A Future's Past by Cheri

 

Part 1

Fred is standing outside a closed door in the hotel.

Fred: How long is he going to stay in there?

Lorne: I don't think vampires are known for their concept of time.

Fred: But how can we ever hope to find Con...

Lorne: SShhh. (covers Fred's lips with his hand) Closed doors not much of an impediment for his hearing. What say we donít use the name any more than we have to?

Fred: (Moves away and rolls her eyes-whispers) Lorne, Connor's gone. He went into that awful place with Holtz and Angel has been sitting in this room for two days without a peep. He didn't even respond when Gunn and I told him about finding Wes bleeding to death outside his apartment.

Lorne: (taking a deep breath) I'm thinking it might have something to do with Wes kidnapping said child and allowing him to be re-kidnapped by an even more atrocious villain than the one who came after the harmless green guy.

Fred: (wincing) Sorry Lorne. I know Wes isn't high on your list either, but you have to know he had the best intentions at heart.



Lorne: (shrugs) You're right. I guess I missed the obvious what with the running for my life and all.

Fred: (turning to beat on the door loudly) Angel! You answer me right now! You have to get hold of yourself!



They both wait for a moment to see if a response will come. When it doesn't Fred steps away from the door.

Fred: I give up. I have to get back to the hospital and relieve Gunn. Will you keep trying?

Lorne: I'm not going anywhere. He's got to get hungry some time. There's no mini bar in this spare room. Wait, maybe being here when he comes out starving...not the best idea?

Fred: (smiling uneasily) Don't be silly. Angel would never...well...he would never. I think you've been cooped up a little too long yourself.

I'll see if Gunn can relieve you after he gets some rest.

Lorne: Thanks. I never thought I'd long for the days when the Hyperion was LA's own Grand Central.

Fred: Yeah, it was bad enough without Cordy, but now...without...well, it's just way too quiet around here.

Lorne: No luck finding her yet huh?

Fred: (shaking her head and looking at her feet) I thought for sure she'd know. Is that crazy? Yeah, she's got a lot going on, she probably hasn't had time for any visions. (starts to walk backwards) I have to go Lorne. Please keep trying. We have to keep it together. Things are bad Lorne. And something tells me they're going to get worse.

Lorne: I was hoping I was the only one that felt it. (nods his head reassuringly) You go. Take care of Gunn...and Wes. Call if there's any change.

Fred: I will. (exits)





Lorne turns back to the door.

Lorne: Alright Mr. Strong and Silent, I didn't want to get ugly in front of the lady, but if you donít acknowledge the rest of the universe really quick-like, I'm going to have to set aside my loving nature and come get your attention in a most unpleasant way.

(mumbles to himself) Okay, I'm not even convincing myself.



Cut to room interior

The room is in shambles. Some from lack of upkeep and the rest from Angel's complete despair and unbearable rage. Angel sits in a corner on the floor with his head hidden in his arms which are resting on his drawn up knees.

Lorne's voice is clear from the other side of the door. It is obvious that Angel could hear everything that he and Fred had discussed.

Lorne: (from hallway) What are you waiting for Big Guy? I know you can't just give up on your son. You can't give up on him Angel. Do you hear me? We can get him back. But not without you. It will never happen without you. (pause) What happened out there? You never told us. We had to hear about it courtesy of W&H? What's that? (pause-then angry) Damn it Angel! Connor is in the worst place imaginable! Are you going to hide in this room and let him suffer? What kind of father are you?

Angel doesn't lift his head but his entire body begins to tremble uncontrollably. A low growl is heard from deep within and slowly grows louder and scarier as Lorne continues to attack him verbally...





Cut to Hospital

Gunn is sitting next to Wes' bed as Wes weakly attempts writing a note.

Gunn: Wes, man don't do too much. You just came around. I told you I'd tell you everything in due time. You need to rest.

Wes finally stops writing and turns the notepad toward Gunn. He reads it carefully.

Gunn: I know you don't need a babysitter. It's just what we decided. We're taking shifts. (Wes begins to write again as Gunn continues) Fred and Lorne are working on Angel. We've also been trying to get hold of Cordy. She's gonna have to cut her romantic getaway short. That's all there is to it.

Wes stops and holds the paper up again. Gunn reads and sighs.

Gunn: It's not that we think anything. It's just precautionary. (Wes studies Gunn's expression) I told you, Angel was pretty out of it when we found Lorne. He was pretty upset. He's even more out of it now that Connor's...well we just want to make sure.

Wes closes his eyes to control his emotions. The bandages around his throat move against the pressure of him swallowing hard.

Gunn: It's not your fault Wes. You thought you were doing the right thing. That chick is more heartless than Holtz if thatís possible. What she did to you...(clears his throat) she's no champion. She tried to kill an innocent. I'm all for fighting the demons and vamps and whatever other evil rears it's ugly ass head around here, but that girl crossed the line. You couldnít have seen that coming. (Wes is writing again) Don't bother telling me you should have. It isn't in our nature to suspect the humans. We're fighters of unnatural evil. To take on the evil in humanity would be suicide.

Wes stops writing and points to the top of the page.

Gunn: (squinting to read) You've seen it before? You know the signs? How?

Wes lowers his hand to reveal the bottom half of the page. Gunn looks at the single word in large letters.

Gunn: Faith?



Cut to Hotel hallway. Lorne is resting his head against the door when a hand reaches up to his shoulder. He jumps in surprise and spins to see Cordelia standing in front of him in obvious pain.

Cordy: Oh God, it's true isn't it? I'm too late.

Before Lorne can answer, the door swings open and off the frame. Angel drops the shattered lumber as Cordy rushes into his arms.

Cordy: Oh Angel I'm so sorry! Please tell me it's not true. Please don't let it be true. (Her words are muffled against Angel's shoulder as he pulls her tighter and tighter against him until her voice is cut off completely)

Angel: Cordy, I've been waiting. (lifts his head a bit to look at Lorne standing in the hall) I knew they would bring you...(he stops talking suddenly and releases Cordelia awkwardly still staring into the hall)



Cordy: Angel? (turns to see what he's looking at-Groo is standing next to Lorne) Oh yeah, I brought back up. Figured all the warriors we could muster right?

She tries to smile but sees the expression on Angel's face and it falters. Lorne shuffles his feet nervously at having to witness the moment.

Groo: I'm here to help Angel.


Cut to nameless place

Sajhan is pacing in a darkened underground lair.

Sajhan: It wasn't supposed to happen like this.

Voice: So the child did not die. He is gone from this world is he not?

Sajhan: Yes, but he was able to escape his fate again. A prophecy must be fulfilled.

Voice: And it was. That it was not your plan is not the issue. The boy was devoured. The earth shook, the fire came, et cetera et cetera. Prophecies are left open to interpretation for that very reason.

Sajhan: And what of my fate? If the words of prophecy did not prove literal, then how do I know I achieved my own destiny? Like I said, it wasn't supposed to happen like this. The man who translated, he didn't get it right. He missed something.


Voice: Humans always do. They're flawed. Surely you remember that.

Sajhan: Don't.

Voice: Don't forget who you are working for Lower Being.


Sajhan: (smirks) Never. How can I forget? I have heard nothing else for centuries. Just another pawn for the Powers That Be. Have they not tired of this game yet?

Voice: If only it were such a simple premise. All this would be unnecessary.

Sajhan: I've done everything they've asked.

Voice: And you question your own end?

Sajhan: I gave up on that long ago.

Voice: You mustnít do that. All is happening in it's preordained time. Patience is...

Sajhan: Don't speak of patience to me! The word lost its meaning some time ago.

Voice: What a shame. I wonder if she feels the same.

Sajhan trembles at the words and yells out in a primal call that echoes throughout the lair.

 

 

Part 2

Interior: Hospital


Gunn is still staring at the name on Wes' paper when Fred walks in smiling.

Fred: (cheerily) Hi there guys! It's good to see you awake Wes. You look tons better already. You're gonna be as good as new in no time. (finally notices the atmosphere in the room) What's wrong? Did something happen? Gunn?

Gunn: (standing) No baby, nothing happened.

Wes grows increasingly uncomfortable as Gunn walks to give Fred a quick peck on the cheek. She blushes furiously and glances at Wes.

Fred: Gunn, we said we weren't going to...

Wes: (Lifts his hand weakly as if to say 'Not necessary on his behalf')

Gunn: See Fred, I told you we were good. Wes could use all the happy he can get. Right?

Wes smiles slightly and nods as Fred pulls up a chair beside the bed.

Gunn: So, what's the status at Hotel Hideaway? Angel come out of that room yet?

Fred: (shakes her head) No. I tried everything I could think of. Lorne is still with him. It's like he just gave up.

Wes grimaces at the thought of what Angel must be going through.

Fred: No Wes. Stop it. It's not your fault. They would have found a way to get him no matter what. If it wasn't Holtz, it would have been that Lilah woman, or even worse that horrible demon. Lilah sent us information on him. I just can't figure out why.

Gunn: She's playing both sides of the fence if you ask me. That lady is dangerous. She joins up with any being of evil that comes her way. It's gonna come back on her real soon. Mark my words.

Fred notices the paper on Wes' legs and picks it up.

Fred: Faith? Who's Faith?

Wes pulls the paper from her hands and rips the page off to crumble it up quickly.

Fred: What's wrong? What did I say?

Gunn: Maybe you can get it out of him. He wouldn't tell me jack. I'm gonna grab a nap and a shower. I'll call in a while.

Fred: Okay. I told Lorne that you would check in at the hotel as well. Maybe after you get some rest?

Gunn: (smiles) Anything for you Fred.

She smiles sweetly and watches him leave. when she looks back at Wes her face changes.

Fred: Okay Wesley. I've about had it with the keeping me in the dark policy. Between you and Angel, I feel like I'm way outside the loop. I'm part of the team. Would you please start treating me like it?

Wes studies her face for a moment before slowly picking up the pen to begin writing.


Cut to Lair

Sajhan is sitting on a boulder appearing to rest when the voice speaks waking him.

Voice: The time is at hand.

Sajhan: (standing uneasily) You know, for someone who can travel through dimensions and time, why is it that I'm always on someone else's schedule?

Voice: You were given a choice in the beginning. This was yours. You must finish it.

Sajhan: I don't believe it will ever be finished anymore. They will only find another purpose for me. I agreed to this when I believed in the end. That is no longer a truth.

Voice: The truth is what They make it. The child must be retrieved.

Sajhan: So go to him. He is the father. He is the one.

Voice: They will go to him when she comes. You must complete your duty. They've waited long enough. Find the child.

Sajhan: Have I not suffered enough? I chose Their path! I gave them my life! My world! Now I have to sacrifice yet again to bring Them the child They sent me to destroy!

Voice: (Loud thunderous sounds echo through out the lair causing Sajhan to cower as a lightening bolt strikes through the air and opens the portal) They will not explain themselves. You want an end? Then bring it forth! (An unseen force pushes Sajhan forward hard and his feet leave the ground under the pull from the other dimension. He is sucked into the open portal only to have it close tightly behind him.

Voice: His end will only be another beginning.


Cut to Hotel


Cordy hands Angel a mug filled with blood. He turns his head away.

Cordy: Angel, you have to eat. You can't help Connor if you don't retain your strength. You look like hell.

Angel: That's better than how I feel.

Lorne: (watching the two interact-then looking at Groo) Say, how about some food for us non-blood lusters? Cordelia, I'm gonna take the Groosalug out for a bite. Why don't we bring you something back?

Cordy: (glances up at Groo) Okay, just don't be gone long okay? We have to get to work. Where's Wes?

Angel growls low in his throat and Cordy looks at him in surprise.

Cordy: What?

Lorne: I assumed you knew already. I thought you had a vision.

Cordy: I did. I saw Angel suffering. I saw Connor with Holtz. What does that have to do with Wes? Angel?

Angel: (Looking down) Wes took Connor from me. He gave them my son.

Cordy: What? (Stands up looking from Angel to Lorne) Why would Wes do that? Where is he?

Lorne: He's in the hospital.

Groo: (stepping Forward) He was hurt?

Cordy: Oh God, why did I go away? I should have been here.

Angel: No! Wes attacked Lorne. If you had tried to stop him he might have...it was good you were gone.

Lorne: Listen folks, I know there's lots to catch up on, but Groo and I need to eat. You two kids do the filling in and when we get back it's go time right?

Cordy: It is so go time we may already be gone.

Groo: I can't leave my princess to fight alone. She'll need me.

Angel notices the look that Cordy and Groo exchange.

Cordy: I'll wait for you. I promise.

Groo: There is a legend in my homeland.

Lorne: Um, not sure if this is an appropriate time for storytelling Groo.

Groo: Of course. I apologize. We must do battle with whomever stands between Angel and his son. Fairytales
of powerful slayers are...

Angel: What did you say?

Groo stops talking when he hears Angel's tone. Cordy is looking at him in a confusing manner as well.

Groo: I said I'm sorry. I will leave you to fill it in. (looks at Lorne to see if he said it right)

Cordy: Angel, it's just a legend. It didn't mean anything. We have too much to do.

Angel: I want to hear the legend. Lorne, do you know what he's talking about?

Lorne: Um, I think so. (Uncomfortable) I think I know where you're going with this big guy and I'm not
sure...

Angel: I want to hear it!

The three startle at his raised voice and Cordy closes hr mouth against her argument.

Groo: (Raising eyebrows) So I tell it, yes?

Angel: Yes Groo. Please, what is this legend?

Groo smiles his pleasure at the groups interest before beginning his story.


Cut to stark white space


A child's cry is heard piercing the air.

Holtz: Now now, this won't hurt for long. I've waited so long for a son. Prophecies and destinies do not apply to you any longer. You'll never suffer the fate he would have ensured for you. (The crying stops) That's right my beautiful. There will be no more crying where we're going. The most horrible place imaginable indeed. This is what was meant to be. The demon suffers for eternity. And the child finds it's rightful home. Vengeance is mine.

The child cries out once more before the white place is gone and it becomes a dark cemetery. She walks quietly on the lookout. Suddenly a wave of energy appears before her and a thing falls at her feet materializing from nothing. He groans and struggles to stand. She takes a step back readying for the fight. He finally rises to face her and she seems transfixed by the sight of him.

Sajhan: No, it can't be.


She doesn't reply as he looks around and up at the night sky.


Sajhan:(Calls up to the heavens) Is this your idea of a joke?

No answer comes and he lowers his gaze to rest on her again.


Sajhan: They want us to find him.

Buffy: (puts hands on her hips defiantly) Uh-huh. And I guess I find out who They are about the same time I find out who you are right?

Sajhan: There's not a lot of time.

Buffy: Funny how that doesn't affect me the way it did the first hundred times somebody told me that.

Sajhan: You've still got the smart mouth I see.

Buffy: And you know me how?

Sajhan smirks and shakes his head defeatedly as he takes a deep breath to tell her.

Part 3

Interior: Hyperion


Angel, Cordy and Lorne are listening to Groo explain the Pylean legend.

Groo: When I was young, I spent time with a great warrior of my people. He trained me in the ways of a Leader and taught me many lessons of life. He was the first to speak of the legend.

Angel: A legend of a slayer?

Groo: Yes, it's been passed down through many generations in my land. Most dismiss it as fairytale, but my master said he knew it to be true. He had seen her once.

Lorne: No one's ever seen a slayer Groo. Your master had obviously seen one too many battles. (turns to Cordy) Wasn't there some more relevant information that you two had to discuss?

Angel: I don't think I like what you're trying to do Lorne. Why do you not want me to hear about this legend? Or maybe I should be asking why you never mentioned this legend before?

Lorne: (tries to look offended) I'm not sure I like where you're going.

Cordy: Would you two shut up and let Groo finish? If it's important then we'll know it. It doesn't matter about anything else. If it has something to do with finding Connor, then we need to figure it out...fast.

Angel and Lorne exchange a frustrated look but turn back to Groo to continue listening.

Groo: Legend says there was a time in our world when demons ruled. They enslaved my people and other beings including the cows.

Cordy: (interrupts) What did we talk about Groo?

Groo: (looks guilty) I'm sorry princess. The demons enslaved my people as well as all other beings, human and otherwise.

Cordy smiles her approval. Angel rolls his eyes and Lorne shuffles his feet.

Groo: Several great leaders of the enslaved came together and called upon the Source.

Angel: Source?

Lorne: (stepping in front of Groo) Yes, my world believes in one higher power. It controls time, life and all things in between. Blah, blah, blah. So the poor enslaved called to ask for help. Supposedly the Source sent the one thing that could defeat the demons.

Groo: (pushing Lorne aside) I thought I was telling the legend? Why are you interfering?

Cordy: Yes Lorne, why are you interfering? Groo is trying to help and you're being rude. Go on honey.

Lorne huffs and walks away from the group muttering under his breath.

Groo: When the answer arrived the Leaders all thought they were doomed. It was but a girl. A human girl of 21 years and small in size. They cursed the Source for sentencing them to death and left the girl in the sacred place. No one knows exactly what came next, but within hours a great battle began. Corpses of demons were cast across the land for the enslaved to find and bring them hope. This went on for days until there was only one left. This demon was so powerful and so evil that the night turned to black and the dead began to walk again. The girl arrived in the middle of a field as the enslaved all followed the undead to the scene of the final carnage. The two warriors, one good, one evil, faced off as if they knew one another in a different lifetime. The undead watched in silence as did the enslaved waiting for the victor to emerge. After hours of intense fighting and forces of nature showering down on them, the girl appeared victorious. She could have killed him and was going to when the Source spoke from the other world. Time stood still and no one moved while they listened to what was to be her destiny. The words have been lost somewhat over the many tellings of this legend. But the most important thing remained. The girl was a Slayer. Borrowed from another world to save ours like she had done for hers so many times before. The Source took her then. She never spoke but seemed to expect the end. Before the eyes of all the enslaved, she disappeared into a portal. The final demon, the one she saved our world from followed her through. When the portal closed, the undead crumbled to dust and the enslaved were free. No one knows what became of her, some say she surely died in the portal. Or if she survived, the demon surely would have killed her eventually. But for those of us who believe, she still lives. Being rewarded for her good deeds, she is with the source now watching over all the worlds and going to each as she's needed.

Cordy: That's one helluva a story.

Lorne: (walking up again) Yes, but as I was saying, not too much with the relevance in the here and now. So if we've wasted enough time, perhaps we could get back to the matter of saving your son!

Angel: (frowning with thought) It's strange that a Slayer would have been in your world. But I guess it
couldn't have anything to do with Connor. That was centuries ago right?

Lorne: Exactly! It wasn't that I purposely hid it from you Angel. If I thought it could have helped I would have said something ages ago. But it's a legend, not even true from what I've been told.

Angel: But Groo, you said your master told you he saw the Slayer? how?

Groo: He wouldn't discuss it. I questioned him once and he grew very angry. I never broached the subject again. But I believe him.

Angel: And where is your master now?

Groo: Oh, he left our world long ago. He said he was going away to move on to the next life. That was the day I became the Groosalug I was destined to be. At least I thought it was my destiny. (looks at Cordy) Until my princess came.

Cordy smiles and blushes and for the first time, Angel doesnít even notice. He walks away from the group still deep in thought.

Cordy: Angel? (looks at Lorne) Where is he going?

Lorne: You got me kid. But he's out of that room. And you're here. So it's only a matter of time before we're all on the same page again. And Connor will be back with us soon. I know it.

Cordy: I hope you're right.

Gunn enters the lobby.

Gunn: Well look who finally made it home!

Cordy: (going to give him a quick hug) I missed you too. Where's Fred?

Gunn: She's with Wes.

Cordy: Oh God Wes. I forgot all about him what with the Slayer story time.

Gunn: Slayer what?


Cut to Hospital


Wes has finished writing and is waiting for Fred to finish reading. She finally does.

Fred: Oh Wes, I'm so sorry. That must have been awful. But you're a good person. You want to see the good in people, all people. You couldn't have known that Justine would trick you in such a horrible way. I'm just so glad we found you in time. That Faith girl was just lost and confused and she saw the error of her ways. Justine will never see that. She sees only hate and vengeance. You can't let her win. Do you hear me?

Wes nods and signals that he needs rest. Fred rises and tells him that she'll be there until he wakes up. She heads out into the hallway and runs into Wes' doctor.

Doctor: Fred isn't it?

Fred: Yes, were you about to go see Wes?

Doctor: Actually I was. His last blood tests show the transfusion was a success and his blood cell counts are back to normal. He'll be able to leave by the end of the day.

Fred: (smiling) Oh that's wonderful! please, let's go tell him the good news.

They go into the room and Fred listens as the Doctor tells Wes he'll be going home. After he leaves, she sees that Wes isn't nearly as thrilled as he should be.

Fred: Wes, what is it? It's good news. Why do you seem upset?

Wes scribbles something seriously on the pad and holds
it up.

Fred: Oh. I'm sure it will be fine. He probably isn't even out of his room. But you don't have to go there yet. I can take you home.

Wes: (Shakes his head and begins to write again-then shows it to Fred)

Fred: Are you sure? I know you want to help Wes, but maybe you should rest up a bit more. (She sees the look on his face and realizes there's no discussing it) Okay Wes. We'll go to the hotel. We'll do whatever it takes to help Angel find Connor and bring him home.


Cut to Sunnydale


Sajhan is facing Buffy still not completely sure how to proceed.

Buffy: Come on, I have better things to do than wait for the latest...whatever you are, to tell me a bedtime story. So if you have a purpose, share and go home.

Sajhan: I'm sorry. I just can't believe it's really you. Just when I think I've got Them figured out, They throw me a curve ball.

Buffy: Okay, let's start there. Who are They?

Sajhan: The Powers That Be.

Buffy: You work for the PTB?

Sajhan: For several lifetimes. It's been quite the ride.

Buffy: Yeah, those wacky guys. They like to keep us guessing. So why did they send you here? And how do you know me?

Sajhan: How I know you isn't important at the moment.

Buffy: Maybe not to you.

Sajhan: (Ignoring her) They sent me to enlist your help. There's a child in the balance. They wish us to tip the scales in Their favor.

Buffy: So this kid could go either way huh? So where is he?

Sajhan: That's the trick. I can't tell you until we're there.

Buffy: Let me get this straight. You show up at my feet like some clumsy goon and tell me you work for the Powers That Be. Then you say I have to help save a child from evil but you can't tell me where or how for that matter. And I'm just supposed to believe you I guess.

Sajhan: You always were a pessimist.

Buffy: With good reason. Wait...there you go again. how do you know me?

Sajhan: Listen, I can stand here all night teaching History 101 or we can go get this done and you can get back to your patrolling.

Buffy: So we're going to save this kid from you don't know where and still get back in time for patrolling? What are you, a time traveler?

Buffy chuckles to herself as Sajhan stares straight faced.

Buffy: No way. You can like travel through time?

Sajhan: They gave me the gift.

Buffy: Man, how come after all my work, I don't get a cool power like that?

Sajhan: Something tells me you might not look good like this.

He points at his scarred, dis-colored face and Buffy cringes.

Buffy: Something tells me you might be right. (looks around briefly) Okay, I'm game. Not much going on out here anyway. But I have one request.

Sajhan: (sighing) Of course you do.


Cut to Holtz standing in a barren room

Holtz: It's been a miracle to watch him like this. He is almost ready.

Woman: You're time with him is almost done as well. He must go soon if we hope to succeed.

Holtz: I never thought I could agree to such a life for him. But time here has shown me the way he is meant to be.

Woman: It is preordained. One life sacrificed to ensure the continuation of another. Your hatred gave birth to his destiny.

Holtz: A destiny that is not what I dreamed for him.

Woman: It is not what any could have envisioned. Not even Them. His has been a path of missteps and outside interference. But They have arranged the correction each time. But everything has a purpose.

