re hard to find. These—these halls are quite the labyrinth. I felt like, uh, Theseus and the Minotaur in the, um, Labyrinth.”
Maggie doesn’t seem to appreciate the reference. She just wonder’s who he is, and why he’s there. Giles tells her he’s looking for Buffy, and introduces himself as a friend, and her high school librarian.
Giles checks out the diplomas on Walsh’s wall. “Buffy’s been very influenced by your class. She quotes you quite often. Sometimes, she sounds a bit like an introductory textbook herself.”
“I don’t lecture from the textbook, but I’m glad she’s inspired by the material,” says Professor Walsh. “She’s bright. All she’s really been lacking is encouragement in the academic setting.”
“Well, um, I think it’s best if, um, if we let a young person find their own strength. If you lead a child by the hand, then they’ll never find their own footing.”
“And if it’s true about hiking, ergo it must be true about life,” says Walsh.
“Well, that’s not, um… I’m just saying that Buffy is, uh, well, she’s not the typical student. Once you get to know her, she’s a very unique girl. I hope you’re not going to push her.”
“I think I do know her,” says Walsh, “and I have found her to be a unique woman.”
“Woman, of course. How wrong of me to choose my own words,” says Giles.
“She’s very self-reliant, very independent…”
“…which is not always a good thing. I think it can be unhealthy to take on adult roles too early. What I suspect I’m seeing is a reaction to the absence of a male role model.”
“Absence?” asks Giles.
“Buffy clearly lacks a strong father figure.” Professor Walsh dismisses Giles, she has work to do. “I’ll tell Buffy her friend was looking for her.”
Giles, Willow and Xander arrive in the cemetery after sunset. Giles was unable to locate Buffy, and he got lost on campus after his encounter with that harridan Walsh, but Giles figures he should be able to handle this himself. The trouble is that they’re a little late. Barvain was supposed to rise at sunset, and it is already dark.
They go into the tomb where Giles expected Barvain to manifest himself. It’s empty, there is no sign that the demon has risen. Giles expected there to be broken stone and ruptured earth littering the floor, but it’s clean. Giles figures that Barvain must be late.
Willow has another idea. She figures that Riley and the Initiative guys probably took care of it. The place has that “too neat” look. Xander agrees. They must have cleaned up after themselves.
Giles wonders what the heck they’re talking about. “What’s the Initiative? What, um… What on earth does it have to do with Buffy’s new boyfriend?”
“You know,” says Willow. “I’m sure you know. Riley’s one of the commandos.”
“What?” asks Giles. “Well, that’s marvelous, isn’t it? Here I am, spent weeks trying to get a single scrap of information about our mysterious demon collectors, and no one bothers to tell me that Buffy’s dating one of them? Who else knows?”
“No one,” says Xander. “No one else knows this.” Willow gives him a nudge. “Anya, and that’s it.”
“And Spike,” says Willow.
“Spike?” asks Giles. “Spike knew?”
“Only the basic stuff,” says Xander. “You know, that Riley’s a commando, and Professor Walsh is in charge.”
This is just getting worse and worse as far as Giles is concerned. “Professor Walsh? That fish wife?”
Giles tells Willow and Xander to clear out. He’ll stick around a little longer just in case the demon really is a little late. Willow and Xander beat a hasty retreat.
Giles sits down to wait. He doesn’t wait long. “Oh, who am I kidding?” he asks himself. “Nothing is going to happen.” He gathers up his bag of weapons, and goes.
Ethan Rayne steps out of the shadows. “I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say that at all. In fact, Ripper, old mate, I’d say something rather interesting was about to hap—”
Giles shines his flashlight back in the door. “Did someone…?”
“Oh, bugger!” says Ethan. “I thought you’d gone.”
Giles is actually pleased to see Ethan. Beating the crap out of him is going to improve his day considerably. Ethan tries to escape past him, but Giles hits him in the stomach as he tries to run by and knocks him to the floor. He picks Ethan up and pulls back his fist to punch him.
“No, no, no, wait! Hang on!” pleads Ethan, “You can beat the crap out of me—go ahead. I can’t stop you—or you can listen to what I have to say. Find out what’s going on.”
“What are you talking about?” asks Giles
“Something bad is happening. Bad for both of us. You have to listen. You’re going to need time to prepare.”
Giles decides to give Ethan the opportunity to explain himself. They retire to a bar to talk over a couple of beers.
“Now, isn’t this more fun than kicking my ass?” asks Ethan.