Holtz: How much time had passed there?

Woman: Only days. He will not be known to those he left behind.

Holtz: That is my only peace.

Woman: It will be his as well. You must prepare for his departure.

Holtz doesn't respond as he watches his son complete the final stage of his transformation.


Cut to Outside Hotel


Wes and Fred stand on the other side of the door.

Fred: Are you sure? When I called Gunn said Cordy and Groo were back and Angel was out of his room.

Wes: Does Cordy know?

Fred: I think so. But I didn't get many details on the phone. Gunn said he'd give them a heads up.

Wes: Then I guess there's no point wasting any more time. We've got work to do.

Fred nods and takes a slow breath before opening the door...

 

Part 4

Exterior: Summers' yard

Sajhan: I don't think this is a good idea.

Buffy: Really? Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't clear the first
fifty times you said it.

Sajhan: (Looks at her for a second) The fewer people that know about
this the better. I told you I could bring you back to the exact
moment you left. Nobody would ever have to know.

Buffy: I'm thinking leaving my place in timeÖnot something I want to
risk without letting someone know what's up. What happens if
something goes wrong where we're going. My friends will find a way to
bring me back if necessary.

Sajhan: You always did have blind faith in your allies.

Buffy: (Stops and turns to face him) Okay, that's your last gimme. I
let it slide before but if you don't want to tell me who you really
are and how you really know me, then I suggest you stop with the
subtle references.

Sajhan: (holds hands up innocently) Heeding the warning. No more
subtlety. Let's get this over with so we can get it done.

Buffy: Yes Sir, Mr. Mystery, Sir. (spins to walk up the steps but
stops to see Sajhan not moving) You coming or what?

Sajhan: I'll just wait here. Just hurry.

Buffy seems to pause in thought slightly before shrugging and heading
inside.


Cut to Hyperion
Wes and Fred enter the lobby slowly.
Cordy is the first to see and stands up at the sight of Wes with his
bandaged neck. She seems to want to go to him but something stops her.
Lorne is next to stand and he and Wes stare at one another in a
deathly quiet face off. Fred looks to Gunn for help but he seems
unsure of how to calm the tension.

Groo: Wesley! You're well! The princess and I heard of your accident.
But all is good now yes?

Wes: (finally awkwardly breaking off his trance with Lorne and
putting a hand up defensively to his bandage- He nods.)

Gunn: He can't talk yet, but it won't be long. The doc said his voice
should return in a couple of days right?
Cordy: (Stepping forward to give Wes a brisk hug) I'm sorry you were
hurt Wes. I don't know the whole story but I want to. Angel saidÖ

Fred: Angel has been really out of it Cordelia. I don't know how much
you can expect him to be able to communicate properly.

Gunn: Yeah, boy wasn't even showing his face since ConnorÖwell since
it happened.

Lorne: (Speaking up but still looking at Wes to express his meaning)
Yeah, it nearly destroyed Angel to be betrayed by his trusted friend
and lose his son to his worst enemy all in the same day.

The others see what Lorne is doing and watch helplessly as the pain
moving across Wes' features precipitate the tears welling in his
eyes. His mouth opens as if he wants to say something but of course
nothing comes out.

Cordy: We can't do this now. I know I missed the catastrophe and
obviously it is way more involved than any of us can hope to work
through now. At least not until we get Connor back. So can we just
agree to focus on the important issue here?

Everyone looks from one to another waiting for someone to speak.
Lorne, the only one facing Wes' office door sees Angel coming into
the lobby. Just as Angel enters far enough to see Wes, Lorne speak up
causing Angel to look up from the book in his hand.

Lorne: I think you're asking the wrong people Cordelia.

Angel's gaze falls on Wes as Lorne's words fade. He slams the book
shut and freezes mid step.

Angel: What the hell is he doing in my hotel?

Gunn: Now Angel, let's notÖ

Angel: Did you forget something Wes? Let's seeÖwhat could it be? (He
begins to walk slowly closer to Wes staring at him as he taps his
fingers one at a time) Secretly invent a worst case scenario
concerning my co-worker-check. Take it upon myself to exclude said co-
worker and the rest of the staff and join forces with known enemy-
check. Attack co-worker willing to kill him to protect secret
kidnapping plot-check. (He's only feet from Wes now and it seems his
casual saunter is becoming more threatening. Wes' feet shuffle
nervously of their own will) Turn over my son to the woman who lives
to make me suffer-check. (Drops his hands as he comes to a stop
inches from Wes) Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, single handedly ensure
I lose my son to the man that hates me more than anyone believed
physically possible and force me to watch him take him into a world
that is the worst imaginable place in all the realms of existence.
(Leans closer until their noses are almost touching) Check.

Fred: (Softly speaking) AngelÖ

Gunn: Fred don't.

Angel: Get out. (Walks away with frightening calm)

Lorne seems confused about what's transpired and not sure of how to
react. His previous anger has been replaced by anxiety.

Cordy: Wes, maybe you should go.

Wes shakes his head firmly insisting to anyone looking that he's not
going anywhere. He motions to Fred and she walks quickly to get paper
and pen from the desk. She returns and he sits on the lounger to
write.

Groo: Is it time to find Connor now?


Cut to Summers' house
Xander is peeking through the curtains to look at Sajhan standing in
the yard.

Xander: This guy works for the Powers That Be? Buffy, I'm not one to
question your judgment but have you seen thisÖhim?

Buffy: I was there when he fell from thin air remember? You tend to
notice everything about a person when that happens.

Willow: (Peeking over Xander's shoulder) So he is a person?

Dawn: It doesn't matter what he is. Buffy, how can you trust this guy
to bring you back? Who's to say that he's not working for those nerds?

Xander: Good point Dawn. (Drops the curtain and turns to face Buffy)
This reeks of one of those idiots pitiful tricks.

Buffy: First of all, I don't think they know about the PTB. But more
importantly, there's something about this guy. I can't explain it,
but I feel like I have to trust him. It may not seem quiteÖ

Dawn: Sane?

Willow: Dawny!

Buffy: It's okay. That's the word I was looking for. It may not seem
sane, but I have to do this. I need to do this. I need you guys to
trust me enough to let me do this. (Waits for a reaction but
continues when there isn't one) I need you to help me if I get in
trouble.
Willow: So you really aren't that sure then.

Xander: How can you do this if you're not sure?

Buffy: There's no time for this. He's waiting and it has to be done
now. It's for a child. They wouldn't have sent him if it wasn't
important.

Xander: If it was Them who sent him you mean.

Dawn: Buffy, why does it have to be so fast? Why can't we know more?

Buffy: (Walks to stand in front of her and grabs both her hands) I
wish it could be easier Dawn. I wish so many things every day, but
this is what I do. I help Them. I fight for ThemÖfor us. Please try
and understand that. Sometimes, you have to trust in Them.

Xander: I haven't heard you so sure of anything in a long while.

Buffy: (Looks at him) There's something about this. Something that's
stronger than anything I've fought or accomplished before. Will you
stay together until I get back? Don't lose each other.

Willow: How would weÖ?

A loud noise from outside startles them and they all turn to see a
bright light coming through the window. Buffy watches as the three
look to see what it is. She doesn't say good bye before walking back
out the door. They see her join Sajhan and he pulls her close to him
as they disappear into the portal. Dawn begins to cry and Willow puts
her arms around her tightly. Xander swallows hard against his own
emotion.


Cut to Pylea
Sounds of torture are heard as a man is thrown to the ground.
He grunts from the pain and struggles to stand. He's knocked down by
a stampede of animals running wildly. He turns to see what's causing
their maylay and sees a trio of laughing demons shooting arrows into
the helpless animals.
He stands as they near him and they stop to look at him. After a
moment, one raises an arrow and shoots at point blank range at his
chest. With lightening speed, he catches the arrow and breaks it in
one hand. The trio takes a step back and speaks in a foreign language
among themselves.
He watches for a moment before beginning to walk past them. One tries
to stop him and his neck is broken with a quick twist of Connor's
handÖ

 

Part 5

Exterior: Pylea


Connor is in the center of a village watching the inhabitants carry
on with their every day lives. The demons he encountered earlier made
a hasty retreat after he killed one of their own.
He doesn't know it but he's being watched. His breathing becomes
labored as he begins to feel a strange emotion overtaking him. The
lives of the Pyleans begin to disgust him. Inwardly he fights the
urge to massacre all before him. His confusion is evident as he tries
desperately to make sense of where he is and why he's there.
Holtz and the woman are watching from far away. Though not seen or
heard by this dimensions inhabitants, their discussion explains
what's taking place in Voiceover.

Holtz: What is happening?

Woman: They did not take his creation into account in this world. The
boy is conflicted about his purpose. He doubts what he's been taught
in the face of his primal urges.

Holtz: Primal? You mean...

Woman: The father.

Holtz: I am the only father he knows! My son is not a demon!

Woman: They won't allow you to interfere. Perhaps you should not be
here.

Holtz: (menacingly) I will not leave him.

Woman: Then you must let Them decide his fate. In this world, in this
dimension, he is not the one you know. He is only what he is. From
what he sprung.

Holtz: You said he would be used for good. How can They let him
become...

Woman: They will never feel necessary to explain. It is too late to
alter his destined path.

Holtz: Even if the path takes him into evil?

Woman: The path is exactly where They want him to go. It will not be
questioned...by anyone.

The conversation ends as Connor begins to tremble slightly. He
finally seems to accept what must be done and moves toward the
completion of what his entire being is screaming for. He approaches a
young boy and reaches out with a snarl.
At that moment, before he can grasp on, the village disappears in an
instant and he's in an open patch of land surrounded by strange
looking beings of all varieties. Before he can react, he sees the two
demons that had left him before. They have brought reinforcements
this time and the large group charges Connor.
Just as he deflects the first blow, he smiles eerily and welcomes the
battle. Within minutes, three more are dead at his feet. But for
every one that he destroys, two more come in its place. He finally
loses his advantage as they surround him, striking from all sides. He
falls to the ground and disappears under punishing blows and kicks.
The beasts seem rejuvenated by their apparent victory and begin
grunting and cheering their accomplishment.
They don't notice the strange sound that begins to join with theirs
after a moment. Soon, it grows louder and more threatening until they
slow their assault in search for its origin. One looks down at the
crumpled form, then another, then another. until the only sound heard
is that coming form Connor. The beasts have stilled and now watch in
fascination as the sound grows more and more familiar.
Suddenly, the wounded man springs to his feet unphased by the wounds.
It is no longer Connor as he was before, he has become the dormant
version of evil that his birth supplied. His appearance is grotesque
and more frightening than any known before. The beasts are wide-eyed
as he looks at each of them.

Connor: You will never touch me again. Not if you hope to survive. I
plan on ruling this place, nothing will stand in my way. You will
join me, you will serve me. You will live...for me.

Not a word is spoken as every beast and demon within the vicinity and
beyond bows their head and drops to their knees in immediate
submission.

Connor: Wise choice. There is much to be done. I've traveled through
hell to get here. And hell is what I shall bring.

He smiles with pride and turns to march towards his chosen destiny.
The others follow wordlessly.


Cut to Hyperion
Wes waits patiently as Gunn reads the words out loud that he has
finished writing.

Gunn: I know I made a horrible mistake and do not deserve your
forgiveness. Nor am I asking for it. But I'm not leaving either. If
you wish to punish me, so be it. But I will not give up until Connor
is back with us. With Angel.

At the mention of his name, Angel spins around as if to argue but
stops when Cordy holds up a warning hand.

Gunn: (continuing) The prophecy remains, how we choose to interpret
it is not my decision. I know that now. I was wrong to try and handle
it on my own, but I swear to all of you that it was out of love and
the wish to protect.

Lorne: I'm going to have to interrupt and say that your concept of
protection needs serious revamping Wesley.

Wes nods his head in agreement.

Lorne: But I know even after what you did and how badly I wanted to
hurt you in the immediate after, I believe you are sorry.

Angel: That's great Lorne. The guy could've killed you and would have
if you weren't such a easy mark, and you hear a few sappy words and
forget what he did.

Lorne: I'm not forgetting Angel. I'm choosing to except that my
original reading was accurate. Yes I saw what he was thinking and
planning, but I also saw the conflict and pain he was suffering at
the same time. Unfortunately he didn't give me a chance to help
before he knocked me into the netherworlds.

Cordy: I still can't believe this happened. Wes, what possessed you to
believe that Angel would ever hurt...much less kill his own son. The
son that we've all witnessed him willing to die himself for?

Wes points to Gunn and he clears his throat before continuing.

Gunn: My intentions, however honorable, are meaningless now. All I
can hope for is that you'll allow me to help in what must be done
now. And I believe I can help. I talked to Holtz. I learned things
that could be useful.

Angel: Isn't that special? You bonded with Holtz and now you can give
us inside info. (Looks to the others) Did you guys hear that? Wes can
reveal special things that he and Holtz shared during their secret
meetings. Well, I guess he has all the answers then. (Looks back at
Wes) So Wesley, tell me, why did Holtz jump into some kind of hell
dimension with my son that he knew would be the worse place
imaginable? Or better yet, maybe you could tell me how the hell I'm
supposed to go about getting him back?

Wes shrinks under the disgust in Angel's tone and seems to falter in
his reserve. No one speaks for several minutes.

Wes finally scribbles a note and stands to walk to Angel. Angel takes
a step back when Wes reaches him and holds out the paper. He doesn't
want to take it from him, but Wes pushes it against his chest
insistently.

Fred: (Stepping forward hesitantly) Um, Wes, maybe you shouldn't...

Wes ignores her and pushes harder against Angel's chest until he
reaches up to take the paper. Wes steps back as he reads.

Angel looks up at Wes in surprise.

Cordy: What is it? What does it say?

Wes turns to head into his office and closes the door behind him.

Lorne: Where is he going? What's happening? Little help please?

Gunn: Yeah Angel, what's up?

Cordy walks over to gently take the paper from Angel's hand. She
holds it up and begins to read aloud.

Cordy: I'm going in after them. I have the necessary research in my
office. I've been working on how Holtz arrived here since the
beginning. I can open a portal. I went to Holtz to confirm. It was
recon. I'll bring him back to you. I swear it on my life.

Lorne: Oh God. This isn't a good plan.

Gunn: We can't let him do this. He's not strong enough. None of us
are, much less the guy with the slit throat.

Fred: Charles!

Gunn: I'm sorry, but it's true. Angel, you can't let him do this man.
You have to stop him. He'll die.

Angel doesn't respond. The others wait for him to do something. He
seems to not even care.

Cordy: Angel?


Cut to Buffy and Sajhan falling onto a barren landscape. He's still
holding her tight and breaks her fall the best he can. She jumps to
her feet.

Buffy: (brushing herself off) Geez, what's with the vise-grip? I'm
the Slayer remember? They sent you to me because I'm the Chosen One?
I don't need you playing Chivalry guy.

Sajhan: (Stands up himself and checks his clothes) Why are you so all
encompassing stubborn? Have you learned nothing? You admitted to
needing your friends back there. What? You can't stand someone that
looks like this touching you? (reaches up to point to his face)

Buffy: First of all, if you're on a fishing expedition, then I'm not
biting. Secondly, if you'd seen some of the things I've faced you'd
know better than to even suggest it. And third, some of my best
friends not to mention my first boyfriend, had faces not even a
mother could love. So don't play pity guy with me. Got it?

Sajhan has quieted during her speech and doesn't respond immediately.
He obviously wants to say something but stops himself short of
opening his mouth.

Sajhan: If you're done, what do you say we get to work?

Buffy: Fine by me. Whets next?

Sajhan looks around and Buffy begins to realize he's as lost as she.

Buffy: Don't say it. (looks around herself) Please don't tell me you
don't even know where we are. You told me you'd tell me when we got
here.

Sajhan: If I had said I had no idea where They would send us next,
would you have come?

Buffy: (Exasperated) Classic! I take a chance and buy into your story
only to have you tell me it was all crap! I can't believe it! So
where are they?

Sajhan: Where's who?

Buffy: The 3 Stooges. (Turns to start yelling out) Warren where are
you? Where's the trap? What kind of game is it this time?

Sajhan: Who is Warren?

Buffy: (Stops yelling and spins to face him) You really don't know?

Sajhan: I told you. We're here for the child. We have to find him.
He's not meant to be in this world. Dead, maybe. But in this world,
no.

Buffy: Dead? You mean you want to kill him? (backs up) No way, I
don't do that. And as long as I'm here, you won't either. The child
is leaving with me.

Sajhan: You believe in a child you've never seen? How do you know
he's worthy of such blind devotion?

Buffy: (Frowns) Good question. Maybe the same way I knew I had to
come with you. It's that Slayer sense. Gotta love it.

Sajhan: Yes indeed.

Buffy notices from his tone that his meaning is not completely
literal.

Sajhan: Okay, we must begin our journey.

Buffy: Why do I get the feeling it'd going to be a long one.

Sajhan: Because it's you. They always come back to you. And
apparently me.

Buffy: Watch it Saji. I might start to think you care.

He doesn't have time to respond before she pushes past him as if she
knows where she's going.


Cut to Decimated Village
Fires burn, children cry and mothers weep. Fathers are herded into
makeshift jails as the demons gloat over their victory.
Evil Connor stands on an elevated platform watching the carnage with
a pleased look on his face.
In the midst of the celebration, no one notices the small group of
men talking in the center of the jail hidden away from view.

Part 6

Exterior: Long ago Pylea
Buffy and Sajhan walk without knowing where they are going or what
they are looking for.

Buffy: Is it just me or is it exceptionally hot out here?
She wipes the sweat from her brow with one hand while looking at
Sajhan in his long robes.
Buffy: You must be made of stone. I can't believe you're not melting
under there.

Sajhan: My kind don't have to worry about heat or cold or wind or
rain.

Buffy: If you say so. Just don't come crying to me when you fall out
from heat stroke.

Sajhan: Yes Ma'am. So when did you become the leader in this
partnership?

Buffy: Leader? I guess about the same time I realized if I left it up
to you, we might have stayed back there staring at each other for
eternity. You weren't exactly the man with the plan.

Sajhan: (Defensively) I just needed to get my bearings! Geez, you'll
never change.
He realizes his mistake as soon as the words come out. Buffy halts
and doesn't bother to turn around when she speaks. He watches her
back and shoulders rise and fall with the effort of forced calm.

Buffy: I know you didn't just imply that you've known me before now.

Sajhan: It was a slip of the tongue. Quite meaningless, I assure you.

Buffy: One, you're a horrible liar. And two...

At that moment a scream is heard in the distance. Buffy doesn't have
a chance to finish the sentence before she darts off in the direction
of trouble.
Sajhan watches her for a slit second before following.

Sajhan: Yes, I'd say she'll definitely never change.


Cut to Summers' house
Xander, Willow and Dawn are watching the hands on the clock.

Xander: So I guess I'll be the first to say it.
When no one responds, he continues.
Xander: If I understood correctly. Buffy said they would return the
moment they left. Is that what she said?

Willow: Um...yeah. I think so. That's what I heard.

Xander: So then, once we saw her leave it should have been like
seconds until we saw her come back right?

Willow: (Softer) Um...yes. I would think so.

Xander: So then the fact that we all have watched this clock move all
of...(looks closer at the hands to calculate and then rises) what
appears to be thirty minutes. That would be a sure sign of Buffy not
coming back like she said right?

Willow: (Standing up and walking away from the clock) Maybe when she
said same moment, she meant same day? Or maybe she meant that we'd
not notice her absence? Or maybe, she meant that...

Dawn: Shut up Willow! (Willow and Xander both jump and look at Dawn
in surprise) Are you guys even listening to yourselves? Buffy's gone!
Don't you get it? She was supposed to be back before time moved on.
But she's not! She went into some freaky dimension with some scary
looking time traveling demon and he's not bringing her back!

Willow: Dawn please, let's not get carried away. (She steps closer
but Dawn moves away) Honey, this is just another day in Sunnydale.
Come on we've seen worse. We can handle a little time travel-
dimension jumping quandary, right Xand?

Xander: (taking Willows warning glance to heart) You betcha! Dawn,
Buffy said we had to stay together if she didn't come back as
planned. So here we are...waiting...together.

The three look back at the clock in silence for another minute. Dawn
calmly speaks without breaking her stare.

Dawn: She also said she needed us to find her if something went wrong.

Xander and Willow exchange a look.
Dawn looks at them.
Dawn: So where do we start?


Cut to Hyperion
No one has moved in the hopes that Angel will do the right thing. He
isn't interested.

Gunn: I should've known you couldn't be counted on.
He pushes past Angel to open Wes' door. Groo and Fred follow him as
Cordy stays behind watching Angel. Lorne hesitates for a bit longer
but decides to follow the gang.

Cordy: So you're really going to let him do this? You don't care that
he could die trying to save Connor. Is that what you're telling me?

Angel: None of this would be happening if Wesley had trusted us in
the first place. He thinks he's the Lone Ranger? Let him go. My only
concern is with finding my son. Do you even remember him Cordelia? Or
have you been so busy that you...?

Cordy: (Angry and loud) Don't you dare! You told me to go! You said I
deserved it! Don't you dare make me for guilty for wanting some peace
and love in my life! (Angel grimaces at her words) I came back here
the SECOND I saw what had happened. That boy is like my own! Do you
understand me? Just because I didn't give birth to him or stake
myself so he could live, doesn't mean he's any less a part of me!

Angel: Cordy I...

Cordy: Don't! I know how you feel. You think you're alone in this.
You think none of us could possibly know the pain your in. And you
know what, maybe we can't. But that doesn't mean we don't have our
own. Wesley did something horrible! I know that. Everyone knows that.
But he's here Angel. He's here with a slit throat, no voice and very
weak by the looks of him. And he's willing to ignore everything else
including his own health to help Connor. And you. So if you choose to
stand here and watch him possibly ensure his own demise, don't you
expect any of us to stay with you. I'm going with the others, with my
family. Because that's what family does Angel. It stands together
even after being knocked down from within. It's unconditional. Just
like your love for Connor.

She doesn't give him a chance to reply before heading in the office.
The door closes quietly behind her.


Cut to Jailed Pyleans
The small group of men forms a circle as they say a quiet prayer.
Lightening begins to streak through the sky and clouds move in.
Evil Connor looks skyward apparently troubled by the events. He
motions to his warriors and steps off the platform to leave the area.
The ones left behind get into formation awaiting what is coming.
Buffy and Sajhan have just arrived at a womanís side who is injured
and alone. Before they can assist her, a lightening bolt streaks down
and strikes first Sajhan then through him to Buffy. They both cry out
in pain as they're lifted up. The woman watches in fear and
amazement.
The group of men stops their prayer and signals everyone around them
to look down and not into the storm. As one by one hundreds of heads
bow, the demons begin to sense trouble. They turn to look for their
leader, but he is gone.
In a flash of light and thunder, Buffy and Sajhan are deposited in
the circle within the jail. They hit the ground with painful force
and the lightening bounces off the ground releasing them and moves
outwards to break the chains on the jail. The day is clear again.
The group of men look up and see a wave of energy forming between
Buffy and Sajhan. He tries to reach out for her, but it is too late.
He is sucked into a portal and lost to her. She seems dazed as she
looks around at the hundreds of faces staring at her, mumbling.
She manages to stand and offers a pitiful smile.

Buffy: Hi there. How we doing?

One of the men yells one word out of the crowd.

Man: NO!

Buffy: (Seems even more confused and then insulted) Hey! What's with
the judging! I was brought here to help. (Looks around) I'm just not
sure what kind of help. (Looks around and stands on tiptoes trying to
see more) Say, I don't suppose one of you has a kid that needs saving?


Cut to White place
Sajhan lands on the ground and jumps up screaming.

Sajhan: What are you doing? (Yells louder) Answer me!

Woman: Volume does not influence Them.

Sajhan: Where are you? Why am I here? I'm supposed to be with her!
What did They do?

Woman: Your purpose has been served. You were to bring her and
fulfill Their plan.

Sajhan: I was supposed to retrieve the child! That was the plan.

Woman: And you did your part to do so by bringing her. She must do
the rest alone.

Sajhan: There were hundreds of them! She can't face that alone!
They're sentencing her to death!

Woman: Only if she isn't strong. Do you not believe her to be?

Sajhan: She's the strongest Slayer ever known. But surely They see
this is too much.

Woman: It is not your decision. That has already been made. This is
her path.

Sajhan: I told her I would be with her. She trusted me.

Woman: Of course she did. You share the one thing that makes you
different. Opposite ends of the spectrum, meeting in the middle. But
she must experience your end of that spectrum without you. If she's
to be the one to repair the damage.

Sajhan: What damage? Why do you not tell me everything?

Woman: Everything will be clear to all involved at the appropriate
time.

Sajhan: Of course. Always on someone else's schedule. How could I
forget?

Woman: She'll be beginning soon. Do you wish to witness?

Sajhan: Do you know what will happen to her?

Woman: You are not meant to.

A small window of light appears to Sajhan's side.

Woman: You need only look through there to witness her fate. If you
are strong enough.

Sajhan doesn't move as he ponders what might be waiting for him on
the other side of the window.


Cut to Hyperion
Wes is proceeding with the preparations ignoring the arguments being
given by his friends.

Gunn: Listen to me Wes. This is crazy. You don't even know if this
will work. We've done the dimension jumping thing before. It didn't
go well if you remember.

Fred: I thought it went well for me.

Lorne: Gunn's right Wes. Listen, I thought I would be the first on
the make Wes suffer bandwagon, but not like this. What if you end up
in the place that Holtz took Connor? What then? How can you save
Connor if your busy trying to stay alive what with the torture and
whatever else may be waiting in there? Not to mention, you can't
exactly call for help.

Cordy: Listen to me, Angel is hurting. But this won't help anything.
We need you here Wes. We have to get him back in the right way. I
don't want to lose anyone else. Do you hear me? I may not be much of
a demon or whatever, but I swear if you keep up this nonsense I will
float my ass over there and kick your sorry butt myself!

Just as she finishes her tirade, the door opens and Angel enters the
room. No one moves while they await his next move. Even Wes has
stopped and meets his gaze.

Angel: I think what everyone is trying to say is going off half-
cocked is what got us into trouble in the first place. What do you
say we work through this idea of yours together? I can't promise
anything to you right now Wes. Except that I need all the help I can
get. For Connor's sake. I need you to help me save my son.

Again there's silence as Wes nods emotionally at Angel's words. Cordy
smiles and reaches out to touch his arm. He looks at her and she
mouths a silent thank you. After the brief exchange, the team begins
working furiously to see what must be done.


Cut to Sunnydale
Cemetery

Spike is walking along when Xander grabs him from behind startling
him.

Spike: Bloody Hell! What is it with you people?

Xander: I need your connections Spike.

Spike: Excuse me?

Xander: Buffy's gone...somewhere and I need your help finding her.

Spike: How should I know where she is?

Xander: I'm not saying you do. I'm saying there was a new ugly in
town today and I'm betting one of your friends might know where he
came from. We donít have a lot of time, so are you going to help or not?

Spike grins lazily as he thinks of the possibilities...

part 7

Interior: White place
Sajhan is alone, the woman has left. He begins to walk
slowly to look through the window.

Holtz: Well this is unexpected.

Sajhan: (turning to see him entering) Ditto. Last time
I saw you, you were taking the child into the worst
place imaginable.

Holtz: Yeah, I've been hoping I'd get the chance to
discuss that with you. You knew it was a lie.

Sajhan: Not exactly. I never imagined you'd be willing
to make such a sacrifice. Why?

Holtz: What better revenge than to leave Angelus
without the slightest idea where his son would end up?
I mean, sure, killing the child and then the cowardice
demon had always been my intention, but you know what
they say about the best laid plans...

Sajhan: So, how's it working out for you? Where is he?

Holtz: You always were a funny guy. (Steps past Sajhan
to look out the window) You brought her to him.

Sajhan doesn't get it for a moment and then slowly
realization spreads across his face.

Sajhan: (Low and painful) No.

Holtz: (looks at him) You really didn't know?

Sajhan: What have you done?

Holtz: I have done nothing. I gave him up. He was my
son. And I loved him enough to let Them take him.

Sajhan: You don't know love. You only know hate.
That's why I came to you in the first place.

Holtz: You're right. When you brought me to his time,
I had no room in my heart or soul for love. He had
taken those things from me the day he took my beloved
family. But he gave me the one thing that could
replace that hatred. A son. I raised him as my own for
years in that place. They allowed us to have each
other and be safe. But when the time came, They came
to me with a painful choice.

Sajhan: If They took him, how could he be part of
that?

Holtz: There was a plan for him in this place. What
They didn't consider was the effect of this dimension
on his birthright. It seems his dark side was
magnified here. It soon took over.

Sajhan: And you let Them continue? I thought you said
you loved him.

Holtz: I don't expect you to ever understand. You're
not even human. You can't know the lengths to which a
human's love will go. They arranged this to save him.
If the girl is what They say, my son will be redeemed.
And his path will be corrected. his destiny will be
fulfilled.

Sajhan: And what is it that she's supposed to do?

Holtz: (Turns to look back out the window) She'll kill
him of course.


Cut to Summers House
Willow and Dawn rush in form the kitchen when they
hear the front door open. Xander enters with Spike.

Willow: Spike, Xander, what did you find out?

Xander: Well on the plus side, I found out that
regardless of how crappy I think my life is becoming,
one look into the world a la Spike, and my own seems
like Heaven on earth. On the minus side, did I mention
I just got to see Spikes world? Not recommending it.

Spike: Hey! It's my world that you came to for help if
you remember correctly buddy! So watch your tongue.

Willow: I'm sure the stories will be fascinating, but
maybe we could get on to the question at hand. Did you
find anything?

Dawn: Yeah, Spike can you help us bring Buffy back?

Spike: I'm trying Little Bit. Unfortunately, Army of
One over here scared off the best lead we had all
night before we got the whole story.

Xander: (Defensive) Excuse me for not reacting in the
appropriate way to a guy with half a face! (turns to
Willow) Did I mention the guy had half a face?

Spike: Stop your blubbering. He's a Lautum Demon. They
tend to lose, well face, after so many years. They get
new ones eventually, but he's not there yet. But he
knows about some new power in town.

Dawn: Was it the guy who took Buffy?

Spike: I don't know for sure. Your boy here scared him
off with all his staring in horror.

Xander: (Looks at Willow and Dawn and covers one side
of his face with one hand) Half a face ladies! You
would stare too! I defy anyone NOT to stare at half a
face!

Willow: We get it Xander. It was quite the sight. But
maybe looking away wasn't too much to ask when the
other option is not finding Buffy.

Xander: (Drops his hand) Fine, take his side. But it's
not like we wasted our time. We know where the guy
came from.

Dawn: And you've been standing here bickering back and
forth like we've got all the time in the world! What's
wrong with you two?

Spike and Xander seem to falter at Dawn's words and
hang their heads.

Willow: Hello? Sad-puppy-dog boys? Where did he come
from?

Spike: (Straightens shoulders) Right. My mate said
there was a big hub-bub earlier when some new energy
created a portal and knocked some of the
inter-dimension boys on their collective ass.

Dawn: Huh?

Xander: The guys who came to Sunnydale via
dimension-hopping felt the effects of Buffy's friend.
So at least we know he's real and not a trick form the
Nerd-squad.

Dawn: Great, we know Buffy was actually taking into
another dimension but we still have no idea how to get
her back.

Spike: Don't worry. We'll figure it out. I plan on
tracking down some of these fellas with the hangover
from todayís events. They'll tell me where we can find
Buffy, or at least how.

Dawn: And how long will that take? She's been gone
over two hours now.

Willow: I have to go check something.

Xander: What? Now? Where?

Willow: I'm just gonna make a quick call. Something
Spike said rang a bell. I don't know if it means
anything. But I can't take the chance it might.

Xander: What is it Will?

Willow: Probably nothing. Just give me a minute.

She exits the room leaving the others staring after
her.


Cut to Pylea
The enslaved have begun to escape the jail that has
been unlocked by the lightening show. The small group
faces Buffy with disgust and disappointment. The say
something in their native tongue and look to the sky
angrily before walking away from Buffy.

Buffy: Hey! Whereís everybody going? What's happening?

She sees the warriors previously standing guard
advance on her and calls out.

Buffy: Sajhan! Whatís going on? Where are you?

Before she has a chance to continue the first attack
arrives. The beasts are furious at having their
prisoners freed and blame her. She's knocked backwards
onto her back and kicks out the legs of the first one
about to pounce. She springs up ready and delivers a
sidekick into the groin of another. She holds her own
through five of them but begins to tire.
Suddenly, several take off after the prisoners at the
sound of a loud command from an unseen voice. She
doesn't have time to ask questions as she chases after
them trying to prevent a massacre of innocents.


Cut to White place
Sajhan is watching intently alongside Holtz.

Holtz: She fights admirably. A shame she trusted you
or this might never have happened. Although I'm glad
you were able to convince her as you did me.

Sajhan: I never would have had I known.

Holtz: Oh come now. Of course you would. You hate
Angelus as much as I.

Sajhan: I hate what he did. You don't know what would
have become of him and the child if I hadn't
intervened.

Holtz: So this is better? Seeing a child become pure
evil and bringing an innocent girl, a champion of
good, is better than whatever you know from the
future? It must have been unfathomable. For you to
allow one of them to die here, in this way, then it
must be truly apocalyptic. For Them to change the
future's past to avoid it, I can't imagine the world
you saw.

Sajhan: No you can't. You couldn't possibly.
They both fall silent again as they await Buffy's next
battle.


Cut to Hyperion
Angel is standing at the desk talking on the phone in
hushed tones.

Cordy: I don't like this.

Fred: What?

Cordy: Angel can't afford to be distracted by Buffy
and Sunnydale right now. Willow calling like this is
bad news. I can feel it.

Groo: This Buffy? Is she an enemy?

Cordy: Depends on in what sense of the word you're
asking.

Gunn: Cordy...

Cordy: I know. (looks at Groo) No, Buffy's the Slayer.
We all lived in Sunnydale and went to high school
there. She saved the world a lot.

Groo: The Slayer! Like in my legend!

Lorne: (Stepping forward) Hold up there oh-naive-one.
The Slayer in this world has nothing to do with Pylean
fairytales, son letís not even go down that road.

Angel: (Hanging up the phone) Looks like we're gonna
have to Lorne.

Wes stands and looks at Angel in confusion with the
others.

Cordy: What is it? What did Willow say?

Angel: It looks like Buffy is missing. She left hours
ago with what sounds like Sajhan.

Lorne: Huh?

Fred: Sajhan has Buffy?

Gunn: What?

Groo: The slayer is in danger? I must help her.
Cordy grabs him by the arm before he can move.

Cordy: Not so fast honey. Angel, what exactly did she
say?

Angel: They've been trying to figure out what's going
on. They said some scary looking guy came and told
Buffy she had to help find a child.

Fred: (mumbles) Oh God.

Cordy: A child? Connor?

Angel: I'm not sure. But it's pretty coincidental.

Gunn: That doesn't make sense. Sajhan wanted him dead.
Why would he be trying to find him? Why would he care?

Angel: That would be the question at hand. And why
would he go to Buffy? How does he even know her?

Groo: If she is the Slayer, all worlds know her Angel.
She is the Chosen one.

Cordy: (Sarcastic) Gosh, I've missed having that
pounded in my head since high school.

Lorne: Um I really think we're getting into something
here that's much bigger than any of us realize.

Angel: What do you mean?

Lorne: This guy brought forth your worst enemy to kill
you and your child. He did neither. Now he's gone to a
woman from your past. A very important part of your
past to find that child. Now she's missing in another
dimension. What if this is just his final punishment?
What if he sent Buffy to suffer the same fate as
Connor?

Gunn: Man, this dude has issues far greater than
Holtz.

Angel: Well, he's not escaping. Willow and the others
are on their way. Between all of us, no one will stand
a chance. I'm getting Buffy and Connor back. I don't
care what it takes.

Wes moves to pick up a large book and start research.
Lorne looks more and more uncomfortable and the others
stand in private thought.

Angel: I'm going upstairs.
He exits the room leaving the others to wait for the inevitable.

part 8

Interior: Summers Kitchen

Xander, Dawn and Spike are all staring at Willow dumbfounded.



Dawn: Buffy's been taken by a demon that is out for Angel?



Spike: I should have killed him when I had the chance.



Willow: The demon?



Spike: No, Angel.



Xander: Whoa there Nelly. I'm not President of the Fan club myself, but killing Angel? Not a good plan.



Dawn: Maybe if someone had, Buffy wouldn't be in this mess.



Willow: Dawny, you don't mean that. Buffy would die if something happened to Angel.



Spike: Beg your pardon? Did I miss something? That's a thing of the past remember?



Xander: Regardless, I still don't get it. Buffy said she was going after a child. What about that?



Willow: I'm not sure. I told Angel and he didn't really offer an explanation. I figure either it was just a ruse by this Sajhan guy to trick her into going, or there's something Angel hasn't told us. Maybe the kid has something to do with the reason this guy hates him so much. Either way, we'll find out soon enough.



Spike: Why do I not like the sound of that?



Willow: Because you don't like the idea of me telling you we're going to LA.



Xander: We're going to LA? What's in LA?



Spike: I'm not going to bloody LA!



Dawn: Willow, Buffy's not in LA. She's not in this dimension!



Willow: (Holds up her hands to stop the onslaught) Hey wait a second! Listen to me. I didn't just decide this for the fun of it. Last year, when I went to tell Angel that Buffy had...died. I talked to Cordy after he took off. She told me they had been in this strange land called Pylea. They were taken there through portals.



Xander: Portals? As in the same kind of portal that Buffy went through?



Willow: I'm thinking maybe. Angel and his team did it once. Maybe if we go there and help, we can figure out a way to do it again.



Dawn: How do we know if the portal they opened will take us to the same place that Buffy went?



Willow: We don't. But it's not a coincidence that this all tied together. If we go there, we can all work together to bring Buffy home. But we have to go now.



Dawn: What if Buffy comes back and we're gone?



Willow: We'll leave a note. But we have to stay together. She told us to do that. We promised.



Xander: Alright. (claps hands together) Road trip into the past coming right up. All on board.



He heads for the door and the others look at him strangely before following. Even Spike.





Cut to Pylea

Two days have passed. Buffy has battled non stop searching for the answer to why she's been brought to this place. Her body aches and she walks painfully towards the sound of the latest fighting. She's killed at least fifty of them. With no sleep and bleeding from minor wounds she's almost ready to give up.

She stumbles over a rock and falls to her knees. When she doesn't see anyone coming after her, she decides to rest. As her eyes close a figure appears from behind a tree and the shadow falls across Buffy's face blocking the blazing sun. Her eyes open ready for anything.



Buffy: Who are you?



Boy: I'm what you're looking for.



Buffy: Your the child I'm supposed to save?



Boy: No. I'm the child that will be blessed by the one you save.



Buffy: You know what? (tiredly) I'm having a really bad day here. I don't know where I am. I don't know how I'm getting home. I don't know where the guy that brought me here is. And I don't know how much longer I can fight. So unless you have some useful wisdom to expel that will expedite my mission, could you do me a favor and just go on back to wherever it is you came from?



Boy: I come from nowhere. It does not exist unless you finish it. He was there once and They took him.



Buffy: I should have known! You work for the Powers That Be too don't you? Yep, I can tell by the condescending, cryptic words. Well, if They want me to finish something, then They can make it simple. I'm tired and I want to go home.



Boy: So do I. I have a destiny to fulfill. But I need him to teach me.



Buffy: The child?



Boy: Yes. Will you bring him?



Buffy: (Gets to her feet) I guess I don't have a choice. I'm obviously not gonna get out of here without finding him. (Starts to walk away mumbling under her breath) I swear, if I ever see that Sajhan again, I'm going to make him wish he had never met me.



The boy watches her go for a moment before he disappears with a smile.





Cut to White place

Sajhan begins to smile.



Holtz: What is so funny? It looks to me like the girl is failing. If she doesn't do what she's supposed to, all will be lost. For all of us.



Sajhan: That's why you're not in charge. Look at her. She just became the One.



Holtz: The one?



Sajhan: yes, the One I've known for a lifetime. She will do what's necessary.



Holtz: How can you be so sure? Look at her!



Sajhan: Yes, look at her. That is one pissed off Slayer. They don't realize how effective she is when she's angry.



Holtz turns to see the determined look on Buffy's face as she approaches an open field. In the far off distance, Connor awaits the final battle.





Cut to Enslaved hiding in woods as they see the beasts that had been piling up in death rise and begin walking towards an unknown destination.



Man: The dead are rising. The Source is ending us. We must follow them to our fate.



Several woman cry out and the men begin to argue. Finally the one who spoke raises his hand high quieting the pleas.



Man: This is our home. we will not die hiding in shame. Our world has been good to us and our ancestors. we will stand proud when the Source brings the end. Anyone who doesn't come shall never know the better world that awaits us. Be proud, be strong, be unwavering. If we hope for a future, we must face this.



He begins marching after the dead. He doesn't look back to see if they follow. He knows they will.





Cut to Hyperion

Everyone has come out to the lobby waiting for Angel to come downstairs and the others from Sunnydale to arrive.



Groo: I can not believe my master was right all this time!



Gunn: Right about what?



Groo: During my training, he told me the legend of the Slayer but said that I must always believe it true. That one day I would be called on to fight alongside her. It was fated.



Cordy: And why did you never mention you had a fate with another woman before? Especially the Slayer?



Groo: I was not sure of the Master's words. Yes I knew if the day came when I met her, I would fight to the death for and with her. But when I mentioned it to others, they dismissed it as ramblings of an old man. I learned to keep it to myself. It soon became second nature. And of course when I met you, I thought of no other woman since.



Cordy smiles and blushes as she falls into Grooís arms.



Wes is writing something at the desk and Gunn and Fred are whispering privately. Lorne watches this and tries not to let on the vibes he's picking up. He hasn't felt this tense since his last visit to Pylea. Something wasn't right. In fact, something was very wrong.



Angel finally descends the stairs dressed in battle ready gear and carrying several weapons. He strides to the weapons cabinet without saying a word and pulls several small objects to place strategically on his person.

Something falls and hits the floor with a loud noise in the silent room. Everyone turns to see Angel bend to retrieve the item. Angel moves slowly as he picks it up staring at it. Gunn is the first to notice what it is.



Cordy: (Sensing the need for quiet whispers to him as he and Fred exchange a look) What is it?



Wes also sees what he's holding and swallows hard against the bandages. Lorne looks utterly sympathetic.



Gunn: It's the sticks he ordered for Connor.



Cordy: Sticks?



Fred: (Whispers) Hockey sticks.



Angel hears the words behind him and places the sticks back in the cabinet. He closes the doors quietly and locks it.



The front door opens and Angel is the first to see Willow enter, followed by Dawn, Xander and then Spike.



Cordy: (Accusatory) I know you didn't bring HIM here!



Xander: Cordelia! Oh how I've missed the attitude!



Cordy: Shut up you moron!



Willow: Can we at least get in the door before you two go at it?



Groo: Princess? Is he bothering you? Shall I...?



Xander: Princess? Oh brother, where'd you find this one? And what kind of dark magic did you perform? Sorry Will.



Angel: Will everyone just stop it? (walking to Willow) Thank you for calling Willow. And coming to help.



Willow: I was going to say the same thing. I mean, about the helping.



Dawn: So this is Angel. I gotta say I thought you would be taller.



Spike snickers and Angel faces him for the first time.



Angel: Spike, this is a surprise. I haven't seen you since, well, since you nearly had me tortured to death.



Spike: Yeah, those were good times.



Cordy: (Rushed forward) You bas...!



Angel reaches out to stop her.

Angel: No, it's okay. Willow says you'll help find Buffy. Is that true?



Spike: I'm here arenít I?



Cordy: Why would you even bother?



Spike: (Staring into Angel's eyes) Let's just say I have a vested interest.



Angel raises an eyebrow but remains quiet.



Willow: So! (nervously) How's the rest of your team doing? (sees Wesley) Wesley? What happened to you?



Gunn: He got attacked by the woman who took...



Angel: (Quickly covering) The woman who took his wallet.



Xander: Geez, how much money did you have?



No one responds and Angel begins to take charge.



Angel: Okay, the best I can figure, Buffy is stuck somewhere in Sajhanís world. I don't think he would have taken her where we last saw him headed.



Willow: I don't think he had much of a say in where they went.



Cordy: Why is that?



Willow: Because he worked for the PTB.



Fred: What? You must be mistaken.



Willow: I thought so at first. But Buffy was sure of it. She said she trusted him.



Cordy: Well, mark one up in the miss category for Little miss perfect.



Groo: I can't let you speak ill of the Slayer. I'm sorry, but I swore to my master that I would honor her completely if she ever came to pass.



Xander: Ouch! Thatís gotta sting.



Lorne: Um I don't mean to interrupt here but...



Dawn: (screams and hides behind Spike) Oh God, what is that?



Lorne: Hello to you too.



Gunn: That's just Lorne. The host with the most.



Xander: Huh?



Lorne: I'd love to spend the day getting acquainted with you all, but I think we have something more pressing to contend with.



Angel: Right. Wes, bring everything you have on the portal. We're going to try to open it here. I'll go through with Gunn, Groo and Spike.



Xander: What about me?



Angel: I just assumed...



Xander: You assume nothing! I will not stay behind while you all go save her. I'm coming.



Cordy: Me too.



Angel: No! Listen..



Lorne: Um guys, I don't think you get it.



Angel: What is it Lorne?



At that moment, something crashes through the window and chaos ensues.

Spike pushes Dawn behind the counter and yells for her to stay down. Gunn and Groo push Fred and Cordy in the same manner respectively. Wes moves forward but is stopped by Willow pushing him into his office and Lorne follows closing the door behind them.

Xander, Angel, Spike, Gunn and Groo form a human barrier in front of the others and stand in a side by side line facing down the intruders.

Without a word, the first vampire rushes followed by more and more. Soon the guys are outnumbered three to one as Angel quickly pulls every weapon he had earlier from his jacket. He hands them out to everyone leaving himself nothing and is the first to be attacked.

The vamp on Angel tackles him pushing him against the counter and Angel is almost doing a back bend over the top. He brings up a knee to the vamps groin and rushed to the cabinet.

Without time for locks, he rips the door off its hinges and grabs the first sword he sees. it's blade finds the neck of the vamp as a head rolls across the floor before dusting out.

Meanwhile Groo and Xander are back to back fighting two more valiantly.

Spike is in game face and expending little energy destroying the first vamp.

Gunn takes a couple of hits but manages to gain the upper hand against his opponent. Angel speeds back into the maylay as more vamps begin to come through the open entry.

The others are peeking out of their hiding places trying to think of a way to help...Cordy watches Angel take a harsh blow and begins to have a vision.





Cut to Pylea

Buffy has been standing in the open field for several moments when Connor appears in his unrecognizably hideous appearance.



Buffy: Let me guess. You're the boss?



Connor: You've been amusing these last few days. I would almost wish to have you join me if I had the patience. Unfortunately for you, I need no more servants.



Buffy: Oh Darn, and I was so hoping to be part of your team. (Shrugs) Oh well.



She springs at him delivering a solid punch to his face. He barely moves before smiling eerily.