“No,” says Giles.
“Oh,” says Ethan. “It’s more fun for me.”
Giles isn’t in the mood for small talk. He just wants to hear what it is that Ethan has to say.
“Something’s happening in the dark worlds,” says Ethan. “It’s all whispers and rumors out there but…only one thing is coming through clear: that something’s harming demons, and it’s not the Slayer. Know anything about it?”
Giles has a pretty good idea, but he isn’t planning to tell Ethan. “What are they saying?”
“Oh, you know demons. It’s all exaggeration and blank verse: ‘Pain as bright as steel.’ things like that. They’re scared. There’s something called 314’s got them scared most of all. The kind of scared that turns to angry. I know we’re not particularly fond of each other, Rupert, but we are a couple of old mystics. This new outfit, it’s blundering into places it doesn’t belong, throwing the worlds out of balance, and that’s way beyond chaos, mate. We’re headed, quite literally, for one hell of a fight.”
Buffy and Riley are sparring in the gym. He wants to find out just how good she is. They take a few punches and kicks at each other, all of which the other either dodges or blocks easily. Buffy punches at Riley. He grabs her arm, and pulls her in close. “Holding back?” he asks.
“Maybe a little.”
Buffy hits Riley with an elbow to his head and flips him to the mat. “Maybe a little too.”
Riley does the flippy thing to get back to his feet. “I’ll go all out if you will.”
“Are you sure?” asks Buffy.
“Here we go.” Riley attacks Buffy with a quick series of punches and kicks, much quicker than what he had been doing before, all of which Buffy blocks.
Buffy suddenly drops to the mat, and uses her leg to sweep Riley’s feet out from under him. She springs back to her feet, and is set before Riley is halfway back to his. She plants one foot on the mat, and kicks out with the other, catching Riley squarely in the chest, lifting him several feet clear of the ground, and knocking him across the gym. He lands in a stack of mats.
Buffy rushes to check on him. “Riley! Are you hurt?”
Riley struggles to sit up. He feels his chest and tries to catch his breath. “I, uh…I don’t think so.”
“I’m so sorry,” says Buffy. “I didn’t mean to—”
“It’s fine. I’m good.”
Giles and Ethan are still in the bar. They have switched from beer to scotch, and they are both getting pretty potted. Giles is feeling sorry for himself. He has been fighting demons for twenty years, and they have hardly noticed he exists. Maggie Walsh and her nancy ninja boys have got the demons pissing themselves with fear after only six months.
“Who’s Maggie Walsh?” asks Ethan.
“Oh, she’s awful. She said I was an absent male role model. Absent, my ass. But I’m twice the man she is.” Giles hangs his head over his drink.
“You know, you’re really very attractive,” says Ethan.
“Hm?” Giles looks up, but Ethan isn’t talking to him any more. He’s talking to their waitress. He writes out his address and phone number on a cardboard coaster and hands it to her. He tells her to give him a call. He’ll show her a good time.
Giles goes back to feeling sorry for himself. “The world has passed us by. Someone snuck in and left a couple of clap-trap has-beens in our place. This Initiative, I mean, their methods may be causing problems, but they’re getting the job done. What am I? I’m an unemployed librarian with a tendency to get knocked on the head.”
“Well, you won’t have to worry about that anymore, mate,” says Ethan. “When you went to the loo, I slipped a small pellet of poison in your drink. You’ll be dead in an hour.”
Giles looks at Ethan. He starts to look a little worried as Ethan’s words penetrate his drunken haze.
Ethan starts to giggle. “Just kidding!”
Giles predicts that he is going to be feeling pretty awful in the morning. “Relax,” says Ethan. “Enjoy the night. We’re still a couple of sorcerers. The night is still our time. A time of magic.”
Giles raises his glass in a toast. “To magic.”
Willow and Tara are doing a little magic of their own in Tara’s room. “We’ll start out slow,” says Willow.
“Okay,” says Tara. She sits in front of Willow, takes Willow’s hands in her own, and closes her eyes. “Willow? Start out slow doing what?”
“Oh.” Willow indicates a flower on the floor, inside a triangle drawn in salt. “We’re going to float the rose, then use the majicks to pluck the petals off, one at a time. It’s a test of synchronicity. Our minds have to be perfectly attuned to work as a single, delicate implement.” Tara thinks that sounds cool. “And it should be very pretty.”
Willow and Tara close their eyes and concentrate. The rose rises off the floor.