Buffy's eyes widen a bit as she realizes this isn't an ordinary demon.



Cut to Cordy

Flashes of Buffy being thrown through the air by the beast. The flash fades when Angel is also thrown in the same fashion and lands behind the counter.

She shakes her head in wonder and struggles with what it means.

 

part 9

Interior White Place

Sajhan and Holtz are watching Buffy fight Connor. She is taking a beating having expended so much energy in the previous days fighting. She struggles to stand but is kicked in the face as Connor descends upon her viciously.



Holtz: Sheís no match for him.



Sajhan: Somethingís not right.



Woman: You know her well.



Sajhan: (Spinning to face her) What are They doing?



Woman: Hers from the other world are getting too close. They will not allow another outside force affect the Plan.



Holtz: What does that mean?



Sajhan: Sheís been gone too long.



Woman nods silently confirming what Sajhan already knows.



Sajhan: What have they done?



Woman: They went to the city of Angels.



Sajhan: What? (Eyes grow wide with fear) Oh no.



Holtz: What? What is happening?



Sajhan: The Slayerís friends have gone to him.



Holtz: (finally catching on) City of AngelsÖtheyíve gone to help Angelus?



Sajhan: (Yelling) When will you get it? Heís not Angelus anymore! The man you hate, the man youíve been wishing only the cruelest punishments on no longer exists!



Woman: Not at this time.



Holtz: See? Even she knows it isnít permanent. An evil such as Angelus always finds a way back to the surface. Surely you canít argue with the possibility.



Sajhan doesnít answer, just stares helplessly through the window at an ever advancing Connor who is almost guaranteed victory over an injured Buffy. Blood runs from a wound on her head and she canít even focus her one good eye before another blow occurs sending her backwards.

Sajhan: No!

Suddenly time stands still. Buffy is frozen inches from the ground and Connor is also unmoving hovering over her with a frightening face of evil.



Sajhan: What? (Turns to look at the woman) What?



Woman: Thereís something else happening. Time here is not the same as there. So They have paused our world while They attempt to rectify what damage her friends might do if they succeed.



Holtz: I have just about had enough!



Woman: Your tolerance is of little concern to Them. This is the path you agreed to. You are only a bystander now. You have no power here or with Them.



Sajhan: So why must we watch this if we can do nothing about it?



Woman: Would you not want to? I can easilyÖ



Sajhan: No! I have to know what is to become of them.



Woman: I thought you would. So perhaps while we wait for time to return here, you can see where time is still untouched.



She waves an arm as another window appears and sheís gone. Holtz rushes to see what is left.



Holtz: It is him. He battles.



Sajhan rushes to look as well. He sees Angel being thrown the air and landing behind the counter at Cordeliaís feet. She stares wide eyed.



Cut to Hyperion

Cordyís flash of Buffy has been replaces with Angel in almost the same movement. He looks up after he lands hard and recognizes the look on her face.



Angel: Cordy? What is it? What do you see?



Cordy: (shakes her head confusedly) Iím not quiteÖ



Before she can finish a crash is heard and Angel hurtles her in one movement as he ensures nothing will reach the ones hiding behind the counter.

Groo sees Angel receive a roundhouse kick from a particularly large vamp and pushes his own opponent into a broken chair not noticing the dust cloud in his haste to help.

Spike is very much enjoying the physicality of the fights on his own but notices Xander struggling to push against a vamp that is laying across him on the floor with his hands against his head straining to bite him. Spike snaps the neck of the one thing in his way and rushes to help.

Before Spike can, Gunn comes out of nowhere and throws his body against the vamp pushing him off Xander and the two go rolling wildly until they hit a wall. Gunn is knocked hard enough that he loses his bearings as the vamp smiles and lowers for the kill. Just as his teeth are about to sink into the neck, his head snaps back viciously and he sees Spike vamped out holding him by the back of the throat.



Spike: What kind of self-respecting vampire drinks in the middle of a fight to the death?



The vamp is about to respond when he is staked by Gunn who just regained all his faculties. Spike watches the dust fall from his fingers and extends his hand to help Gunn up. They both look around to see that all but one is left.

Xander stands next to them as the others emerge from their hiding places. Cordy doesnít move her eyes from Angel as he defends himself more than he usually needs to. Groo is trying desperately to help, but the vamp only has eyes for Angel.



Cordy: Groo! Stop!



Everyone turns to her in surprise.



Groo: But PrincessÖ



Without warning, the vamp that had previously been desperately trying to kill Angel stops and straightens itself to stand facing him calmly. Angel rises slowly and lowers his hands in confusion. He scans the faces of everyone in the room to see that they are as lost as he is.



Xander: UmÖAngel, did you make a new friend?



The vamp makes a strange sound deep in his throat before he disintegrates before the eyes of all in the room. A momentary silence takes over while someone finds their voice.



Voice: (To Lorne) Tell them to leave her alone.



Lorne: Huh? (The others look at him in surprise)



Fred: huh what?



Voice: (To Lorne) She must do it alone. If they interfere it will be the end for both of them.



Lorne: The end for both of who?



Angel: Lorne? Who are you talking to?



Xander: (To Gunn) Does this happen a lot?



Gunn shrugs. Spike looks at Lorne unfazed.



Voice: (To Lorne) The woman here knows. They showed her. Sheíll believe you. You mustnít attempt to cross over. To do so would mean the end of life.



Lorne: (looking around) Whoís life?



Voice: All.



Angel: Lorne! Talk to me! Who are you talking to?



Lorne: I donít know really. But something tells me as long as we keep trying to find your Buffy, Theyíll keep sending people to stop us.



Willow: What do you mean? Who doesnít want us to find Buffy?



Cordy: The PTB.



Dawn: What?



Angel: What?



Lorne: She said youíd believe me. Did you have a vision?



Angel: I saw you having one. BeforeÖbehind the counter. What did you see?



Cordy: Buffy.



Dawn: (rushing forward) You saw Buffy? Where was she? What was she doing?



Cordy: (Pauses uncomfortably) She was fighting.



Spike: Fighting where? Fighting what? Bloody hell woman, if youíre going to have a vision, can they at least be helpful?



Groo: I must insist you not use that tone with my Princess sir.



Angel: Alright, letís be clear here. Cordelia, what exactly did you see?



Cordy: Buffy was fighting on some kind of battlefield. Her and some creepy the likes of which I have never seen in my worst nightmares. He was three times her size and his face wasÖ(waves her hands up and down her own face) I canít even begin.



Fred: Its okay Cordy. Buffy will be fine, I mean sheís the Slayer right? Weíve got nothing to worry about.



Cordy: (looks at Angel briefly before speaking) She was hurt.



Dawn: Oh God. (Wes is the closest to her and puts a hand reassuringly on her shoulder as she begins to cry.



Angel: (deathly calm and menacingly quiet) How bad?



Cordy: Angel IÖ



Xander: We donít have time for this Cordelia.



Angel: Xander please. (Looks back at Cordy) How bad?



Cordy: (reaches up to touch her face) She had bloodÖrunning down. I think it was from her head.



Dawn cries out again and the others try desperately to remain strong.



Cordy: She didnít have any strength left, I could feel it. When you landed behind the counter Angel. It was like I had seen the thing strike Buffy but then it was you at my feet. I donít know what happened after that.



Spike: So we go now! Wesley, get the bloody book! Get whatever we need to open this damn portal and get Buffy the hell away from that place!



Wes begins to move but Lorne stops him.



Lorne: I hate to be the naysayer here folks, but Iím afraid you canít do that.



Xander: Excuse me?



Willow: Why not?



Lorne: They told me thatís why we had our little visit. To stop us from going after her.



Angel: Who said that? The PTB?



Lorne nods and Dawn lashes out pummeling him for suggesting what he had. Wes and Willow pull with all their strength and finally pull her off him while he cowers against the wall.



Dawn: You stupid stupid green man! You donít care about my sister! You would just assume let her die! All of you would!

The Sunnydale gang tries to convince her sheís wrong but Dawn wonít listen. Angel finally walks to stand in front of Dawn and look down at her resolutely.



Angel: I would never willingly let Buffy suffer any pain much less allow her to risk death. I swear to you that I am the one person in this world or any other that will do whatever it takes to bring her home. Whatever it takes.



Dawn looks at Angel and for the first time sees in him everything that Buffy does. She feels a sense of calm take over and relaxes against the hands that are holding on to her.



Willow: So what do we do now?



Lorne: We wait.



Spike: Youíre talking to the wrong guy Friend.



Lorne: Whoever wants to ensure death for Buffy and the rest of us can go off half-cocked. But Iím telling you people, if anybody tries to go after her all will be lost. (He looks at Angel with private meaning) And I mean ALL.



Xander: Okay, thatís it. What havenít you told us Angel?







Cut to White place

Sajhan and Holtz have watched everything and breathe a sigh of relief at the temporary respite form catastrophe.



Holtz: I hope the girl can complete her mission before they lose their patience.



Sajhan: She will. I know she will.



They both hear a noise and realize that time has moved on in their world. Buffy hits the ground seemingly unconscious. Connor smiles as he prepares to deliver the final blow.



Connor: I have to say Iím disappointed. I hoped to be more challenged by you. But I should have known. I will enjoy eliminating this last obstacle in my destiny.



He raises a fist over his head and a wave of energy moves from his hand downwards unto Buffy. Her eyes snap open and she rolls to the side just as his hand makes contact with the now empty ground. In his surprise, he doesnít see her hop to her feet and kick him in the back with every ounce of renewed strength she has. He grunts as he collapses face down on the dirt.



Unbeknownst to the warriors, they are being watched. The undead have encircled them closer and closer until they are only yards from the fight. Just outside of them and also forming a circle are the enslaved who have come to watch their fate be sealed. When Buffy manages to escape certain death yet again, a murmur begins in the crowd and slowly grows louder as they watch the beast be knocked to the ground by the small girl.

Connor rolls over onto his back to see Buffy advancing with what looks to be hatred on her face. Sheís so angry that it almost doesnít look like Buffy. The blood has dried to her scalp and face and she looks like the walking dead herself. She limps slightly as one ankle appears to be fractured. Thereís no emotion in her face when she clasps both hands together and falls forward to strike him directly in the throat. His windpipe is damaged and he looks wildly around for some way to make the breath come. Buffy looks down and stops when she realizes whatís happening.

She has a flash of the boy who came to her earlier. She remembers her mission and realizes if she hopes to ever succeed and save the boy and get back home, she must destroy this enemy. This thing is the reason for the boy being in harm in the first place. The PTB brought her here to eliminate this evil. If she doesnít she will be eliminated herself. She pushes the nagging doubt to the back of her mind as she prepares to deliver the final blow as she has done so many times before in her world. It had to be done.





Cut to White place

Holtz is not happy with the turn of events. But he still knows itís what was preordained.

Sajhan however is not so sure. In fact heís almost despondent. He watches with a look of utter defeat on his face. This wasnít what he ever intended.



The woman also watches from above. Just as Buffy begins to finish it, she raises a hand and wipes it across the sky. The lightening returns and Sajhan and Holtz watch intently to see whatís happening. The energy descends from the heavens and Buffy and Connor are swept up without their knowledge or control. The enslaved watch as the two warriors disappear into the air and the undead begin to crumble around them . After a moment someone cheers, then anther, then another. Soon, the crowd is celebrating their survival and doesnít even give thought to what just happened in their world.



Sajhan and Holtz see the two disappear as well and before they can ask what happened, the lightening streaks through the white place. Primal screams and hollers of pain are heard as a tear in space occurs dropping Buffy and Connor in front of them. Sajhan and Holtz are both in shock to see Connor appear in his previous form and Buffy appear uninjured. The two stand not recognizing what they are doing in this new place.

Finally Buffy notices Sajhan standing watching her.



Buffy: (Sees the window and the open field that she just left and raises an eyebrow) So, have you been enjoying the show?

 

part 10

Interior: Hyperion

Everyone stares at Angel as Xander repeats his question.



Xander: Angel, answer me. What's the real deal here?



Cordy: It doesn't concern you.



Xander: Really? That's funny, because look who's here. Something about this sure as hell concerns us or we wouldn't be here. Now we find out we wasted the trip because the PTB don't want us to save Buffy. And Angel here seems to know why or at least why this is all tied together. So why don't you back off and stop covering for him?



Cordy: Wait just a min...!



Willow: Okay guys! We get it. Now maybe this isn't the way any of us planned on spending our day but we're here. And we can't afford any secrets. (turns to Angel) Please. If there's something that you know, please tell us.



Angel: I'm really not sure if I know anything helpful.



Spike: That's a given.



Dawn: Spike shut up. (walks to stand between he and Angel and looks form one to the other) I don't care what is going on with you two. I don't care about anything except bringing Buffy home. We came all the way here and we've accomplished nothing. Buffy's still gone and now the only shot we had at finding her has just been taken away by the very people she left to help. (looks at Angel) Why is that?



Angel: I'm not sure.



Dawn: Stop it! You know something or we wouldn't all be here. So tell us what it is. If you ever cared about my sister at all, you'll tell us why we have to stand by and possibly allow her to die in some unknown dimension courtesy of your friend.



Lorne: I think we call agree that Sajhan is no friend of Angel's. That demon is the cause of every problem we have right now. He brought Holtz into this time. He swore vengeance against Angel for reasons not even Angel is aware of.



Angel: Alright. I'll tell you everything.



Cordy: Angel!



Angel: (Holds up a hand) I have to Cordy. (Looks at Willow, Dawn and Xander before finally stopping on Spike) The child Sajhan claimed to need Buffyís help to save.



Willow: So the child is real?



Angel: (nods) Yes, he's real. (pauses unsure of how to say the words)



Xander: What? Out with it.



Angel: (drops his head to look at his feet) He's my son.



A deathly silence falls over the room. No one speaks for a moment as the words seem to travel through the air for lasting effect.



Xander: Squeeze me? (looks at Willow and shakes his head as if trying to correct his hearing) What did he say?



Willow: Um...I think...



Angel: Buffy went after my son. He's the child that Sajhan is searching for.



Spike: (quietly) Bloody hell.



Dawn: How can you have a son? You're not alive. You're still dead right?



Angel: yes. I'm still...dead.



Gunn: It's undead to be exact.



Xander: Dead, undead. Either way, not supposed to be of the procreating. So...what...why...how?



Cordy: We've been working on that for a while now. But its not important. The fact is Angel has a son and that Sajhan guy brought Holtz here to destroy him.



Fred: Holtz took Connor a few days ago. He jumped into a portal that Sajhan created. As far as we knew, it was a portal into hell or something close to it.



Spike: So you're saying that the Slayer's in hell?



Dawn: Oh God.



Angel: I don't know anything anymore. When Willow said that Buffy was told she was going to save a child, I didn't understand. Sajhan would never willingly allow my son to be spared. He wanted him dead more than anyone. That's why I don't understand.

Xander: (Still unmoving) Connor? Angel has a son. And his name is Connor?

Cordy: Snap out of it Xander. We've moved on. You can work through the ramifications later.

Spike: I gotta tell you Angel. You've certainly pulled one out this time. How did you manage to...wait, who's the mother?



Angel: I really don't think that's important.



Xander: The mother? The woman who carried the spawn of Angel? Oh yeah, I'm sensing importance.



Dawn: Does Buffy know? Is that why she went so willingly?



Angel: No! How could she know?



Willow: Well she wasn't too keen on revealing the details of your reunion meeting earlier this year.



Gunn: Her too huh? What was it, some kind of pact?



Angel: I donít know about Darl...I didn't know when I saw Buffy.



Spike: Wait one bloody minute! You were about to say Darla! (walks to stand in front of Angel) Darla is the babe's mother?



Xander: Darla! Darla as in the sire you killed to save Buffy Darla? How is that even possible? What the hell is going on here?



Wes has been writing this whole time and finally stops to hand the paper to Fred.



Fred: Um excuse me guys, Wes needs to say something.



Angel is more than happy to turn away from the questions to listen as Fred reads the paper.



Wes/Fred: I know this is all overwhelming for those of you who haven't been privy to the goings on here in LA, but perhaps we can save the question and answer session for after we retrieve Buffy and Connor. I'm sure if given half the chance, the happenings in all our lives could keep us occupied for hours. But I must insist we stay focused here. The PTB don't want us searching out Buffy and we need to know why.



No one speaks when Fred is done and they all begin thinking on their own about what everything means.





Cut to White place

Buffy and Connor now stand facing Holtz and Sajhan.

Sajhan never answered Buffy's question and they all stare at one another in silence contemplating their next move.



Holtz: My son.



Connor: Who are you speaking to?



Buffy turns to see Connor in human form and seems unsure if heís even the same person. He returns her glare with an equally puzzled expression.



Woman: (VO) They have a purpose for each of you. Only for this time shall it become clear. Your time is brief in this place, you must make sure your intentions. They have given you a choice.



Buffy: Is somebody going to fill me in on the faceless voice?



Sajhan: She is who brought me to you. She works for Them.



Buffy: Of course she does. So what's with the clean cut on our friend here? (She points at Connor) And why isn't he trying to kill us?



Holtz: He's not a killer. He was only facing the demon side that he was cursed with by his creator.



Buffy: Okay. And for those of us without the cliff notes, what does that mean?



Woman: If you wish to know the truth, it will be revealed. However, seeing the truth will only bring more questions.



Buffy: (Staring up) Well since all I have is questions at the moment, maybe you could throw me a bone?



Woman: Very well. Look to the one who brought you.



Buffy looks at Sajhan who seems to have realized what is about to happen and begins backing up.



Sajhan: (Calls out to woman) No! This wasn't part of the plan! I don't want this!



Woman: When will you learn? What you want is not of concern to Them. The chosen path can not be deviated from. If she is to save him, she must know from whom and what she is saving him from.



Sajhan: I chose my own destiny to prevent this. I gave myself to them to stop this!



Woman: No. You gave yourself to prevent the future. This is the past. If you do not alter the past in Their way, the future will be lost. The child, and the slayer will be lost. Is this what you wish?



Sajhan drops his head and his shoulders slump defeatedly.



Holtz: What is the meaning of this? Why is the one who brought me to kill the child now seeking out the salvation of the same? What have They planned for my son?



Buffy: You know what? I'm not in the mood for all this. I did what They asked. I came to find the boy. But They sent this (points at Connor) in his place. Now I've battled to the death and have nothing to show for it.



Woman: You only have yet to see what there is to show. Look to him, the one who brought you here. Look to him for the answer.



Buffy looks again at Sajhan and he closes his eyes so as not to face her when it happens. Without a sound, Sajhan becomes the one he was before the change. Buffy's eyes widen as she sees the man before her and what he holds in his hands. She begins to back away and shake her head furiously.



Buffy: No. What are They doing? No, this isn't true.



Holtz: It can't be. I did not join forces with this. I did not allow this to bring me to my son.



Woman: Your time here is done. You have served your purpose. You thought you knew what true vengeance was, but you only brought vengeance to him. You made him the one thing you believed impossible. A son for that world where pain is every day and with every one. Your quest was to make the demon suffer. And you did ten fold. Your place is no longer here.



With that statement before Holtz can respond he looks to his son one last time before disappearing before the three sets of eyes.



Buffy: (To Sajhan) Where did you come from?



Sajhan: From long after you are aware of. I had no choice when They came to me. I sacrificed to make it undone.



Buffy: Sacrifice? You're speaking to me of sacrifice?



Woman: His is not comparable to the one you will make.



Buffy: (Looks at the child in Sajhan's hands) And this is him. This is who you did this for?



Sajhan: Yes. Not only for him, but yes.



Buffy: And do I get to find out who he is?



Woman: In time, it will be revealed. But only if you ensure his correct path. You must take him.



Buffy: Take him where?



Woman: To his time. He has one more course to travel with his new knowledge.



Buffy: And is this path back in Sunnydale? Do I get to go home?



Woman: Your home is where ever the Chosen one takes you. You must watch over him for a time and then take him to his day. Take him back to his father. His rightful father.



Buffy: (looks at Sajhan) And he will be there?



Woman: You mustnít tell him of your travels. He can never know that you crossed paths with this one.



Buffy looks at Sajhan knowing that he is the secret she must keep.



Sajhan: I didn't know.



Woman: The one who brought you here can not go back. He must be ended now.



Buffy: What? No! I won't do it! It's too much to ask!



Sajhan: I knew this was the end of my journey when I took it on. Though I didn't expect to end it with you.



Buffy: And you won't! I'm not doing it!



Woman: If you wish to go home, back to your time and your world without a doomed fate for yourself and those you love, you will do what must be done.



Buffy begins to cry as a weapon appears in her hands. She drops it to the floor and steps away. Sajhan crosses the space between them and holds out the infant for her to take.



Woman: This is not what They chose! She must be the one to end him!



Sajhan: (Bends to pick up the sword as Buffy's tears fall on the child) He is all that matters. I began my journey to ensure his end. I end mine to ensure his beginning.



Buffy struggles to understand what it means but before she can accept it, Sajhan raises the sword with both hands and pushes it with all his strength through his chest.

Buffy screams out and drops to her knees as Connor begins to wail from within her protecting arms. Sajhan collapses onto the floor as blood seeps from his wound.



Woman: The infant becomes a man, The beast became the infant, the infant now becomes the man

again to do his duty. You must watch over him until the time comes to take him home. Your world is moving on although much slower. You can't hold on to this time. It is past. He is done as They chose him to be.



Buffy: (Sobbing) I don't understand. I don't want to be here anymore. I don't want to help Them anymore! They only want to hurt me! I've suffered enough. WE have suffered enough!



Woman: The emotions that you allow to entangle your life are the cause of your pain. Nothing else is to blame.



Without warning, Buffy is pulled yet again into another portal. This time Connor is pulled from her arms and she watches him change into the same man that fell into Pylea once before. She is kept from him and can only watch as he hits the ground in the middle of the village.

As he stands and sees the inhabitants going about their daily lives, instead of battles from within, he seems to know what he's searching for. He strides to the boy that he reached for once before. This time, instead of anger or destruction being his intent, it is only the preordained path.



Boy: (as Connor grabs his arm) Who are you? Please! Don't hurt me!



Connor: Calm yourself boy. I'm here to help you. You will be a great leader for your people. Your life's purpose will be a noble one. I am here to teach you.



Boy: Teach me what? I'm just a boy. I'm not ready for educating.



Connor: What you are ready for is unknown to you. But I will show you. I will train you in the ways of ancient and future warriors. I will stay until you are ready for what you must do. I'll endow you with skills and knowledge and the legend.



Boy: Legend?



Connor: Yes. Your destiny is only possible through my own. It will only be a legend to you. But when the time comes, years after I am gone, you will remember what I taught you. And you will know what must be done. They sent me to you. Your path is the path They have chosen. Your name is the Groosalug and I am your master.



Buffy watches more confused than ever. Not knowing what to make of why They brought her here with this boy. With his boy.

 

part 11

Interior: Hyperion
The group has broken apart into smaller teams trying
to make sense of all that has happened.

Wes is looking weaker by the minute but refuses to
heed anyone's warnings of the risks he's taking to
help.
Fred and Gunn are with him communicating through notes
and a private sign language that they've developed in
the short period of time he's been without a voice.
Fred's typing away at the computer as Gunn watches
with an appreciative smile on his face. Wes notices
the look and tries to find something to busy himself
with while he waits on the results of Fred's latest
web search.

Xander and Dawn are sitting uncomfortably in the
middle of the room each watching the others in
silence.
Xander seems more than a bit uncomfortable witnessing
the love and affection between Cordy and Groo. He
tries to look away but his eyes always fall back to
the couple.
Dawn is staring at Angel. She's heard so much about
him and had a picture in her mind of what he would be.
So far, she's not too impressed. Although his words of
promise to do anything he could to save Buffy struck a
chord deep within, she only hopes he follows through.
He is sitting alone in the corner obviously deep in
thought.
On the other side of the room, Spike and Willow are
arguing quietly.

Willow: Spike, I know you want to help. But going
behind his back and risking his son? Do you really
think Buffy would want that?

Spike: So you believe the two of them are still bent
for each other as well?

Willow: Was it ever a doubt?

Spike doesn't respond but the muscle working in his
jaw tells Willow that he doesn't like the idea.

Willow: Spike, you can't go after her alone. You don't
even know where to go.

Spike: But you could find out.

Willow: What?

Spike: You could talk to the Wesley bloke. Find out
how to open that portal thing. You were willing to do
anything to bring her back last time. All I'm asking
you to do now is get me the information. I'll handle
the rest.

Willow looks around nervously and struggles with what
to do.


Cut to Angel
He flashes back to the last time he saw Buffy. The
meeting had been too brief and too painful for both of
them. They knew it couldn't happen again. Maybe ever.
When they were together, the world didn't matter. And
that wasn't option for either of them. It was too
dangerous. There was too much to be done.
They had sworn to try. Try and keep their distance for
good this time. It was the only way to protect
themselves and the rest of the world. Their love
seemed destined to bring only pain to everyone it
touched. Not just them. There were so many others
involved. Now there was Connor. He hadn't told her.
He had wanted to. He had wanted to run to her the
first time he saw Darla, but he knew it would have
been a mistake. It would kill her to know. It would
kill him to see her find out the truth. He couldn't
face her. Now she was going to find out from someone
else. She would find his son and save him from those
who wanted him dead. He had no doubt. Thatís who she
was.
No, his concern now was what would happen when they
came back. How would he explain? Could he? There had
been too much. This would be too much. Even for a love
such as theirs. He knew it. He felt it.

Cordy: (putting a hand on his shoulder) Angel?

Angel: (startles and loses his train of thought as he
looks up at Cordy) What's up?

Cordy: I was going to ask you the same thing. Where
were you?

Angel: Nowhere. I'm just waiting.

Cordy: Waiting?

Angel: (nods quickly) Yeah, for Buffy.

Cordy: But...

Angel: (stands up) She'll be here. And she'll bring
Connor home. All we have to do is wait.

He starts to walk away but Cordy grabs his arm. He
turns to see her in the midst of having a vision.

Angel: Cordy what is it?

Groo hears Angel's question from across the room and
rushes to her side. Xander and Dawn stand up watching
the scene.

Cordy retrieves a piece of paper and jots down the
address of the problem.

Cordy: Do we have time for an innocent?

Angel takes the paper and heads to the remains of his
weapons cabinet.

Gunn: Need some back up Angel?

Angel : Never hurts.

Dawn: (Speaking up loudly) What's going on? Where are
you going? What about Buffy?

Cordy: This is what we do. We can't stop everything
for...

Dawn: Why am I even surprised? I mean what do you guys
have to worry about? The stupid PTB ensured your
precious son would survive no matter what. Buffy will
save him and might die doing it, but hey, you guys
have work to do here, right?

Fred: It's not like that. If we could help Buffy and
find Connor ourselves, we would. But our best shot is
figuring out who Sajhan is and why he's after Angel
and Connor in the first place. If we figure that out,
we'll be able to help Buffy too.

Willow: She's right Dawn. I know its hard just sitting
here but...

Dawn: It's not right! Buffy has gone through so much
and a lot of it was his fault!

Angel flinches slightly when Dawn points at him.

Dawn: Now he's perfectly content letting her battle
whatever it is that she's facing while he goes off to
play hero!

Angel: (Takes last weapon to place under his coat and
walks towards Dawn) I don't expect you to understand
or agree with what I'm doing. I know you must hate me,
but I'm doing what They want me to. If I ignore the
visions They send Cordy, it will only make things
worse. (Stops in front of her to look down at her for
the second time) Trust in her. She is better than I
could ever hope to be. Stronger. She will come back to
you. If there was any way I could help her, I would.
But They won't allow it. Now please stay here and wait
for your sister. (looks at Gunn) You ready.

Gunn: I can't believe you still ask me that. (starts
following him out the door)

Groo: (looks at Cordy) I must go.

Cordy: (Kisses him on the cheek) Be careful.

Xander and Spike exchange a look as the others head
out the door.

Spike: Well, I could use a distraction.

Angel: I don't have time for any tricks Spike.

Spike: I'm a changed man Angel. You should've seen it.

Angel: I cant say I'm sorry I did.

Xander: I'm coming too! (jogs over to the door, the
group stops)

Angel: Xander, I don't think...

Xander: And that's how you should keep it. Don't
think. Don't give orders. Just do your thing and leave
the rest to the living of the group.

Gunn: Hey, you can't talk to...

Angel: Gunn don't. Let's just do this. But Xander, I
won't stop to coddle you. If you come, you hold up
your end.

Xander: Don't you worry about my...end. I'm not the
same Xander you left behind in Sunnydale buddy.

Angel raises an eyebrow, but proceeds out the door.

Just as the door closes behind them Lorne comes
downstairs.

Lorne: Where'd everybody go? What'd I miss?

Wes, Cordy, Willow, Dawn and Fred all look at him
strangely.


Cut to Buffy
Sits watching from above as Connor trains Groo in the
art of warriors. He has been at it for weeks and
Buffy has lost track of how long she's been in this
place. She thinks about Sajhan and has stopped weeping
for him. She knows it was what was destined and she
knows after all her years as Slayer, destiny for her
and those she loves is more powerful than anything in
existence.
She hears Connor begin to speak of the legend that he
must learn to accept his destiny. A tale of a great
battle between the very source of evil and the
greatest example of good ever created. A tale of a
Slayer that exceeded the life she was fated to have.
Buffy begins to lose the sound and strains to hear
what Connor is saying. But soon there is only movement
of his lips as if a mute button had been pushed.

Woman: There are things you can not know.

Buffy: It's about time! I was beginning to think They
forgot about me.

Woman: They forget nothing. All is going as They
planned.

Buffy: Well then I'm thrilled, really. But can you
tell me why They want me here to watch this? I mean,
its great that he's good and all but I thought I was
supposed to take him back.

Woman: This is your path. Before you can return and
with the son, you must learn your own limitations.
They have gone to great lengths to ensure this
outcome. Far greater than for any Slayer or any other
being ever before.

Buffy: Well then lets get it over with. I've been
shown who Sajhan really was and I get it. I can't ever
tell anyone what happened. I won't. I swear. I just
want to bring him home. He deserves to be with his
father.

Woman: Your intentions are noble. You accept the truth
without question, regardless of the pain it caused
you. Most would not.

Buffy: I'm figuring you already know I'm not like
most. It's fine. We were headed in opposite directions
anyway. We made that choice together.

Woman: yes, you were together. But you weren't alone.

Buffy: What?

Woman: The Powers. They were there. They watched the
reunion. They kept you from learning the truth.

Buffy: Truth? What truth?

Woman: If He had known then what was to be. that his
son was coming. He never would have agreed.

Buffy: Agreed to what? What does his son have to do
with us?

Woman: When you were away, when the end had come.
Before she brought you back. You had seen the truth.
Where you were. It wasn't the heaven you believed. It
was the truth of how it happened. But They took that
truth from you when she pulled you back through dark
forces. It altered the child's path. That was the
first deviation.

Buffy: Why does everything have to be so Shakespearean
Tragedy for you people? Can't you just say, "Buffy,
your life is never going to be simple. Just when you
think you've got it figured out, we're going to send
you one helluva curve ball and erase everything you
thought you had figured." At least I wouldn't have to
work overtime trying to follow along with the cryptic.

Woman: You have endured much more than They ever
planned. It should have been passed on, but you
surprised even Them. But before you go, you must see
what you'll be returning to. It is not as it was when
you left.

Buffy: So I won't be going back to the same time I
left?

Woman: No. Your world has come together in your
absence. They all await your return.

Buffy: All?

Suddenly a window appears.
Woman: See what is happening in your dimension as we
speak. You will need to be prepared to face them.

Buffy walks to look through the window and sees Angel
walking purposefully down a dark street.

Buffy: (quietly) Angel. (She seems relieved to see him
and tries to hide her smile)

Woman: Look around him.

Buffy watches as Gunn, then Groo, then Xander and
finally Spike enter her line of sight.

Buffy: This is real? They're all together?

Woman: It would seem. They came together in their
search for you. Now they work together to fight.

Buffy: What are they fighting?

Woman: Nothing too threatening on the physical plane.
But their own inner demons are battling ferociously.

Buffy: What does that mean?

Woman: It means if you hope to salvage any of them,
you must see what the alternative is.

Buffy frowns as she watches them enter an alley still
not sure what she's being told.


Cut to Downtown LA
The five men are searching for the address Cordy wrote
down. After two sweeps of the street, they realize
there is no such address.

Angel: I don't get it. Cordy never makes mistakes when
it comes to her visions.

Gunn: Maybe you're reading it wrong. (takes the paper
and realizes it's not Angel)

Spike: I should have known better than to think I'd
find any excitement with you.

Angel: Shut up Spike. No one invited you along.

Xander: So we head back right? No bad, no fight, no
need?

Angel: (glances around one last time) I guess not. I
don't like it though. It's not right.

Spike: Maybe what you're feeling is your complete lack
of feeling about Buffy. That's whatís not right if you
ask me.

Angel: Well I didn't.

Spike: It's rather appropriate really. I just wish she
could be here to see it. The way that girl idealized
every bloody thing about you, even after you turned, I
swear it's about time the truth came out.

Angel: You don't know what truth is Spike.

Spike: Really? I'll tell you what I do know friend.
What the Slayer and I have is more than you could ever
hope for. She trusts me. She believes in me. She
confides in me.

Xander: Spike, stop talking about your fantasy world
like it's real. (looks at Angel shaking his head)
Spike's had a bit of a setback. He's decided he's got
some special bond with Buffy that none of us know
about. Its really kind of sad when you think about it.
Who's ready to head back?

Gunn: I'm game. This whole vision thing was a bust.
Let's see what the others have found out.

Xander and Gunn begin to walk away but Spike and Angel
remain.

Spike: (Staring into Angel's eyes) The Scoobies aren't
privy to things with Buffy like they used to be. I've
told her she needs to come out with it before it bites
her, but she won't hear of it. But I guess you've been
there haven't you? I remember a time when the two of
you were doing the denial thing. Didn't work out too
well did it?

Angel: Spike, I don't think you want to do this.

Spike: Do what? I think this is exactly what I need to
do. Maybe then you'll understand why getting Buffy
back is my only concern. See, I love her. And she
won't admit it yet. Hell, she may never admit it, but
deep down, she knows how she really feels. And so do
I.

Angel: (strange sound escapes his throat) Love? Do you
honestly think she could ever love you?

Spike: Well if I'm going on past history. She already
worked through the undead issue. Thanks for covering
that for me by the way. And seeing as how, everyone
she's ever loved before has left her hi and dry, I
figure I got the upper hand this time. You claimed to
leave to give her a better life. A normal life. Well,
so far, I'm thinking you missed the mark on that one.
How about you? Iím the one person whoís stuck it out. I
didn't bail when it got tough. She likes that. She
needs that.

Angel: You don't know her like I do. You can't. You
are playing some sick game trying to get back at me.
That's all you've ever done. Try and hurt me. Never
could get over the Dru thing could you? What can I
say? She needed some discipline in her life. You
certainly didn't know how to give it to her.

Spike growls and rushes Angel. He slams him against
the brick wall and several come loose under the force.
Xander and Gunn hadn't heard the conversation but turn
when they hear Angel's grunt. Seeing Spike holding him
off his feet by the collar, they rush back the few
yards they had covered.
Xander grabs Spike and pulls him off.

Gunn: What the hell was that?

Angel stands and straightens his jacket.
Angel: That was Spike facing the truth.

Spike: I'll give you the truth! You think you have
some great love! You think it's destiny and all
encompassing and mightier than any other being on
earth can imagine? Well she doesn't even remember you!
She doesn't talk about you and she doesn't think about
you. When we make love she screams my name and begs
for more!

Xander and Gunn are lost and don't know what Spike is
talking about but don't have time to think about it as
they watch Angel vamp out and tackle him to the
ground. Angel begins squeezing his neck harder and
harder until its obvious the sound of bones cracking
will be coming in seconds.
Gunn is pulling desperately on Angel but can't budge
him. Spike loses the smirk when he begins to see that
he may have gone too far. From out of nowhere, Xander
pulls a cross out of his pocket and calls out a
warning to Angel. When he doesn't ease up, Xander
presses it against Angel's neck and he screams out in
pain as the smoke rises. His grip loosens just enough
to allow Gunn to pull him backwards and they both fall
to the ground. Angel holding his burnt skin and Xander
helping Spike to his feet. Groo watches in silence. He
begins to remember something.


Cut to Buffy
Buffy: Stop it! (She screams out in tears) Please,
make them stop! What is happening?

Woman: It is done. The final piece is in place.

Buffy: What are you talking about? It's not supposed
to happen like this. This isn't real!

Woman: It's very real. And it will only get worse if
you try and fix it. You must hold fast to the
knowledge you have here. If he hates you for it, it is
the way They want it. You can't defend the truth. When
he goes back, when you take him. You must remember
this and know what must be done.

Buffy: I have to tell him. I have to explain!

Woman: If you do, all will be lost. He must never know
the truth. He must believe the creature's version. He
must hate you.

Buffy: (crying anew) Oh God. No. Please, anything but
that. I can't let him think...

Woman: It is the path. All will be lost if you don't
follow it.

Buffy: So I lose him?

Woman: Did you have him before?

Buffy doesn't answer and glances back at the group of
men breathing heavily against what has happened.

Woman: The child is the key. He will repair all in his
time.

Buffy: When? What does that mean?

The window disappears and the sound from Groo and
Connor's training is back. Buffy calls out to the
woman but doesn't get a reply. She listens to the
words.

Connor: Each person has a destiny. Yours is greater
than any other. You will save them all.

Groo: I don't understand. Who will I save?

Connor: It will be clear when the time is at hand.
Just remember what I told you. It is not a fairytale,
I saw her. I was there. She is the one. When you meet
her, you must protect her at all costs. If there is to
be a future, she has to live. She has to survive. When
she comes, I will be gone and there at the same time.
I will watch you. Do what I taught you. Be what you
are.

Buffy tries desperately to know what the meaning is
behind the words.


Cut to Alley
The four other men are facing off in shock and anger.
Groo is oblivious as he begins to hear his master's
last words to him. He knows the time is at hand. He
will soon face the Slayer and his master in battle.

 

part 12

Interior: Hyperion
Wes is in his office alone. He strains to speak
holding his hand against his throat. After several
moments of pain and effort, a whisper finally escapes
his lips. He seems pleased.

In the Lobby Cordy watches Dawn and Willow speaking
privately before turning to Fred.

Cordy: I can't believe that's Buffy's sister. I mean,
I know it is. But she just seems so...not.

Fred: Um hum. (Sheís absently listening as she peruses
her latest find on the web) Cordy take a look at this.

Cordy bends to look at the screen.

Cordy: Where did you get this?

Fred: I did a search under the name Sajhan. I don't
even know if I spelled it right.

Cordy: But if you did...

Fred: If I did, then we have something big.

Cordy: Angel should see this.

Willow: (From behind) Should see what?

Cordy: (cries out and jumps) Geez, Will! What's with
the lurking? I thought that was the undead specialty.

Willow: (shrugs) My miss. So what did you find?

Fred: I was just...

Suddenly the front door swings open and the guys come
in arguing amongst themselves.

Gunn: All I'm saying is I don't know why you had to
pull out the hardware man.

Xander: I was trying to help him out MAN. Angel was
going to kill him!

Angel: What happened to the days when we all agreed
killing Spike would be a good thing?

Spike: What happened to the days when you knew when to
give up and walk away? Isn't that what you do best?

Gunn: See? What is your malfunction dude? We're
supposed to be on the same side here. Maybe if you
have a problem with that, you should...

Xander: Oh yes! By all means, lets do whatever it
takes to excuse Angel trying to KILL someone!

Angel: (Stopping to turn and yell) Save your outrage
for when an actual human is at risk! Did you even stop
to ask what I got so angry about? Did you even wonder
what Spike was talking about before? Who Spike was
talking about before? I thought you were her friend!
How can you let him say those things about her?

Spike: I didn't...

Gunn: Oh yes you did! 'Screaming your name'? What is
that?

Xander: You mean, Spike was talking about...(looks at
Spike) How delusional ARE you?

Spike: We'll see who's delusional. I'll show you all!
She loves me!

Angel: That's it. (takes a step towards him)

Cordy rushes forward.
Cordy: Hey! Hold up on second! What is going on? What
happened out there? And where is Groo?

The guys all turn to look behind them surprised that
he's not there.

Angel: He was just here.

Just as Cordy is about to panic, Groo comes through
the door and she rushes into his arms.

Cordy: Oh God! I'm so glad to see you. I thought...

Groo: (Stroking her hair) I am fine Princess. But
there is much to be done. I must prepare.

Gunn: Prepare for what?

Groo: For the battle. I feel it is coming soon and we
must all be ready. She will come.

Xander: She?

Groo: (nodding) The Slayer. I heard my mater while we
were out there. He told me that I had to be ready. She
will need my help. And he will be watching.

Angel: Who will be watching?

Groo: My master.

Everyone looks at Groo in confusion. Everyone except
Fred. She still looks at the computer screen intently.

Cut to shot of screen
Words in a foreign language:
Khojat fira-o bidays peeokat paaeeai


Cut to Buffy

Woman: There is one more thing you must see. It will
be the most difficult.

Buffy: Why?

Woman: If you are to finish this, you must know the
reasons why. You must see why They had to do things
this way.

Buffy: Yes please. I would love to finally know why.

Woman: Once you see the truth, it will be yours
forever. Do you understand?

Buffy: Yes. Just do it.

Woman: No one will know this but you. And it has to
remain as such.

Buffy: Alright already! Just tell me! Show me!

Woman: (finally appears to Buffy for the first time)
The time of prophecy is at hand. What your world
doesn't know is that the time already came and went
once before.

Buffy: Huh?

Woman: The PTB, the Source, they all work without
constraints of time. The future is as easily reached
as the past or present to other worlds. This is how
They could save them. But it would never have happened
if not for him.

Buffy: Without who?

Woman: The one you were destined for. His and your
paths were meant to cross. In several lifetimes, in
several dimensions. But in all others, it was not a
connection of love, but of hate. Of battle. The Slayer
and Angelus were meant to fight. Only one was to have
survived.

Buffy: (quietly) I killed him.

Woman: Yes, but the love which remained was even
greater than Them. It brought him back to your world.
It created the first deviation from the path.

Buffy: I don't understand.

Woman: When his soul was restored, They couldn't allow
him to stay in that place. His love for you, even
through his time in hell remained. It is this love
that led Them to send him back.

Buffy: So we had a second chance?

Woman: In a sense. But the second chance wasnít at
happiness, it was at reclaiming the battle. One was
destined to die.

Buffy: So everything since then?

Woman: It was all to search out the end. But again
love, was the deviation. He left you out of that love.
He removed the possibility of what was fated by
removing himself from your world.

Buffy: So Angel leaving me, that was the only way to
spare us?

Woman: It would seem.

Buffy: But what does this have to do with now?

Woman: When you yourself died, though not at Angelus
hand, the prophecy was fulfilled. They were done.

Buffy: (Slowly catching on) But they brought me back.

Woman: Yes. The dark magic that brought you back was
yet another deviation. However, this one was beyond
even Their control. Other forces were at work now.
Powerful forces for evil. When you went to him upon
your return. They watched. When you made the vow, They
saw their opportunity. The dark forces attacked the
one that you would never give up willingly.

Buffy: So you're saying Angel has these dark forces
after him because of me?

Woman: Yes, but that is not all. In the future, far
beyond what you know in your world, the war had
already been fought. What no one took into account was
the child. This is what you must see.

Buffy: I don't understand. What are you going to show
me?

Woman: You will see the reality of what he became.
What they both became. It was not an easy decision,
but he made it willingly.

Buffy: You're talking about Sajhan. Who he was?

Woman: Yes. He became the greatest ally the PTB ever
knew. He put all others before himself. Especially
those he cared for.

Buffy: So if he's from the future, then when he died
before, does that mean he's gone from my world?

Woman: His existence in the future was apart from that
of your world. That is why when he came here, to the
past, to help finish the path. He could not continue.
He knew he had to be ended. Though, in this existence,
it should have been you.

Buffy: (tears fall silently)So he did it himself.

Woman: It should have been expected. His is a noble
soul.

Buffy: So why do I have to see anything. I know the
truth now.

Woman: Because one more deviation can occur if not
protected against. If you do not understand the
significance of your reaction when you return, then
all will be for nothing.

Buffy: This is about what I saw between Spike and
Angel?

Woman: Yes. And more. The matter of love is not the
only issue at this point. It is a matter of survival.
For this reason, you must see what precipitated Their
drastic measures.

Buffy: Okay. I'm ready.

Woman: You could never be ready for this. But you must
bear witness.

The woman raises a hand to touch Buffy's forehead and
runs her hand over her eyes. Buffy's eyes close and
sees a flash of light before the scene of the future.


Cut to Connor
He finishes with Groo and begins to explain his
departure. He tells him his time in this life is done
and must go now. Groo is unsure but his Master tells
him he is ready. He need only be given the opportunity
to prove himself and he will.
Groo watches sadly as his Master walks away and out of
his life.


Cut to Hyperion
Fred has called Wes over as the others still argue on
the other side of the room.
Wes has retrieved his translation volume and been
studying the words on the screen. There are three
passages. He has written down the first and is almost
finished with the second.

Fred: (reading aloud from what Wes has written so far)
If I go searching in foreign lands, how can I find my
beloved?

She pauses as Wes scribbles the last words of the
second passage. dahdis chamkai beejul mukh ka-o
johtee. Then he translates to english on the paper.

Fred: (out loud) Lightening flashes in the ten
directions, I behold the face of my beloved. Wes, does
this mean what I think it does?

Wes: (Shrugs and shakes his head as he writes
furiously)

Fred: (reading aloud) How can it be? I don't know. It
may be nothing. But why would his name bring up this
text of all things? (reads again) Yes, you finish the
third, I'll go tell the others.

Wes doesn't respond and instead looks over to the
group squaring off before him. Fred looks as well and
gets a worried expression.

Fred: How could he be him?


Cut to Buffy
Her eyes remain closes as flashes bombard her. Death
is everywhere and she cries out over and over for it
to stop. She knows it won't though and drops to her
knees under the sorrow and despair she's experiencing.

Cut to Connor
He walks alone across the land waiting for his next
journey. The first strike of lightening misses him by
inches and he looks skyward for the second.

 

part 13

Interior: Hyperion
Willow and Dawn watch from the side helplessly as
Angel, Cordy and Gunn square off against Spike and
Xander.

Xander: The fact that you would even believe this crap
just goes to show how how little you know about Buffy
anymore.

Angel: I didn't say I believed it. But I'll be damned
if I let this trash talk about Buffy that way. I would
think you of all people would feel the same. Maybe Iím
not the only one who's not quite what they claim to
be.

Xander: You sorry bas...

Fred: Everybody stop!
The group turns in surprise at the usually demure
Fred.

Gunn: Fred?

Fred: (nervously) I...I'm sorry. But we found
something.

Cordy: Fred, before we go off half cocked, did you
figure out exactly what it meant?

Fred: (nods) Wesley did. He's working on the last now.

Angel: What are you two talking about?

Dawn: What did you find? Is it about Buffy?

Fred: I, I mean we (looks back at Wes) think so.

Willow: Well?