They open their eyes and look at the rose floating beside them. They are happy with the results so far.
“It worked,” says Tara.
“Now for the hard part,” says Willow. “The petals.”
The rose takes off. It starts zipping around the room, and bouncing off the walls. The girls have to duck to avoid it hitting them before it falls back to the floor.
“What the heck was that?” asks Willow.
“I don’t know,” Tara points to the smoking stem on the floor. “But, uh, the petals are off.”
Giles’ alarm rings early next morning. As he predicted, he feels like hell. He gets out of bed and clumps down the stairs. He has a look at himself in the mirror on his landing. A demon is looking back at him. Giles can’t believe what he’s seeing. He puts his hands up and feels the large curling horns coming out of his forehead.
“No!” He puts his hands against the wall next to the mirror. They go right through it. He stumbles down the stairs. and grabs the handrail. It breaks off in his hand. He clumps down the stairs, and tosses the piece of railing away, smashing a chair with it. “Ethan!” he rumbles. He goes for the phone.
Giles lifts the receiver, and crushes it in his hand. Since he can’t phone for help he’s going to have to go for it himself. He picks up the shirt he left on the floor the night before, and tries to put it on. It doesn’t fit anymore, and he rips it to shreds. Giles grabs a blanket, wraps it around himself and heads for the door. He tears it off its hinges when he tries to open it.
Buffy and Willow are having breakfast together. Buffy is in a very good mood this morning, and she has noticed that Willow was out late the night before. Willow tells her about the rose, but she says she was alone when it happened. It felt like some dark magic had interfered with her spell.
Buffy says she’ll talk to Giles about it. Then she reconsiders. Maybe she’ll tell Maggie. She seems to be interested in learning about the mystical side of demon hunting.
Willow suggests that Buffy should tell Giles. He’s feeling a little hurt that Buffy hadn’t told him anything about the Initiative.
“I did,” says Buffy. Willow shakes her head. “I didn’t?”
“He says no,” says Willow. “He’s feeling neglected, and out of the loopy.”
Buffy promises she’ll talk to Giles about it next time she sees him. Tomorrow. She’s spending today with Riley. Things are going good with him right now, mostly. “I sort of kicked him across the room last night.”
“Um, that’s not good,” says Willow.
“We were sparring, and he said not to hold back, and he’s a little dented. But he said he was okay with it, and I think he’s okay with it. Do you think he’s okay with it?”
“I’m sure he is,” says Willow. “I mean, if he’s not, you know, you had to do it. I mean, he’s right. You can’t walk around pretending you’re less than you are. It wouldn’t be right for you to hold back.”
“Right.” Buffy doesn’t look too happy.
“What?” asks Willow.
“I held back a little.”
Giles arrives at Xander’s. He seems to have his strength under better control now. Xander’s door survives. It’s 10:30 and Giles is disgusted that Xander is still asleep.
Giles gently shakes Xander’s bed to wake him up, and tries to explain what happened. “Now, when you look at me, you may be a little alarmed, but there’s no need. It’s me, Giles. Now, Ethan has turned me into a demon, and I need your help.”
Xander opens his eyes, and sees the demon leaning over his bed. He doesn’t understand a word that’s coming out of its mouth. Giles is speaking in a demonic language.
Xander jumps out of bed, terrified, and retreats away from the demon. Giles keeps trying to calm him down, but it isn’t working. Xander can’t understand a word he says. Xander starts grabbing pots and pans off the shelves beside him and throwing them at the demon. Giles is forced to retreat.
Giles runs outside, through Xander’s neighbour’s yard, where some children are playing. A mother grabs her child and pulls him away from the monster. “Call 911!” she shouts to her husband.
“Bloody humans!” says Giles, as he runs away.
Buffy, Xander, Willow and Anya arrive at Giles’ place to get his help identifying the demon that attacked Xander. They find the door broken off its hinges, and the smashed furniture. They do a quick search of the place, but there is no sign of Giles.
Buffy is determined not to think the worst. “Okay, there’s a demon, and Giles is gone. But it doesn’t mean that he’s hurt. Oh, and there’s no blood anywhere, so maybe the demon just took him somewhere.”
Anya picks up Giles’ shredded shirt. “I think it ate him up.”
Spike is measuring a crypt in the cemetery when the demon Giles walks by. It gives Spike a happy. Something he can kill.
“Spike,” says Giles. “Wonderful. The perfect end to a perfect day.”