Fred looks at Wes and he only raises his head long
enough to motion her to fill them in without him.

Fred: Um...okay, I was doing research on the computer.
I just did a basic search under the name Sajhan and
kept changing the spelling because I wasn't sure which
was correct. I finally hit on one that brought up an
ancient text that almost looked like hieroglyphics.

Xander: As in Egypt? Mummies? As in we're now dealing
with mummies?

Cordy: (Condescending) Yeah Xander. That's it. You
figured it out. Buffy was kidnapped by an ancient
mummy.

Spike: Maybe we could hold off on the witty barbs
until the girl finishes?

Dawn: Yeah, what is it with you two? (looks between
Cordy and Xander)

Cordy/Xander: Nothing!

Groo: I must go now. I need to focus. Angel, do you
have a meditation room?

Angel: What? (shakes his head frustratedly) No Groo.
But I have a hundred empty rooms that you can do
whatever you need to in. Go find one.

Groo: Very well. Thank you. (turns to Cordy) I will be
back shortly.

Cordy barely nods as he leaves. She is too intent on
what Fred is going to say.

Willow: Okay, so will you please go on with what your
search uncovered?

Fred: Of course. According to the text that we've
translated so far, it would seem that Sajhan was fated
to search out Buffy in several times other than this.

Spike: What does that mean? Why do you people always
talk in riddles?

Cordy: Its not us. We only try and decipher the crap
the PTB and everyone else throws at us. It's not an
easy task believe me.

Angel: Fred, please. Just tell us.

Fred: The first passage translates roughly to 'If I go
searching in foreign lands, how can I find my
beloved?'

Xander: Huh?

Fred: If this is actually a reference to Sajhan...

Willow: How could it be? He wasn't searching out
someone he loved. He was searching out a child he
hates.

Fred: That's what he would have us believe. But what
if he was actually serving a greater purpose?

Cordy: By letting Holtz take Connor away? How is that
a greater purpose?

Fred: If he took Buffy into that world after Connor.
This passage would imply that he would also know that
someone would come after her. Someone to whom she was
beloved.

Spike: I told you I should have gone Willow.

Xander: What?

Willow: Spike, you would have failed and most likely
died in the process. You can't do it alone. None of us
can. Why else would we be here?

Fred: I don't believe any one was meant to go after
her.

Cordy: But I thought...

Fred: I said that Sajhan might have known that someone
would come after her. But the passage clearly states
that it would have been unsuccessful.

Xander: So tell us again how any of this is relevant?

Fred: The second passage. It seems to be leading to
the end.

Angel: What does it say?

Fred: Wes wrote it as saying...(stops to walk back to
the desk and peer over Wes' shoulder to ensure she
says it right) Lightening flashes in ten directions, I
behold the face of my beloved.

Willow: So if Sajhan was actually searching for Buffy,
then she would come to him after the lightening?

Fred: It makes the most sense.

Dawn: It makes no sense! None of this does! You say
that Sajhan was searching for Buffy, or knew someone
whom she loved would search for her. But he was evil!
He came after Angel, then his son and then when that
wasn't enough he came after Buffy.

Gunn: Unless he didn't know he would end up with
Buffy. Maybe something took him there, just like he
brought Holtz here.

Cordy: What does that mean?

Gunn: I'm just saying this guy has some major power.
He can jump between dimensions and time. He can do the
same for anyone else he chooses from the looks of it.
But now, we find out he works for the Powers that Be.
So this whole time we thought he was out to get Angel
and Connor. What if we were wrong? What if he was
actually out to save him...them?

Angel: Gunn that's impossible. If he wanted to save
either of us, he wouldn't have opened that damn portal
and demanded my son be killed. And there is no way he
could love Buffy. He isn't capable. He hates me. I
don't know why. But he hates me and he will do
anything to destroy me. And he may have gotten his
wish.

Spike: You certainly have a way with piling up the
enemies don't you? And people say I'm evil?

Angel: Spike shut up.

Cordy: Okay listen. This has to mean something right?
Its just going to take some time to figure it out. We
can do this.

Lorne: (descending stairs) I don't think we have much
time guys.

Dawn: How do you know?

Lorne: Cause I just ran into the Groosalug upstairs.
He's doing some wacky ancient chanting thing. Only
plus is it's got a melody. Enough of one that I got a
peek. And we're in for a big...real quick.

Spike: Big? What does that mean? Big what?

Lorne: He's reliving something about his training.
Something about the Slayer. Its hard to read clearly
above the charming mantra.

Angel: Mantra?

Lorne: Yeah, you know...Kulah Samooh Sagal uDhaara.
Over and over it's like a broken record only not as
pleasing to the ear.

Wes: (rushes over to Lorne and touches his shoulder)

Lorne: What? What's with the death grip?

Fred: I think he recognizes what you said.

Lorne: If he's heard that mess before, I'd like to
know where.

Fred looks at Wes and he nods his agreement.

Fred: Its the third passage.

Gunn: The third passage off the web? The one you were
trying to translate still?

Wes nods and walks to pick up the paper. Fred takes it
and begins to read aloud.

Fred: Kulah Samooh Sagal uDhaara...Ev...

Groo: (Interrupting as he walks downstairs) Everyone
can be saved.

All eyes turn in surprise as Fred nods that he had
known the passage.

Cordy: Groo? How did you know that?

Groo: (stops at the bottom of the stairs and scans the
faces in the room) Because it is my destiny.


Cut to Buffy
She has finished watching her worst nightmare come to
life and is on the floor still in tears.

Woman: Now you see the importance of your part. You
must never let them know, or all will be lost and what
you saw...everything you saw will come to pass. And
the past will be erased along with all you and he have
done.

Buffy: (Standing up and wiping her eyes)I won't let
that happen.

Woman: That is why They chose you. You will do what's
necessary.

Buffy: Yes. So where is he? Where's Connor?

Woman: You call him by his name?

Buffy: It's who he is. Who he deserves to be. I want
to take him home.

Woman: Very well. But remember this. Once you cross
over, his memories will be gone. He will be a boy
again. He won't know his father or the one he trained.
He won't remember what he did in the other worlds, in
the other times. He will only know you. It will not be
easy to leave him.

Buffy: I know where he belongs. I know where he'll be
safe.

Woman: There will come a day when it won't be so
clear. You will learn things about him. Things that
will make you doubt your choice.

Buffy: I have no doubt. I've seen the alternative. If
this is the path, I will follow it.

Woman: Very well. Prepare yourself for the last
battle. It will be the most telling of them all.

Buffy sees a flash of lightening and Connor is
deposited in front of her. They look at one another
for a moment before she holds out her hand to him.

Connor: Who are you?

Buffy: I'm the one who will take you home.

Connor: Home? I don't know where that is. I don't even
know where I am.

Buffy: It's okay. (drops to her knees to pull him
close in a hug) I will show you. You're safe now. I
swear it. Nothing will ever harm you where we're
going.

Connor: That sounds nice. I think I would like to go
there.

Buffy smiles and stands. They begin walking in no
specific direction when a third lightening strike
occurs.
In the next instant, they are dropped from thin air
towards a paved street. Buffy sees it coming and
gathers Connor safe in her arms and turns so they land
squarely on her back. He never touches the ground as
she protects him from the impact.

Cut to Hyperion
The group startles when out of nowhere a loud noise
comes from outside and in the next instant night
becomes day as a bright bolt of lightening is seen.

Xander: Great. Now it's going to storm. How apropos!

Angel: No. (walks to window to look outside at the
empty street) Sheís here.

Cordy: Who's here?

Dawn: Buffy?

Angel: I can feel her.

Spike: Oh sod off.

Xander: Shut up Spike.

Spike: You know I'm getting really tired of...

Willow: Stop it! (walks to stand behind Angel) Is she
okay?

Spike: Are you serious?

Cordy: I'm gonna have to go with Spike on this one.

Lorne: I wouldn't take that bet.

Willow: Angel?

Angel: She's alive.

Gunn: What about Connor? Is he with her?

Angel: (shakes his head and steps back towards the
center of the room) I don't know. But I intend to find
out.

Cordy: What are you going to do?

Angel: I'm going to find her.

Groo: I will come as well.

Angel: Whatever. (he heads to grab a weapon)

Spike: Well, I won't stay here and do nothing. She'll
need me.

Angel stops what he's doing at Spike's words but
doesn't turn to look at him.

Xander: I guess if Spike and Angel are going anywhere
together, there better be back up.

Gunn: I'm in.

Cordy: And what about us?

Angel: Stay here. In case she shows. I'll check in.

The guys leave out the same door they had entered only
hours before arguing with renewed purpose. The earlier
fighting is forgotten.

Dawn: I hate always being told to stay put. She's my
sister. I want to help.

Lorne: Don't worry. Something tells me we'll all get a
chance on this one.

Willow: Why do you say that? I thought once Buffy made
it back with Angel's son, everything would go back to
normal.

Fred: Do you have that in Sunnydale?

Willow: (shoulders slump) Good point.

Fred: Wes, did you find anything else?

Wes shakes his head but gives Fred a private look. She
excuses herself and Wes follows her into the office.

Fred: (waits for Wes to shut the door) I was right
wasn't I? It's him.

Wes nods slightly.

Fred: Oh God. I don't understand. How could he go
after Connor? What could Angel have done?

Wes: (begins to write something and then swallows hard
against his bandages-a ragged whisper finally escapes
his lips) Angelus.

Fred: Angelus? (thinks then begins to figure it out)
He did it to stop Angelus. Sajhan hates Angelus.

Wes: (whispers again)As only he could.


Cut to Buffy
She stands with the boy and sees the first wave
coming. She readies for anything.

Cut to Woman
She watches through a window such as before and speaks
out loud.
Woman: She must succeed. If the path is to exist, she
must face them all. I hope she is strong enough...

 

part 14

Exterior: Empty parking lot
Buffy runs with Connor to a small group of hedges on
the outskirts of the lot. She kicks one to the side
and nestles him in.

Connor: What's wrong? Why are we running? I thought we
would be safe.

Buffy: (bends to shush him and run a hand across his
forehead) It's okay. This is a game me and my friends
play sometimes. They dress up in funny costumes and
pretend to fight me. Your job is very important
though. You have to make sure they don't find you.
It's like hide and seek. If they hear you or see you,
then we'll lose. And we don't want to lose right?

Connor: (smiles) No. I want to win!

Buffy: That's my boy. Now you sit tight and no matter
what happens, you don't come out for anyone but me.
Got it?

Connor nods his head excitedly and Buffy smiles
lovingly before rushing away from the hedges.
She only gets half way across the lot when the first
arrive.


Cut to woman watching
Woman: It has begun. It is only a matter of if he can
battle his own enemies and still get to her in time.


Cut to Alley
Angel walks in front of the V-formation of men
striding down the street. They all appear combat ready
and silence has overtaken them. Each is thinking of
his own mission and though it is the same, all will
fight on their own.

Cut to Buffy
She watches cautiously as a scarred creature descends
upon her. It doesnít speak. She sees the arm raise in
preparation of a strike and she easily deflects the
blow with her own arm. At the same instant, she brings
the other fist across and connects with it's jaw. He
stumbles back.

Buffy: What? I know you can't be done yet. What's it
gonna be?

He growls and rushes her but she brings her knee up
and strikes a kidney shot that doubles him over. She
takes his head in a apparent sleeper hold.

Buffy: I gotta say I'm disappointed. I can't imagine
how you must feel.
With that she drops him to the pavement unconscious.
Buffy: I guess we have our answer don't we?

Without hesitation Buffy is tackled from behind. This
time she falls and her hands aren't quick enough to
keep her forehead from hitting the pavement. She tries
to recover quickly but a foot kicks her turning her
over onto her back.
She looks up into the eyes of what could be the
earlier things twin. She glances over to ensure its
not the same guy.

Buffy: Oops. Did I hurt your brother?

He growls in much the same way as the other and is so
overwhelmed with his own anger that he doesn't see the
foot coming. Buffy has raised a leg and brings it down
on the beasts knee. It snaps as the bone breaks and he
crumbles in pain. Buffy seizes an axe from his
waistband and hurls it away from her.
In her peripheral vision she has seen the other awaken
and start towards the hedges. The axe buries itself in
the back of her enemy as he runs towards Connor. It is
stopped by the blade and drops slowly down until his
last breath is taken just as he falls face down onto
the ground only feet from where she had left him.
His counterpart is writhing in pain but sees what has
happened. He cries out in some ungodly sound that is
sure to bring every living and non-living creature
onto them. She uses her elbow to crush his larynx as
she drops sideways on him. His windpipe blocked, there
will be no more sound and no more breath either in a
matter of moments.
She stands and rushes back to Connor.

Connor: (stands out of the bush) You're an impressive
fighter. Where did you learn all that?

Buffy: I'll tell you someday. But we have to go right
now.

Connor: But you defeated your friends. We are the
winners yes?

Buffy: Yes, but they're bad sports. They might try and
cheat. We need to hide for a while.

Connor: Hide? Where? And when will I see my home?

Buffy: Soon Connor. I promise, very soon. (She takes
his hand and pulls him along towards the safest place
she knows)
Just as they disappear, the fourth lightening strike
hits somewhere in the distance.



Cut to Alley
Angel is the first to know. He senses it only seconds
before the vamps attack.

Angel: Guys!
That's all he can get out before he receives a brutal
hit in the chest. he looks down and sees that these
vamps have weapons of their own.

Gunn and Xander are hit from behind and spin to face
two more vamps. They team up to dispose of one
extremely quickly and then take on the second.
Spike meanwhile is watching Angel struggle with his
own fight and doesn't notice one leaping form overhead.
He falls to the ground underneath the vamps weight and
rolls just in time to escape the stake. He jumps up
and looks down in surprise.

Spike: What is it with you LA freaks? Don't you know
better than to carry a stake. Hello? You're a vamp too
moron!

The vamp ignores him and rushes forward. Spike spins
and ducks at the same time. He reaches back to grab
the vamps staking hand and twist it around just as it
rushes him. Thus staking himself.

Spike: Now how hard is that? (looks at Angel
exchanging blows with the same vamp) Geez mate!
You've really lost your touch haven't you?

Angel hears this and seems motivated anew. He only
takes a split second to turn the tables and dust his
opponent.

Angel: (looks at Spike) What were you saying?

Gunn: Hey! They've got Groo!

Angel and Spike both turn to see Groo several yards
away fighting off two on his own.

Spike: Now that's a guy who knows what he's doing.

Xander: Spike, would you just help us please?

The four men rush to Groo's aide but Angel slows when
the lightening illuminates the night sky again. (5th
strike) He looks skyward and sees clouds swarming
overhead. his concentration is broken when he hears
Gunn's cry for help.
He rushes back into the fray.


Cut to Lobby
Cordy is sitting with Willow and Dawn when she sees
something.
A flash of Angel helping Groo brings her to her feet.
Then she has a flash of Groo alone and the guys are
nowhere to be seen.
Then Buffy, she is slaying a demon when another
appears behind her.
Groo rushes to help but is hit from behind. She
doesn't see with what and she doesn't see by who, but
he doesn't get up.

The vision ends and Cordy cries out.

Cordy: Oh God no!

Willow: What is it Cordy? Was it a vision?

Lorne: (rushes to help her sit) Listen honey, you have
to be strong here. This is beyond your control.
Whatever They showed you, it's not something we can
avoid.

Cordy: (looks at Lorne) Groo was hurt. He tried to
save Buffy and he got hurt.

Dawn: So Buffy's okay?

Willow: (sends Dawn a glance) Dawnie! I'm sorry Cordy.
It's just the sister thing. Of course we are concerned
about Groo. Did you see anything else?

Cordy shakes her head and takes a deep breath trying
to calm herself.

Cordy: I can't stay here. I have to find them. I have
to warn Groo.

Lorne: Honey, I don't think thatís such a...

Cordy: (stands and glares at Lorne in anger) What? You
don't think it's a good idea? And I suppose you think
a better idea would be to let him die? Yes, lets all
not do anything that might interfere with saving
Buffy's ASS!

Before anyone can respond another lightening bolt
streaks across the sky as Wes and Fred rush out of the
office to see what the commotion is about.


Cut to Angel fighting the two left. He and the others
are easily finishing them off when the lightening
comes fatter and fatter. Soon, it is almost as if the
night is turning to day against the bright bolts of
light that fill the sky.

Cut to Buffy
She doesn't remember being here before. But she knows
he will come. This is where she will see him. This is
where he'll find Connor.

Cut to Hyperion
Cordy doesn't say anything as she speeds out of the
lobby and into the night. Fred and Wes rush after her
leaving Lorne, Dawn and Willow staring at one another
dumbfounded.

Dawn: I'm going.

Willow: I don't think...

Dawn: I'm going! (She spins to take off after the
others and Willow rushes out calling her name)
Lorne sees this and shakes his head.

Lorne: It never ends with these people. (looks up at
the ceiling) And it never will will it?
He knows an answer isn't coming so he rushes after the
group ahead of him.


Cut to Alley
The two vamps have been dusted and the guys are trying
to refocus when the sounds of a second wave are heard.
Groo, Gunn, Xander and Spike turn to see a group of
uglies heading their way.

Xander: I'm thinking stakes aren't going to get it
done with these guys.

Gunn: I'm thinking you're right.

Angel: We split up.

Xander/Gunn: What?

Spike: Sounds about right. You always have liked doing
things on your own.

Angel: It's better. Gunn, you take Xander and stay
together. Make your way back towards the hotel. We'll
meet back there and regroup.

Spike: No way I'm leaving her out in this mess! I'll
find her my bloody self!

He strides off in the direction of the oncoming band
of beasts and Groo glances at Angel confusedly before
following him.
Gunn and Xander run in the opposite direction of the
newest threat and Angel stands in silence for a
second.
The lightening strikes again and he begins walking
purposefully.

He drops down through the hole and seems to know where
he's going. Without warning, a streak of lightening
descends through the opening he just entered and
creates several more that shoot in all directions. He
doesn't have time to realize there are twelve before
he shuts his eyes against the painful light they
create.
When he finally lowers his hand from his face, his
eyes slowly readjust to the darkness. She sees him
first. She faces him in wonder as he struggles to make
sense of it.

VO: Lightening flashes in twelve directions, I behold
the face of my beloved.

Angel's eyes focus on her in front of him. They stare
in silence for what seems an eternity. Connor is not
in sight. It is only them.

Buffy: (Whispers) Angel.

Angel:( voice shakes) My beloved.

She frowns at his words.

Angel: (still eerily quiet) How can you be here? The
passage...it said...I don't understand.

Buffy: (Steps forward slowly) Ssh. It's okay. We need
to talk.

 

Part 15- "AFP"

Exterior: LA
Spike and Groo are in the midst of an intense fight
with three left
Over vamps from the earlier group. The two work
together effortlessly as if
fighting as one.
Groo disposes of one that has taken all his attention
and turns to see
Spike struggling a bit. Spike gets frustrated and
vamps out just as Groo
Moves forward to help. Thinking Spike has decided to
feed, the vamp fighting
Him smirks and loosens his grip on him. Spike takes
advantage of the opportunity
and throws his weight against him and onto Groo's
outreached rudely
fashioned stake.
By the time they turn their attention to the last
survivor, he is
already
running in the opposite direction.

Spike: Come on now! Don't wimp out on us!

Groo: We should let him go. There is much to be done.
We must find her.

Spike: I suppose you mean the Slayer. (straightens his
jacket collar and
steps forward forcing Groo to follow behind) Yeah,
we'll just add you to her
fan club. If I was the jealous type, I just might have
to put you in your place.

Groo: (jogging to catch up) Place? My place is with
the Slayer. I was
destined to fight with her. It is what my Master told
me.

Spike: Yeah, and I was destined to hate her, but we
see how that turned
out.


Groo: And Angel was destined to kill her, but...

Spike: Let's not go there shall we?

Groo: Of course. So where will we look for her? Should
we go and find the
others?

Spike: What kind of warrior are you? We take orders
from no one. You
Stick with me kid, we'll find Buffy before Angel even
figures out where to
look. You just wait and see.

Groo: Very well. I will stay with you. But when the
time comes, I will go my
destined path.

Spike: (gives him a sideways glance) You just go right
on and do that.


Cut to Woman
Looks through window to see Angel and Buffy seeing
each other for the first
time in what would seem ages.

Woman: Her strength already falters at the mere sight
of him. They have the
power to be the saviors or the end.


Cut to Exterior
Cordy, Willow, Dawn, and Lorne march down the street
unsure of where they're
going. Cordy leads and the others follow hoping she
recognizes something from her vision.
Suddenly they see Xander and Gunn emerge from an alley
headed their
way.

Gunn: Cordelia? What are you guys doing out here?

Cordy: Looking for Groo. Where is he?

Xander: Don't know. We split up.

Willow: You split up?

Dawn: Who's bright idea was that?

Xander: I'll give you one guess.

Willow: Angel.

Xander taps his nose as Dawn rolls her eyes.

Cordy: So Groo's with Angel?

Gunn: No. I think I saw him take off after Spike?

Cordy: Spike?

Xander: Yes okay? We ran into some not-so-friendlies
and they weren't giving
up easily. Angel said we should split up and regroup
back at his place. But
Spike being Spike, took it upon himself to go off on
his own and Groo went
to help. We came here to see if maybe they had already
made it.

Cordy: Well they haven't. And I saw Groo get hurt.

Spike: When?

Willow: She had a vision. She saw him get hurt
protecting Buffy.

Gunn: Oh man, this doesn't sound good. (looks around
suddenly) Where's Fred
and Wes?


Cut to Hyperion
Wes and Fred are gathering some things into a large
duffel bag. Wes stops
long enough to take a small sip of water and tries to
speak.

Fred: Wes don't. Save what little voice you have for
when we find them.
We're going to need all the help we can get.

Wes nods and zips up the bag. They both straighten and
look around the empty
room. Wes raises his eyebrows in question when Fred
looks at him.

Fred: (nodding) Yep. I'm ready. I just hope they are.


Cut to Sewer
Buffy and Angel still haven't spoken since she said
they needed to talk.
They've moved closer to each other and Angel is the
first to break the stare
when he remembers Connor.

Buffy: (sees Angel glance around) I brought him. He's
safe.

Angel is obviously relieved and looks back to her.
Angel: Buffy, I...

Buffy: Don't. We don't have time. They'll be here
soon.

Angel: Who?

Buffy: The rest of them. Connor is safe for now. But
if we don't do the
right thing here, it will all be for nothing.

Angel: What is there left to do? And why did Sajhan
take you after
my...Connor.

Buffy: It wasn't his choice, he worked for the PTB.

Angel: So it's true?

Buffy: (nods) Yes. He was as surprised to be with me
as I was him. But he
wanted to help. He thought he was doing the right
thing.

Angel: No Buffy, you're wrong. He's the reason Connor
was there in the first
place. I don't know what They're trying to pull, but
Sajhan hated me. He
wanted me dead and everyone I cared about to suffer.

Buffy: You've got it wrong Angel. Sajhan was a good
man.

Angel: (angrily) Good man? He took my son!

Buffy flinches slightly and looks over her shoulder.
Angel doesn't see
Connor in the shadows. Buffy reaches out a hand.

Buffy: It's okay. You can come out.

Angel looks behind her to see a small hand take hers
and then a boy steps up
beside her. He frowns wondering who it is.

Buffy: Sajhan is the one who brought your son back to
you.

Angel doesn't understand at first but then it hits
him. He looks down at the
child clutching Buffy's hand and half hiding behind
her leg.

Angel: Connor?

Buffy: Yes Angel. It's your son. I brought him home.

Angel: But he's so big! (looks back at Buffy) How?

Buffy: I'm not privy to the workings on that one. But
let me just say that
he was a lot bigger than this at one point. But he
doesn't remember. He
doesn't remember anything.

Angel: Me?

Buffy shakes her head slightly and sends a sympathetic
look.

Buffy: Listen to me Angel. There is something major
brewing here. If you
want to make sure Connor is never harmed again, you
have to do what
They want.

Angel: I'll do anything. What is it?

Buffy looks from him to Connor before answering
softly.

Buffy: You have to hate me.

Angel's eyes widen as he shakes his head furiously.
Angel: No. You don't know what you're saying. You're
just angry. You
want to get back at me for not telling you.

Buffy: Get back at you? For not telling me what?

Angel glances down at Connor.

Buffy: Angel I could never do something like this as
revenge. It's not
Even about us.

Angel: (Sarcastically)I can't remember the last time
it was.
(He sees the hurt on Buffy's face and feels her pain)
Angel: Buffy I didn't mean that. It's just...(she
holds up her hand to
Stop him)

Buffy: Don't please. You're right. That was always our
problem. We only
wanted to love each other. But They wouldn't let us
have that. Instead we
had to learn to ignore our own feelings for the good
of the world. We knew
the part we had to play. And not even our love could
interfere. Now
look where it's got us.

Angel: Where are we? Why do you want me to...I can't
even say it.

Buffy: (eyes well with tears involuntarily) Oh Angel,
I donít want it. I
didn't want any of this. But I've seen the
alternative. It can't be. We
can't let it happen.

Angel: What alternative? What did you see? And where
is Sajhan?

Connor: (speaks up quietly from Buffy's side) Is he
angry with us? You
Said I was going home.

Angel stops all thought at the sound of Connor's
voice.

Angel: He said...he talks?

Buffy: (chuckles) Yeah silly. Most boys his age do.
(bends down) And we
Are very close to home Connor. I promise. This nice
man isn't angry, he's
Very happy to see you. He just wants to play our game
with us.

Angel: Game?

Buffy: Yeah, you know the dress up game?

Connor nods bravely. Buffy stands to say something to
Angel just as a
tremendous force makes its way through the room.
Connor and Buffy are
thrown against the wall of the sewer and Angel falls
forward face down.
He tries to stand but Buffy yanks him up before he can
do it himself.

Angel: What the...?

Buffy: (Pulling him and yelling at the same time) We
have to go now!

Angel doesnít question her any further. Trusting each
other is what they do. What theyíve always done.
Connor is still holding Buffyís hand as they run in
front of him and itís all he can do not to get caught
up in seeing them like that. His son and his Buffy,
trusting in one another almost as if it were natural.
He follows her to the end of the section they met in.
She stops suddenly and bends to look in Connorís eyes.

Buffy: Connor, I have to go by myself for a bit.

Connor begins to look scared and she pulls him closer.


Buffy: Iíll be back I promise. But the game is really
important right now and I want you to be in the safest
place in the world. Do you know where that is?

Connor shakes his head slowly trying not to let the
tears threatening to spill drop from his eyes.

Buffy: This is Angel. (She reaches up to take Angelís
hand and pull him down) Very soon, youíre going to
know exactly why you cam here and how much Angel loves
you. I know itís scary, but I promise Iíll be back
soon. But I want you to be safe. And this is why I
brought you here. Do you understand?

Connor nods and looks up at Angel standing over him.
Angel holds out a hand and Connor looks at Buffy. She
nods and slowly the small hand is offered to Angel. He
takes his sonís hand in his and looks at Buffy.

Angel: We need to stay together.

Buffy: They need us to be apart. It has to be this
way. Let me finish this alone. You take Connor and
keep him with you and safe. Iíll come back when itís
over.

Angel: Thereís so much we have to talk about. So much
to

Buffy: We will. I swear to you, we will.
She pauses as if contemplating before determinedly
leaning to place a short but meaningful, almost
desperate kiss on Angelís lips. He is only just
responding when she pulls away and rushes up the
manhole and out of sight.
He stares after her for a second and then looks down
to see Connor staring up at him intently. He readies
himself for his next move.



Cut to woman
Woman: She faltered a bit, but the path remains.
Perhaps They will not be disappointed this time.


Cut to Lot
Spike and Groo have arrived at the empty lot that
Buffy and Connor had been at earlier.

Groo: I see nothing. Are you sure she was here.

Spike: Iím positive. I smell her.

Groo: oh.

Spike: She couldnít have been gone long.

Groo: I think sheís coming back.

Spike: How do you know?

Groo: Because they are.
Groo points in the distance and Spike turns to see
several new beasts coming towards them.

Spike: (calmly) Bloody hell.

 

part 16

Exterior
Buffy is running as fast as she can when she almost
knocks Fred down cutting through an alley.

Fred: Oh! (the wind is knocked out of her and she puts
a hand up to catch herself before falling.

Buffy: I...I'm sorry! (She barely offers the apology
before starting to take off again)

Wes: (Whispers) Buffy?

Buffy stumbles and stops dead in her tracks. She turns
to see Wes looking at her in surprise. Her own shock
registers at the sight of his injury.

Buffy: Wesley?

Wes nods and Fred speaks up.

Fred: Buffy? You're Buffy?

Buffy: (still looking at Wes) Yes. What happened to
you?

Wes: (slowly) No time.

Fred: We were coming to find you!

Buffy: (finally looks at Fred) Find me? Why?

Fred: (looks at Wes and exchanges a look) We know who
Sajhan is.

Buffy: Was.

Wes: What?

Buffy: Sajhan's dead.

Fred: But...that can't be. Wouldn't that mean he would
have to be dead here too?

Buffy's eyes widen as she realizes that they actually
know what they're taking about.

Buffy: Wait. How did you...oh God who did you tell?

Fred: Nobody! We wanted to find you first. Angel and
the others went after you before we knew it for sure.
And then we found one last passage that we had
overlooked.

Buffy: Passage? You found out who Sajhan was in a
book?

Fred: Actually it was the internet. But...

Wes: (grabs Buffy's arm and stops the conversation,
both women look at him as he slowly squeaks out his
question) Sahjhan...dead. Where is Angel? Connor?

Buffy: They're both fine. I left them together in the
tunnels.

Fred: So he's okay?

Buffy: Yes. Why do you keep asking me that?

Fred: (looks at Wes) We must have been wrong.

Buffy: Listen guys, there's not a lot of time. I'm not
supposed to discuss anything that's happened to
me...(she stops short in thought)

Wes: (frowns) what? What is it?

Buffy: I'm not supposed to tell Angel the truth. I
can't. If I let him know, then all this will be for
nothing. I swore.

Fred: So you mean...

Buffy: I mean, I never said anything about not telling
anyone else. They didn't say I couldn't get help.

Fred: That's why we came. We want to help. Whatever
you need.


Cut to Empty Lot
Groo and Spike are finding themselves more and more
cut off from possible escape as the group of various
demons and vamps close in on them.

Groo: There are too many.

Spike: I'm thinking so myself.

Groo: I can not be steered off course. I must find the
Slayer. It is her who I am supposed to fight beside.
This is not my destiny.

Spike: (still watching the group advance as he and
Groo step from the pavement onto the grass) If I never
hear that bloody word again, it would be too soon.

Xander: How about hearing run?

Spike and Groo turn to see Gunn, Xander, Lorne and
Cordy flanking them.

Spike: Run's good.

Groo: Champion's do not run.

Cordy: Can't be a champion if you're dead honey.

Lorne: The lady has a point.

Groo: Did you find the Slayer?

Dawn: (from behind the others) No! We keep getting
sidetracked saving all of you!

Groo: I did not ask to be saved!

Spike: What is it with this one? Didn't they teach you
to know when to fall back and regroup where you come
from? And if you won't have anyone else saving it,
perhaps you could at least save your own ass!

He doesn't wait for a reply before heading towards
Dawn and Willow and following them into the shadows.
Xander looks around at who's left.

Xander: I think I'll join my party over there.
He takes off after the Sunnydale gang.

Cordy: Let's go Groo. Please. We'll find her and
everything else will be fine I promise.

Gunn: Listen to her. We cant take on these guys
without the Slayer or Angel. It's jut not happening.

Lorne: Speaking of...where is our fearless interim
leader?


Cut to Buffy
Fred and Wes have been listening to her tell what she
has seen and done.

Buffy: I can't explain why, but I knew that I could
trust Sajhan from the beginning. It was like there was
this...well it was like he was him. But I didn't know
it until They showed me.

Fred: So did They tell you how it happened? Why it
happened?

Buffy nods and begins to think back to the horror she
had witnessed. She blinks back the tears and tries to
speak calmly.

Buffy: It hasn't happened yet. That's why They did all
this. They had to prevent it. But They couldn't have
done it without him.

Fred: Sajhan?

Buffy: Yes, but he didn't become him until after. He
did it trying to fix his mistakes. He gave up his
world, his life to allow Them to send him back.

Wes: When?

Buffy: I'm not sure. But soon. That's why They brought
me here. They knew that I was the only one strong
enough.

Fred: Strong enough?

Buffy: To take the consequences.

Wes: Which are?

Buffy: I can't go into too much detail. I don't know
what I'm risking even telling you this much, but trust
me when I say, anything that you've seen or even read
about would not prepare you for the events that
transpire in the future. And they will occur, unless I
can stop them.

Fred: But why Angel?

Buffy: Because it's who he is. He lived over a hundred
years trying to atone. But the evil kept coming after
him. I had been there to counteract it. We helped each
other without knowing it. Just being alive and doing
what we did, even separately was enough to balance the
scales. Then something happened.

Wes: Connor.

Buffy:(nods) I don't know everything about him and how
he came to be. But They told me that one day I would
learn things about him that would make it hard to
continue down my path. But I swore to stay strong even
then. To do what had to be done.

Fred: What has to be done?

Buffy: I have to take all the anger and hatred thatís
threatening to take him over right now. I have to take
it before its too late. If I don't, then one day, it
will be Connor that feeds off it. He will use every
evil thought and feeling that dwells within Angel and
use it to become the epitome of the dark side.

Fred: How can you do that? How can you just take it
away?

Buffy: That's up to me. I can handle that part. But
the problem is making it happen before they come
again.

Fred: Who?

Buffy: It's not just the Powers that Be at work here.
It's the dark side. They are sending everything they
can to stand in my way. I can't let them succeed.
Thatís where I could use your help.

Fred: Anything. Just name it, right Wes?
Wes nods and looks to Buffy.

Wes: (slowly) What...if...we...

Buffy: There's no other option Wes. If we don't do
this, Connor will cross over and none of us will
survive. That's why Sajhan came to be. He had to be
created to travel back and find someone who would be
strong enough to stop Connor. Someone who would have
no reservations about killing a child.

Fred: Holtz.

Buffy: In the future that we're trying to eliminate,
Angel had a chance to save us. He had the chance to
prevent Connor from doing what he did. But he
couldn't. He couldn't bring himself to fight his own
son. So he stood by helplessly as Connor killed
everyone. He saw all of you die. He held Cordelia as
she breathed her last breath. And then he knew where
Connor would go next. He knew because when Connor
absorbed all Angel's darkest thoughts and cravings, he
also learned of his deepest desires and love. Connor
hated that he came from a place of love. He hated that
it was love that brought Angel his epiphany.

Fred: He loved Darla?

Buffy: (flinches at her name) No. I don't think that
was it. I think that's what They wouldn't tell me.
What I'll learn some day. But I know it wasn't his
feelings for...her that made Connor. It was something
else. And Connor knew it too. Somehow he knew. And he
came after the last person alive that could show Angel
that kind of love.

Wes: (whisper) You.

Buffy: (nods silently) I never even knew what
happened. I never saw him or Angel when they came to
Sunnydale. Angel finally found the strength he needed.
He called out to the PTB for help and They gave him
the only way out. They would take his soul and his
immortality in exchange for the ability to stop
Connor. He struggled with the decision, Connor was
almost at my door when Angel finally agreed. He vowed
to do anything if They would just...(she begins to cry
softly) he asked that I be spared.

Fred: And then what?

Buffy: (taking a breath) then They took him.

Wes: They killed him.

Buffy: (nodding painfully) He cried out and time stood
still. Connor and everything around him disappeared. I
was there, but I couldn't hear him. He fell...he
collapsed on the ground and the immortal soul was
gone. He was still for a moment. I watched him lying
there almost peacefully on that ground and then I
watched Them change him. I watched him become...

Fred: (sympathetically finishing) Angel became Sajhan.

Buffy cries even harder at hearing the words aloud and
flashes to him in the white dimension. Running himself
through just after she learned who he really was. As
the vision of him collapsing washes over her, she
drops to her knees. Fred and Wes exchange a very
worried, private look.


Cut to Sewer
Angel is walking slowly towards an opening with Connor
still clutching his hand. They take turns looking at
one another still unsure of what to say.

Cut to Empty lot
Just above Angel and Connor, the group runs away from
the lot. They're followed closely behind by the
various enemies chasing them. Suddenly their aggressors
stop on a dime and begin mumbling incoherently amongst
themselves.

Spike: What's this?

The others turn to see the beasts behaving strangely.

Groo: What are they saying?

Willow: I can't tell.

Cordy: Maybe we should just keep going.

Xander: What's that?
Everyone looks to where Xander is pointing. Someone is
rising from a manhole carrying something. The group of
demons hasn't seen it yet and continue mumbling and
looking around at the ground.

Cordy is the first to recognize him.
Cordy: Oh God, it's Angel.

Dawn: Angel! Is Buffy with him?

Willow: I don't think so Dawnie.

Lorne: What's that he's carrying?

Xander: I can't tell from here.

Cordy: It's Connor.

Lorne: Huh? That is not a baby Cordelia.

Cordy: No. (begins to walk towards them) No it's not.

Groo: Princess?

About this time, the group of previously confused
beasts seems to regain focus. Just as Angel stands and
scans the area, he sees Cordy coming toward him and
then the things standing in her way.

Before he can react, the first of them cries out in a
primal sound of battle. Angel watches helplessly as
they go after Cordy and the rest of the group rushes
forward to help. Angel is still standing alone, afraid
to let Connor go. Not wanting to take the chance of
losing him again.


Cut to Buffy
The battle cries echo through the air and she raises
her head as Fred and Wes turn in the direction they
came from.

Fred: What was that?

Woman: (V.O.) You must finish it! Time is running out.
All will be lost!

Without a word to Fred or Wes, Buffy springs to her
feet and runs into the fight. Wes and Fred run behind
trying to keep up.


Woman: (V.O.) The end is near.

 

part 17

Exterior: Night
Cordy sees the thing coming at her in her quest to
reach Angel and realizes she will never make it. Groo
calls her name from behind and she waits for him to
rescue her.
Before Groo has the chance, she hears a strange voice
holler out just as the threat is knocked down
brutally. A tangle of arms and legs makes it
impossible for her to see who protected her from her
fate.
Groo turns to face another after witnessing Cordy
escape harm. He spins under an arm lashing out and
grabs it from behind. The shoulder dislocates quickly
leaving the beast crying out as he falls to the ground
in pain.
Willow and Dawn are surrounded by three and huddle
closer to each other. Willow has her arms around Dawn
protectively hoping for help. It comes in the form of
Spike and Gunn. Spike takes the first easily and
drops him onto the ground while Gunn is in a street
fight with his opponent.
Spike is watching Gunn when he's blindsided by a blow
to the face. Instinctively Spike reaches to soothe the
skin but is interrupted by a kick to the midsection
and doubles over. He springs back up in full vamp mode
and pounces.
Gunn has taken a few good hits of his own and staggers
backward under the force of the latest. Out of
nowhere, the thing standing over him is thrown forward
and Gunn catches him as they both fall. The thing
doesn't move and Gunn realizes it's not conscious. He
looks up confused and sees Lorne standing over them
with a big stone in his hands.

Lorne: See? I come in handy sometimes!

Gunn smiles and rolls the deadweight off him. Spike
has disposed of his latest opponent and already busy
with another when Gunn offers a hand.
Cordelia watches Groo fighting his second creature and
struggles with what to do. She glances over at Angel
still holding Connor close. Seeing him standing by
watching them all fight for their lives is more
disconcerting than she's willing to admit.
The tangle of arms and legs that earlier seems so
unrecognizable has separated. The movement as the two
opponents stand catch her eye. Cordelia looks to see
who had defended her so voraciously only moments
before and is stunned by what she sees.
Xander is staring down the face of evil with a
primitive look on his face. He seems to sense her
watching and glances over. Their eyes meet for only a
split second before he is rushed by the enemy. It
doesn't make sense that Cordy would immediately jump
to help, but this is what she does.
Without conscious thought, she rushes to help Xander
and is surprised when her kick connects with the
forehead of the thing. Its head snaps back and the
crack it makes is the sound of an obviously broken
neck. Xander stares at the thing as it drops before
looking back to Cordy.
She offers a slight grin and shrug when they make eye
contact and he just stares with his mouth dropped
open. When he doesn't respond, she begins to get
irked.

Cordy: (hands on hips and cocks her head to one side
in the old way) No really Xander, it's not necessary.
I mean, sure I saved your ass but no need for thanks.

Xander: (still in shock) Um...

Cordy: What ever! (she starts to walk away but doesn't
feel the ground. She looks down and realizes that
she's floating. The reason she connected so well with
the beast was because something had lifted her off the
ground when she came after him. And now Xander knew
her secret...sort of) Oh.

Xander: (finally regaining his voice) Oh? You can fly
now and all you can say is oh?

Cordy opens her mouth to speak but Xander is tackled
by yet another one and she falls to the ground
painfully. She raises her head to see Xander running
away from the guy after him.

Spike: (yells between punches) How bout a little help
here Angel?

Gunn, Groo and Xander all try and see why Angel's not
helping but can't make out an answer before being
distracted again.

Buffy:(rushing into the fray) How about my help?
She pulls the one off Spike first and tosses him
several yards away.

Spike: (relieved) I guess you'll have to do.
The two exchange a private look and turn to stand side
by side and begin fighting anew.
The original group is down to three or four left.
Gunn, Xander and Groo are taking on two while Spike
and Buffy handle the others.
Dawn, Willow and Lorne are joined on the side of the
battle by Wes and Fred.

Lorne: And where have you two been? This ain't a union
you know. No breaks.

Fred: We found Buffy.

Dawn: I'll save my thanks for when she's not fighting
to the death.

Fred: Fair enough. Where's Angel?

Willow: He's over there with...

Wes: Connor.

Lorne: You're talking! Hey, way to go with the quick
recovery.

Wes: Thanks. Still slow.

Fred: Don't worry Wes. We can all understand you. So
what's first?

Willow: First? I'm thinking maybe, getting rid of the
creepies?
She points to the fighting and the others look on in
silent agreement.

Cordelia sees that the immanent danger has lessened
with Buffy's arrival and manages to make her way over
to Angel.
Angel: Cordelia.
He seems unsure of what else to say and looks down at
Connor who now stands at his side clutching onto his
leg.
Cordelia: (bends down to hug him) Oh Connor, it's so
good to see you again. I've missed you so much. We've
all missed you.

Connor: (looks up uncomfortably at Angel) Who is she?

Cordy pulls back trying to hide the hurt.
Cordy: He doesn't remember?

Angel: He didn't know me either. He only knew Buffy.

Cordy: Buffy?

Angel: Yes. She brought him here. They did something
to him. Changed him somehow. I didn't have time to
hear the whole story.

Cordy: (sees him watching the others fight the last of
the beasts) Why aren't you helping?

Angel: I can't leave him. I can't risk losing him
again.

Cordy: (puts her hand on his arm) I'm here now. I can
watch him.

Angel: Looked like you were doing pretty good on your
own.

Cordy: Huh? Oh. You saw my nifty trick I guess.
Unfortunately so did Xander.

Angel: Yeah, he was pretty thrown by it. But what
about the knight in shining? He practically ran Groo
down trying to save you.

Cordy: You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking I
don't like you being all observant-I and stuff. If you
were fighting to the death like you usually do, I
wouldn't have to deal with the innuendo.

Angel: (innocently) Innuendo? Me?
He's cut short when he hears Connor begin to whimper
beside him.
Angel: (leaning down) What is it? What's wrong?

Connor: She's in trouble. Please. Please help her.

Cordy and Angel both look to see Buffy taking on the
last of the group. The others are struggling to help
but some invisible force is keeping them from reaching
the two adversaries.
Buffy takes a right hook that sends her reeling. She
lands on all fours and gets a kick to the gut before
she can stand.

Angel: Buffy!
She hears his cry and looks to see him pushing Connor
away towards Cordy so he can help.

Buffy: No!
She stops him in his tracks with her tone of voice and
he ignores Connor's tiny hands pushing him form
behind.
Buffy does a back somersault away from the thing and
lands on her feet.

Spike is repeatedly thrown to the ground by the force
surrounding Buffy and he just keeps trying.
Dawn and Willow are almost in tears and stand
helplessly by. Gunn and Lorne are with Fred and Wes
watching in amazement at whatís happening.
Buffy has managed to get in a good hit but is tossed
over the things shoulder when she tries for another.
She lands hard getting the wind knocked out of her.
Groo has been watching it all and sends one last look
to Cordelia before beginning to speak a foreign
language.

Cordy: Oh no.

Angel: What? What do you see?

Cordy: Groo. He said it was his destiny.

Angel notices Groo breathing deeply in between words
as if in some sort of meditation.

Lorne: Hey, didn't we already hear that once before.

Wes: Yes.

Groo chants louder and louder oblivious to those
around him.

Gunn: What is he saying again?

Wes: (Slowly and clearly) Everyone can be saved.

Xander: (to no one) What is this guy's deal?

A lightening bolt streaks through the sky followed by
another and another.

Cut to Woman
Woman: He claims his path. He will sacrifice as
taught.

Cut to Groo
He unsheathes his sword for a final time and raises it
above his head. He chants in a loud almost yell now
and Cordy doesn't like it.
She drops Connors hand and begins jogging across the
space dividing her and Groo. Within seconds she's
running full speed and screaming his name. He opens
his eyes at the sound of her voice and hesitates.

Groo: Princess...
Just before she reaches him, he drives the sword into
the ground. Buffy who has been pulling at the hands
around her throat is thrown violently away from that
which was almost victorious over her.
Groo tries to pull the sword free when he sees Buffy's
safe, but the beast rushes him. The force that had
kept them separated before is gone and it tackles Groo
pulling the blade with them as they tumble. The two
roll back and forth in a life and death struggle
before the sword is driven through flesh.

Cordy: (still running) NNOOOOO!!
She races to jump on the back of the demon but arms
come out of nowhere and catch her before she can
succeed. She screams and fights as the sword runs Groo
through and he looks as if his eyes no longer are able
to see. They glass over and blood drips from the
corner of his mouth.
Buffy stands and tries to make sense of what's
happening. before she can, another lightening bolt
appears and this time encompasses Groo and his killer.
They are picked up and when the lightening finally
dissipates, they are both gone.
Silence overtakes everything and everyone. Nothing is
heard for almost a minute until finally the anguished
cry of Cordelia begins and grows to deafening levels.
She is fighting the arms around her at first but her
legs soon give out and the two collapse. Xander tries
to soothe her as he holds her there. The others can do
nothing except watch the scene unfold in front of
them.

Buffy turns to look behind her and her eyes meet
Angel's. She sees that Connor is safe and relaxes a
bit.
She looks back to Wes and Fred. Wes gives her a look
and shakes his head in silent meaning. She knows it's
not over. But how can she keep going?

Cut to Woman
Woman: The bonds between them are stronger than They
realized. Perhaps it need not end as foretold.

Another clap of thunder is heard just before the
lightening comes to take the Woman. Her sympathies
will not be tolerated by Them...or Their enemies.