“Giles?” asks Spike.
Giles turns around to face Spike. “Go on, then. Let’s get on with the fighting.” Then he realizes what Spike just said. “You understand me?”
“Of course, I understand you.”
“I’m speaking English?”
“No, you’re speaking Fyarl,” says Spike. “I happen to speak Fyarl, and by the way, why the hell are you suddenly a Fyarl demon? You just come over all demony this morning?”
Giles tells Spike that’s more or less what happened to him. He asks Spike to help him find Ethan. “He must undo this, and then he needs a good being-killed.”
“And I’m supposed to just help you out of the evilness of my heart?” asks Spike.
“You help me, and I—I don’t kill you,” says Giles.
“Oh, tremendously convincing,” says Spike. “Try it again without the stutter.”
Giles tries a different tack. He offers money. One hundred dollars.
“You’ll have to do a lot better than that,” says Spike. “Two hundred.”
Giles quickly agrees to that price. Spike is a little disappointed by how quickly. He should have asked for more. He wants to know what Giles wants him to do. “I run and tell the Slayer what you have gotten yourself into?”
That isn’t what Giles wants. He wants to handle this himself, without Buffy ever finding out that anything happened to him.
It is too late for that. Buffy and the others are going through Giles’ books, trying to find the demon that Xander saw. They haven’t had any luck yet. They hear a noise outside.
Buffy grabs a stake, and heads toward the door. She’s surprised to see Riley there. He explains that one of the neighbours called 911 to report the sounds of a fight coming from this place. The Initiative monitors all Sunnydale 911 calls and checks out anything that might have non-human causes. He wonders what Buffy and her friends are doing there.
Buffy tells him that this is Giles’ apartment, and that Giles is missing. Riley promises that the Initiative will give her whatever help she needs to find him.
Buffy thanks him. “I just wish I knew what I needed. I keep thinking, ‘Let’s ask Giles,’ and I remember.”
“He’d be great right now,” says Xander. “He’d find himself in a second. Nobody is cooler in a crisis.”
A rather uncool Giles is sitting in the passenger seat of his Citroen, while Spike drives. Spike is having a little trouble shifting gears. He is not impressed with Giles’ car.
“It’s perfectly serviceable,” says Giles.
“Funny hearing a Fyarl demon say ‘serviceable.’” says Spike. “Had a couple of them working for me once. They’re more like, ‘Like to crush. Crush now?’ Strong, though. You won’t meet a jar you can’t open for the rest of your life.”
Giles just growls at him. He wants to know if Fyarl demons have any special powers. Sizzling eye beams, or anything like that.
“Well, you got the mucous thing,” says Spike.
“What?” asks Giles. “Mucous?”
“Paralyzing mucous. It shoots out through the nose. Sets up fast. Hard as rock. Pretty good in a fight.”
“Are you making this up?” asks Giles.
Spike grins at him. “Maybe. But hey, if you feel a sneeze coming on, you warn me.”
Giles can feel his demon nature trying to take over. He doesn’t like it. A sort of mindless rage, a desire to destroy. It all sounds like fun to Spike, he thinks Giles should just go with it.
“I refuse to become a monster because I look like a monster,” says Giles. “I have a soul. I have a conscience. I am a human being. Oh, stop the car.”
Spike stops and Giles jumps out. Maggie Walsh is walking down the street. Giles roars and runs toward her, waving his arms. Maggie screams and runs away. Giles follows her for about half a block, then he stops and turns back to the car. “I hate that woman.” he rumbles under his breath. He gets back into his car. “Right, let’s go then.”
Xander finds the Fyarl demon in a book. Spike apparently wasn’t kidding about the mucous. They are a sort of demon foot soldier, not noted for being independent thinkers. They can only be killed by a silver weapon.
Riley’s cell phone rings. It’s Professor Walsh, calling to tell him about the demon that attacked her. Riley tells the others about how it got out of a small grey Citroen.
“It stole Giles’ car!” says Willow.
“Why would a demon steal a car?” asks Xander.
“Why would a demon steal that car?” asks Anya.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t sound like typical Fyarl demon activity to Buffy. She suspects that someone else might be controlling it. She asks Willow if that could be what she felt interfering with her magic the night before. Willow thinks it’s a possibility.
Buffy tells Willow and Xander to stay at Giles’. Whoever took him may call with a ransom demand or something. She and Riley will check out the magic shop. Maybe whoever did this might have picked up supplies there. She looks around on Giles’ desk for a silver weapon. She selects his letter opener.
Giles sits in the shadows in the bar, hiding under a blanket while Spike talks to the waitress. “Two of them. English, like me, but older, less attractive. One of them gave you his number.”
The waitress remembers them, but she tossed the address away. She isn’t interested in anyone who would be staying at that rat trap motel.
“Which rat trap?” asks Spike.
“The one by the highway. The Sunnydale Motor Inn.”
Buffy breaks open the door of the magic shop. Riley wishes she hadn’t done that. He has a master key to every store on main street. They move around behind the counter. Riley doesn’t know what he should be looking for.
Buffy is already searching through the credit card receipts. “I do.” She holds up a receipt. “Ethan Rayne.”
“Who’s that?” asks Riley.
“Professional bad guy. He’s got to be the guy that made the demon attack Giles.”
Riley gets on the his cell phone to Initiative HQ. He asks them to do a search of hotel and motel registrations for Ethan Rayne. He doesn’t expect it to take long.
Buffy starts to head back to Riley’s car to wait for the results. Riley isn’t happy. When he talked to Professor Walsh earlier she gave him specific orders. He isn’t to take Buffy along when they locate the demon.
“Oh,” says Buffy, and keeps heading for the car.
“What are you doing?” asks Riley.
“I’m going to the car.”
“Buffy, I can’t take you with me.”
“You’re not taking me with you. I am going, and I am letting you come along.”
“Buffy, It’s not really your call. This is a military operation now.”
“Then call out the troops,” says Buffy. “Because nothing less than that will stop me. This demon did something to Giles, and I’m going to kill it.”
Giles and Spike are back in the car. Spike wants to know how he’s feeling.
“Like snapping necks until everyone’s dead,” growls Giles.
“Now, that sounds like a Fyarl demon. Good for you.” Spike sees set of headlights behind them in the rearview mirror. “Hey. Picked up a tail.”
“Yes, just a little one,” says Giles. “Hurts when I sit.” Spike explains that he means someone is following them in a humvee.
Giles urges Spike to go faster, to lose them. Unfortunately Giles’ car won’t go any faster. “Well, do something,” says Giles. “If they catch us, we’ll both end up in a lab.”
The humvee closes on them, and it’s joined by a second.
“Damn!” says Giles. He smashes out the side window with his fist.
“Oh, sure,” says Spike, “Dismantle the getaway car. That’ll scare ’em.”
Giles tells Spike to slow down going around the next corner, so he can jump out. Hopefully their tails will continue after Spike. Spike isn’t happy with that plan. He figures that if Giles stays with him the commandos will have their attention divided when they catch up with them. Giles offers him another hundred dollars.
Giles jumps out of the car, and rolls into the shadows as they round a corner. Spike continues on with the humvees in pursuit.
Ethan is staying in the same motel that Faith used to live in. He’s packing his bag to leave town when Giles smashes in his door.
Ethan tries to calm Giles down, but Giles is in no mood to be calmed. He attacks Ethan.
“No, no, don’t kill me.” Ethan pleads as Giles grabs him by the throat and picks him up. “No, don’t kill me, Giles. I can’t undo you if you kill me!” Giles isn’t listening. He tosses Ethan across the room.
Buffy and Riley come through the door. “You’ve got to stop it!” says Ethan. “It killed Ripper. Now it’s trying to get me!”
Buffy tells Riley to make sure that Ethan doesn’t go anywhere, and she attacks the demon. “What did you do to him?” she asks it. “What did you do?”
Spike is still being chased by the Initiative. Without Giles’ weight in the car, it’s performing much better. Spike is enjoying himself.
The lead humvee spins out trying to follow the Citroen around a corner, and the second barely stops in time to avoid running into it.
Spike speeds away, watching them in the rearview mirror. “You just try and stop me, you stupid jar—” He misses the next corner and collides with stack of crates and stuff.
Buffy beats up on Giles while Riley keeps Ethan from going anywhere. Ethan makes an attempt to escape, but Riley stops him, not being very gentle about it.
“You’re only going to make him angry.” Ethan tells Buffy, and when Riley turns to look at what’s going on with her and the demon Ethan elbows him in the head and tries to get away again. Riley stops him again, being even less gentle about it.
Buffy and the demon fight. Giles is partially overcome by his demon nature, and his sense of self preservation, and fights back. She knocks him to the floor, straddles him and raises the letter opener. “This is for Giles!”
“For me?” asks Giles in Fyarl.
Buffy plunges the letter opener into the demon’s chest. His eyes go wide. It’s the first time Buffy has really looked at his eyes, and she recognises them. “Oh, god. Giles! Giles! I’m so sorry. Please don’t die.”
“Actually, I feel quite well,” says Giles in Fyarl. “Except for the rage.”
Buffy looks up at Riley. “I think he’s okay.” She looks at her letter opener. “Is this thing real silver?”
Buffy stands over Ethan Rayne.
Ethan is kneeling before a symbol drawn on the floor. “I’ve really got to learn to just do the damage and get out of town. It’s the stay-and-gloat that gets me every time.” Buffy swats him on the back of the head.
Buffy goes to check on Giles, who is back to being human. He’s checking himself out in the mirror to make sure that there are no lingering demon attributes. He is mostly feeling embarrassed right now. The fact that he’s wearing some of Ethan’s clothes doesn’t help. “How did you know it was me?”
“Your eyes,” says Buffy. “You’re the only person in the world that can look that annoyed with me.”
Ethan figures that it’s time for him to be going. “And why would I let you go?” asks Buffy.
“Well, maybe because you have no choice,” says Ethan. “I’m human. You can’t kill me. What’s a Slayer going to do to me?”
The Slayer isn’t going to do anything. Riley steps up behind Ethan, along with a couple of Initiative troops. “By the authority of the U.S. Military, you are being taken into custody pending a determination of your status,” says Riley. The troops handcuff Ethan, and take him away. Riley explains that Ethan will be taken to a secret facility in Nevada, until he’s rehabilitated.
Giles follows Ethan and the troops out. He wants to watch them manhandle Ethan into their vehicle.
Riley stays behind with Buffy. Buffy thanks him for his help. If she’d gotten there any later Giles might have killed Ethan, and they never would have gotten him back.
“You’d find some other way,” says Riley. He also has a new appreciation of Buffy’s strength, having seen her fighting the Giles demon. “You’re really strong. Like, Spiderman strong.”
“Yeah. I don’t stick to stuff, but, yeah.” Buffy is wondering where Riley is going with this.
“And you’re in charge,” says Riley. “You’re, like, make the plan, execute the plan. No one giving you orders.”
“I’m the Slayer.”
“I like it.”
“Yeah?” Buffy likes where he’s going.
“But give me another, oh, week to get ready, and I’ll take you down,” says Riley. Buffy just raises her eyebrow.
Buffy watches Giles hook up his new phone. It is a marvelous piece of technology he tells her. “If anyone has any information I need to know, they can simply tell me about it through this ingenious speaking tube. I’m very excited.”
Buffy apologises again for not having told him about Riley and the Initiative. She really thought that she had. She promises that from now on she will tell him everything.
Giles takes off his glasses. “Buffy, I don’t want to ask you to, um, betray any confidences, and I certainly don’t want to interfere…”
“Uh-oh. You have but-face,” says Buffy. Giles looks puzzled. “You look like you’re going to say ‘but.’”
“But…” says Giles. “This, um, Initiative I’m—I’m a little concerned. Ethan’s not exactly a reliable source, but, um, I’m not sure that he’s wrong about them.”
“I’m not dating the Initiative. I’m dating Riley. He’s a good guy.”
“And I believe that,” says Giles. “But he’s part of something that we don’t really understand.”
“Are you sure you’re not just saying this because you don’t like Riley’s boss?”
“No, no, I’m not saying that at all. Though I do hate her quite a lot. I want you to have your personal life, but keep your eyes open. Make sure you know what you’re getting into.”
Maggie Walsh has some reservations about Buffy. “So, she walks in and the rules just suddenly break.”
“Um, pretty much,” says Riley.
“Be careful with her.” Maggie warns Riley. “She reacts on instinct. There’s no discipline there. Her loyalties are uncertain.”
“You won’t be disappointed in her,” says Riley. “She’s good at what she does, and she is the truest soul I’ve ever known.”
Maggie starts to laugh. “Oh, no. Spontaneous poetic exclamations. Lord, spare me college boys in love.”
“I’m just saying she’ll work out,” says Riley. “You’ll be proud of her.”
“You want to know what I think?” asks Maggie. “I think you’re probably right.”
Professor Walsh leaves Riley, and uses her pass card to unlock a secured door. She proceeds to a second door. This one requires that she use her card, and punch in a combination on the keypad beside it. It’s room 314.