 

part 18

Exterior LA
Angel is watching Cordy being consoled by Xander and
seems perplexed as to how he should feel.
Buffy sees Angel's face and gets the feeling that
something is going on between he and Cordy that she
really doesn't want to know about.
Spike is very uncomfortable with the change in
atmosphere from one of battle and strength to one of
anguish and weakness. He steps away from the scene and
fades into the shadows.
Wes is emotional but doesnít say anything. He quietly
bends to open the bag that he and Fred has brought
with them and begins pulling something out.
Lorne is almost as upset as Cordelia having sensed
what was happening and now seeing and feeling her pain
in her cries. He trembles slightly trying to remain
stoic.
Dawn and Willow are unsure of what to say as well, but
Dawn begins to walk to where Buffy is standing
watching Angel and Connor.
Just when she's about to reach her, Dawn sees Connor
break away from Angel and rush to throw himself around
Buffy's waist. She puts her arms around him without
hesitation and bends to pick him up.

Buffy: It's okay now. I'm here. You're safe.

Dawn: (walking up) Buffy?

Buffy: (startles) Dawn! I'm so glad you're okay!

Dawn: I was just thinking the same thing. What's going
on Buffy?
Buffy doesn't answer right away as Connor waits for
her to tell him what's next.

Gunn walks over to Fred and puts his arm around her.
She nestles her face in his shoulder wanting to block
out the sight of her friend in so much pain.
Angel begins to walk slowly to join the others still
watching intently.

Xander: (stroking Cordy's hair) Sshh. I'm so sorry.
It's going to be okay. I promise. If there's a way to
fix this then Buffy will...

Cordy snaps her head up revealing her tearstained face
to all. She pushes away from Xander harshly and stands
up staggering weakly backwards.
Angel who has reached them rushes to brace her before
she falls. She feels his arms around her waist and
jumps away from him as well.

Cordy: Don't touch me! Don't either of you touch me!
(beginning to yell louder and louder) You don't care
about him! You never cared about him. None of you did!
He loved me and now he's gone! And you're going to try
and tell me that (points at Buffy) SHE can bring him
back! SHE is the reason he's gone in the first place!

Angel: Cordelia...

Cordy: No! Don't say it! Don't you dare say anything
to defend her! Groo is dead Angel! He's dead because
he had some distorted sense of duty that his dumb
master put in his head and now he's dead!

Buffy: Did you say Master?

Cordy turns to send Buffy her most hateful look.

Angel: Buffy I really don't think this is the time.

Cordy: Yeah Buffy. Maybe you should just shut your
mouth and go home. You brought Connor back, you're
done. Leave.

Xander: Come on Cord. I don't think that it's Buffy's
f...

Cordy: Did anyone ask you to think?

Willow: Cordelia we can't leave like this.

Cordy: Why not? Is there someone else you'd like to
get killed?

Lorne: Alrighty then! I'm gonna have to intercede
here. Cordy, sweetie, I know how you're feeling...

Cordy: No you don't! None of you do!

Lorne: (takes her by the shoulders) Actually I think
you know I can. Although right now I'm wishing I
didn't because it's not a good place we're in is it
honey?

Cordy realizes that Lorne has been reading her and the
tears begin anew. She allows him to take her on his
arms and they console one another.

Buffy: (steps over to whisper in Angel's ear) I know
its not a good time, but did Cordy say that Groo had a
master?
Angel nods finally breaking his stare at Cordy to look
at Buffy. He sees a cut on her forehead and reaches up
to touch it. She sucks in a quick breath at the
contact not sure if its from the pain or the feel of
his skin on hers.

Angel: You're hurt. I'm so sorry. I wanted to help.

Buffy: No! You have to listen to me Angel. No matter
what, your priority has to be your son. Nothing else
matters. If he doesn't have you near him, something
horrible will happen. Now please, tell me about Groo.

Angel: (looks from her to Connor still clutching her
tightly) He said he was told a legend by his master
during his training. A legend about the Slayer.

Buffy: Slayer?

Angel: Yeah, that's how I knew you would be involved
in all this. I just wasn't sure how.

Buffy: Oh God.

Angel: What? What is it?

Buffy: (looks at Connor) I'll be right back sweetie.
Stay with your...Angel.

She leaves Angel staring after her as she runs to Wes
and Fred.

Buffy: I think there's something we're missing guys.

Fred: What?

Gunn: You okay with that cut? Looks pretty deep.

Buffy: Once you've woken up in your own grave,
everything else is pretty insignificant. (looks back
at Wes) Did you hear the legend that Groo spoke of?

Wes nods.

Buffy: What was it in a nutshell?

Fred: something about a Slayer coming to Pylea to save
their world from demons.

Gunn: Yeah, the chick came to battle the head honcho
and disappeared with him just before she killed him.
Groo's master told him that one day he would fight
side by side with a Slayer. Guess he knew what he was
talking about. But I'm not clear on the how.

Buffy: Well if you think it's not clear now, wait
until you find out who the Slayer was.

Fred: Huh?

Buffy: I'm the Slayer.

Gunn: Um, not to lessen the drama you're trying to
create here, but we kind of already knew that. What
with the battle and Groo's sacrifice just like he said
and all.

Buffy: No, you don't get it. I was the Slayer in the
Legend.

Fred: What?

Buffy: I was in Pylea, I battled the demons that were
keeping the natives prisoner. I fought to the death
with the ultimate evil. And just before I killed him,
we were taken out of there by the PTB.

Gunn: How is that possible? Groo said the legend
started long before his time. How could it have been
you?

Buffy: (looking at Wes) Sajhan.

Wes: He took you back.
Buffy nods.

Fred: But if you were there, then does that mean you
knew Groo's master?

Buffy: I think so.

Gunn: Wait up. Slow down for the less informed of us.
If Sajhan took Buffy to find Connor, why would he have
gone back that far in time and gotten Groo involved?
It doesn't make sense.

Wes: Actually, I think it might.

Buffy: Wes...

Wes: You knew Groo's master back then. You knew him
because you fought with him.

Gunn: Groo did say that his master said he had seen
the Slayer once.

Buffy: He didnít just see me, and I didn't just fight
with him. I fought against him.

Fred: You mean?

Buffy: The evil that I faced in Pylea that day, it was
him.

Wes: And when they took you both away from that time,
they put you back in Groo's time. They sent this evil
to train Groo?

Buffy: He wasn't evil anymore. He had been redeemed.
His path was changed. But he had one more thing to do
before They sent him back.

Fred: Sent him back where?

Buffy turns to see Angel and Connor kneeling down
speaking quietly. She smiles at the sight of them
bonding again. She looks back at Wes finally.

Wes: He had to tell Groo what would be needed one day.
This day. He had to protect the Slayer and himself.

Gunn: I'm lost. The master was evil and Buffy kicked
his ass. Then They redeemed him and sent him to train
Groo so that one day he could sacrifice himself to
save the Slayer. Which he has done. But why? Why all
this?

Buffy: Because if They didn't ensure my survival,
Their path might have been altered yet again and
without hope for another chance.

Fred: Because something is still coming. Something is
going to happen here, in this time, to test whatever
good you did in the past. Something to erase what
Sajhan did to save the future.

Buffy: I think so. I think all this has been leading up
to the exact moment when it went horribly wrong the
first time. I think They showed me what happened
because I would have to recognize the signs.

Gunn: And what signs are those?

Wes: Buffy, are you saying that the Master is here?

Fred/Gunn: What?

Buffy looks over the scene. Cordy and Lorne stand
speaking in hushed tones. Cordy meets her gaze and
shows her distrust and anger. Dawn and Willow watch
from a few feet away still not sure of what will come
next. Xander stands to the side watching Cordy with a
strange look on his face.
Finally she looks at Angel. He senses her and looks
up. Their eyes meet and he seems to be trying to read
her mind. Connor sees his attention has wavered and
looks up at Buffy as well.

Buffy: Theyíve always knew he would be. The only
question is which form will he take?

Wes finally understands and looks back at Angel and
Connor. Under the weight of so many eyes, Connor
begins to squirm against his father's arms...

 

part 19

Exterior: LA

Wes: It's the prophecy.

Gunn: What? Wes, I thought we talked about this. The
prophecy was wrong.

Buffy: What prophecy?

Fred: Wes found a prophecy concerning Connor months
ago. He had just translated it when everything went so
horribly wrong.

Buffy: What was the prophecy?

Gunn: It doesn't matter now. It's over. The prophecy
never happened, at least not the way you thought.

Buffy: What is he talking about Wes? I have to know.
Tell me what the prophecy was.

Wes: (unconsciously reaches up to touch the bandages
still on his throat from his last attempt at avoiding
the prophecy) It said...It was...

Buffy: Speed would be good here Wes.

Wes: The father will kill the son.

Buffy: (pauses to let it sink in) Oh. (glances at
Angel trying to calm the squirming boy) He couldn't do
it before. In the future, he couldn't do it.

Wes: It wasn't a prophecy. It wasn't meant to be a
warning, it was meant to be a sign.

Fred: What?

Buffy: The PTB were sending you a warning of what
would need to be done if Their plan didn't succeed.

Gunn: What plan?

Buffy: If I hadn't survived in Pylea. If I hadn't been
able to bring Connor back, then Angel would have had
to kill his son. He would have to kill Connor.

Fred: But you did succeed! So we're okay now right?
(looks from Wes to Buffy and back to Wes) Please tell
me we're okay now.

Willow: (walking up with Dawn) Sorry to interrupt, but
we're feeling way out of the loop here. What's the
major?

Buffy: Willow, I don't have time to go into it, but I
need you to do something for me.

Willow: Anything, you know that.

Buffy: (looks around) Where's Spike?


Angel: (kneeling beside Connor) Hey little man, what's
wrong? You're safe now. Nothing is going to happen to
you. I'm going to take care of you. I promise.

Connor: (stills briefly to look at Angel) You made me?

Angel: (taken aback) Um...well...

Connor: I know that I'm here and I know you are
strong. I'm strong like you too. But I don't
understand how you made me. You're different than her.

Angel sees he's pointing to Buffy.
Connor: You're different. Does that mean I'm
different?

Angel: (shakes his head quickly) No Connor. You're not
like me. You're special. You're my miracle. Did you
know that? You're my walking, talking miracle!

Connor: Show me.

Angel: What?

Connor: Show me how you're different.

Angel: I don't think...

Connor: (screams) Show Me!

Angel startles and stands up away from him. Cordy and
Lorne have heard along with the others and turn to
stare at the outburst.
Cordy wipes her face and walks over.
Cordy: Hey buddy. (bends in front of him) Hey there.
What's all the screaming about?

Connor: (looks at her intensely) You're different too.
Why are you both different? I'm not like you!

Angel and Cordy look at one another before Spike
emerges with a smirk on his face.

Spike: I see you haven't lost your touch chap. Kiddies
still not keen on you huh?

Angel: Shut up Spike.

Connor: (looking at Spike) You too? I don't want to be
with the different ones. I want to stay with her.
He takes off suddenly running to Buffy. She gathers
him in her arms and the larger group of humans faces
off against the two vampires and a demon.

Cordy: I can't believe she poisoned his mind against
his own father.

Spike: Don't get your panties in a bunch, I don't
think the Slayer has any control over Angel's seed
turning against him and his kind. Although Iím not
sure why you are part of the club. (looks at Angel)
Did you finally go and sire another one Angelus?

Cordy: You ass! (She punches him hard in the face and
Spike rares back to retaliate)

Angel: (Calmly) I'd kill you before the chip ever
could.

Spike: (drops his hand awkwardly) Lookie there, just
like old times. 'Cept you've got yourself a new girl.
I'm disappointed. I thought you'd be good for at least
a century or two with the forbidden Slayer love. No
worries! She seemed pretty through herself last I
checked.

Angel doesn't take time with a warning this time and
his hands enclose Spike's throat without hesitation.
Spike smirks again as he reaches up to pull Angel's
hands away. He tosses them back and away from him.
Spike: You can't have it both ways I'm afraid. Only
one vamp/human affair per city.

Angel: You donít want to do this right now.

Spike: Funny, I was thinking there's nothing I'd like
better. All the bad guys have been disposed of, why
not do some catching up and filling in?

Xander: I'm thinking not. (looks at Cordy for a second
longer than necessary)

Angel: Listen to your new friend Spike.

Xander: Friends such an inappropriate word Angel. Much
the way calling you and I friends would be.

Angel: I just figured with the help you're giving, you
two must be pretty chummy.

Cordy: Xander.

Xander: Yeah.

Cordy: I'm...I'm sorry about before. I didn't mean to
take it out on you. You were trying to help.

Xander: (surprised by her words and in front of the
others) Oh. No problem. I know this hasn't been easy
for you. I can't imagine. But thanks.
An awkward silence follows while the four try and
figure what to say or do next.

Lorne: (speaking loudly from between the groups) Is
there a reason that we have to stay out here? I'm just
wondering because it seems the safest place might
be...well, anywhere but here.

Xander: Horns guy has a point. Maybe we should go.

Angel looks to Buffy for her thoughts.

Wes: (quietly) We have to tell him.

Buffy: (swings around with Connor)No!

Gunn: Listen, I know you have a higher purpose in all
this than I do, but in case you hadn't noticed, the
last time we kept things from each other, Connor got
taken and Wes almost got dead. So you can't tell us
not to tell Angel everything we know. (pauses) What is
it we know again?

Fred: I'm not real clear on that myself. But I am
clear that Gunn is right. No more secrets. We have to
tell Angel and the others.

Buffy sets Connor down and moves a few feet away from
him to speak forcefully.
Buffy: You don't get a choice here folks. You either
do this my way, exactly as I say or you all die. I saw
it happen once and I didn't go through all this to see
it happen again.

Fred: You saw us die?

Buffy: Would you like to know how? (when no one speaks
she explains harshly) Gunn dies trying to protect you
Fred. He steps in between you and a collapsing wall
and is crushed to death. But it's all for nothing
Gunn, because only seconds later her neck is snapped
like a toothpick by one hand of the enemy. And Wes,
it's a good thing you can't scream because the sound
of pain you would make when your arms are literally
pulled form your body and you lie bleeding to death
would be too much to take.
The others have gone quiet with horror listening to
Buffy. It's too unfathomable for words. But she's not
finished.
Buffy: And I haven't forgotten your friends. I didn't
see what he did to the Green guy, but the pile of mush
that was left wasn't easily recognizable. And
Cordelia, well...

Fred: (crying out and covering her ears) Stop it!
please!

Buffy watches her being held by Gunn and almost
regrets saying what she had. But saying it would never
compare to witnessing it as she had.

Buffy: Does that mean we agree?

Angel: (from behind) Agree to what?

Buffy: (startles and turns) Angel! We were just saying
we agree with your friend over there that we should
get out of the open. Right guys.

The three nod uncomfortably and Willow and Dawn speak
up.

Willow: Buffy, what did you need me to do?

Dawn: Spike, where did you go?

Spike: (walking up next to Angel) Staying out of the
line of fire, Little Bit. I'm not one for the
emotional stuff.

Cordy: Are we going?

Xander and Lorne have joined them as well all waiting
for someone to give the final word.

Buffy looks down at Connor who is back by his father's
side, though not voluntarily.

Buffy: We're going. Angel, can we use your place for a
while?

Angel: My place? Yeah, sure. But what else is going
on?

Buffy: Nothing. We still need to talk remember?

Angel nods and the two of them each take one of
Connor's hands and begin to walk away towards the
Hyperion.
Cordy looks back to the last place she saw Groo and
hesitates. A hand drops to her shoulder and Xander
leads her away from the empty ground.
Fred, Wes and Gunn all seem to wish they could say
something but are still in shock from Buffy's word.
They follow the others in silence.

Lorne: (watching everyone file into the night) Help
us. (looks up at the sky) Whoever you are. Whatever
you plan, please help us all.

He reluctantly follows the path mapped out by his
friends.

 

part 20

Interior: Hyperion
The door opens to reveal Buffy, Connor and Angel
entering first. Fred, Wes and Gunn follow just behind
and are shadowed by Willow, Dawn and Spike.
Lorne is the last to enter just after Cordy and
Xander. He closes the door behind them and surveys the
scene.

Connor: Where are we now? Is this home?

Buffy: Yes Connor. This is your home.

Connor: And you live here?

Buffy and Angel exchange a meaningful glance.

Buffy: No sweetie. (bends in front of Connor) I'm only
meant to bring you here Connor. I will leave soon. I
have to get back to my own home.

Connor: You're leaving me? (looks at Angel) With him?

Buffy: (nods) Yes. You belong with Angel honey. He
will love you and protect you like no one else could.
Like only a father could.

Connor: I don't want to be like him.

Angel flinches under the honesty of Connorís words and
wonders how such a small child could know Angel's dark
side without ever seeing it.

Buffy: You are only what you choose to be Connor.
Always remember that. You're strength comes from Angel
and regardless of what else you might feel or sense
inside (taps his chest gently) You can make your own
destiny. Okay? Do you believe me?

Connor nods unconvincingly.

Angel: (bends as well) I will do what ever I can to
make sure you stay exactly who you want to be son. I
will never let my mistakes haunt you. Okay?

Connor glances at Buffy before nodding in agreement.

Cordy: I hate to interrupt this hallmark moment, but
Buffy what was it that you had to come back here for?

Buffy: (standing to face Cordy) I know you're hurting
right now, but don't push me. I am not leaving until I
know that we're all safe. (enunciates) All of us.

Xander: And when we will be safe? What else is there?
You set out to find the kid. Here he is. The PTB sent
creepies after us, we battles we won. What is left?

Buffy looks to Wes and he shakes his head slightly.

Buffy: I need to talk to Angel for a minute. In
private.

Cordy: (throws her hands up and rolls her eyes)Oh
Great!

Buffy: You know Cordy, I'm really...
She doesn't finish because Cordy throws a hand up in
her face to shut her up.
Buffy: (looks at Angel) What is her malfunction? Is
she always like this? Or is it just my being here
that's turning her into Bitch Supreme?

Angel: Buffy! (looks at Connor to see if he heard the
language)

Buffy: Sorry.

Xander: Cordelia?
He notices she's staring into space.

Gunn: (stepping forward) I think it's vision time.

Buffy: Huh?

Angel: Cordy? What is it?

Cordy finally refocuses her attention on Buffy.

Cordy: Nice to see you still think the entire world
revolves around you. Talk about malfunction.

Xander: Okay, that's enough! Geez! What is it with you
two?

Buffy: I'm not the one lashing out. Ask your girl
here.

Angel: Buffy please. (looks at Cordy) What did you
see?

Cordelia: Something's coming.

Gunn: Specifics would be nice.

Cordelia: (points to the terrace doors) Through there.

Everyone in the room turns to look at the closed
doors.

Cordy: (taking charge) Fred, take Connor upstairs.
Angel, weapons cabinet. Gunn, you too. The rest of you
might want to get back unless you're up for a fight.

Spike: That's the magic word.
He steps forward as Angel and Gunn retrieve a weapon
each from the cabinet. Angel sees him waiting and
grabs a small throwing axe to toss his way.

Spike: How come I get the small one?

Willow: I'm thinking ungrateful not a good idea right
now Spike.

Dawn: Whatís happening? How do we know this is for
real?

Lorne: Cause that's what our Cordelia does. She gets
the heads up so we can ready for the incoming.
Courtesy of the PTB. Now what's say I show you ladies
a secure hiding place?

Dawn: I'm not going without Buffy. I'm tired of never
knowing whatís going on. I can help.

Buffy: You can help get yourself killed! Dawn, this
isn't a democracy. You take Willow and you go with...

Lorne: It's Lorne.

Buffy: (recognizing the name) Right. Go with Lorne and
Willow. Stay with Fred and Connor. The more people
with him, the better.

Fred takes Connor's hand and allows Lorne to lead the
way upstairs. Dawn and Willow hesitate briefly before
Buffy sends Willow a look that spurs her into action.
She takes Dawn's hand and begins to pull her just as
something crashes through the doors.
Dawn screams and runs up the stairs after Lorne, Fred
and Connor.

Buffy sees Spike get the first attack from their
latest interruption. Just as she moves to help,
something knocks her down and she hears a voice.

Voice: (VO) It is coming! You must be ready.

Buffy doesn't bother responding and struggles to stand
up. An invisible force holds her down and she's forced
to watch.
Angel rushes to help Spike with Gunn. Xander stays
back with Wes observing the maylay. Cordy seems
transfixed at the sight of the three men working
together so effortlessly.
When Angel is charged from behind Buffy strains
against whatever is keeping her from helping.

Voice: (VO) You must see the way! Your interference
will only delay your path. Look at them!

Cordy has been watching just as Buffy and when Angel
goes down, instinct takes over.

Cordy: Angel! (She sprints across the distance
separating them and pounces) No!
Xander is in shock at seeing Cordelia so protective
and strong for the second time in the same night. It
isn't the same girl he once knew.

Gunn assists Spike in disposing of their aggressor.
Their is only one left. Cordy is connecting with hit
after hit to the beasts face and body.
Angel stands and sees that it's not for him that sheís
fighting. She's striking out at the one thing that
represents that which took Groo. He watches for
another minute as Gunn and Spike fall back to allow
her space.
Buffy suddenly is able to stand and rises slowly
watching her former lover attempt to calm Cordelia.

Angel: (reaches out to stop Cordy form delivering
another blow) Cordy. He's done.

Cordy wrenches free of his grasp and looks down at the
bleeding unconscious thing at her feet. She hesitates
for a second before kicking forward with all her
strength.
The thing flies almost ten feet across the floor as
Cordelia begins to cry again. Angel touches her
shoulder and she spins to bury her face in his chest.

Xander: Why do I not like this visual?

Wes: A lot has changed.

Xander: Not helping Wesley.

Buffy: She's just upset.

Spike: It takes more than just wanting to comfort to
hold someone like that Love.

Gunn: Maybe we should give them some space.

Xander: Maybe we should not.

Wes: Not the time.

Buffy: Stop it!
She speaks louder than intended and Angel and Cordy
hear her. They break apart to look at her.

Angel: Buffy?

Buffy: I need to speak to Cordelia...alone.

Cordy: (wiping her eyes) What?

Angel: Buffy I can explain.

Buffy: No. (the two stare at one another as only they
could before Buffy continues speaking to Cordelia) A
minute please?

Spike: Is this really necessary?

Xander: I hate to admit it but Spike's got a point
Buff.

Cordy: It doesnít matter who has what point. I have
nothing to say to you Buffy.

Buffy: Good. That will make it easier for you to
listen.
With that she steps over and takes Cordy by the arm.

Cordy: Ouch! What is your deal? You can't just...

Buffy: (ignores Cordy and looks to Wes) Your office?
Wes nods and the two women exit the room leaving the
group of men staring after them uncomfortably.


Cut to upstairs
Willow: (looking at Connor) I can't believe he's
really Angel's son. All this time, all this pain to
give Buffy a normal life. And now he proves that he
could have been with her all along. This could have
been their son.

Dawn: Ewww.

Fred: I don't think that would be a good thing. Not
now.

Willow: Why? What does that mean?

Lorne: Nothing! (speaks up hurriedly) It just means
that so much has happened to both of them. Connor
might never have happened if Angel hadn't come to LA.
Who's to say that if he had stayed with Buffy that he
would have ever earned this miracle.

Dawn: That's what you believe? That Angel earned a
child? What about where he came from? Aren't you
worried that he might have inherited his
daddy's...appetite?

Connor seems to understand what Dawn is implying and
begins to whimper against Fred's leg.

Fred: Connor?

Willow: How could he...?

Lorne: Something tells me that our young friend here
knows a lot more than even he realizes. He can feel it.

Fred: Like the same way Angel felt his heartbeat
before he was born?

Lorne: Perhaps.

Willow: So he has vamp senses?

Connor: I'm not like him!

Dawn: Well at least the kid knows what he's got to be
afraid of.

Willow: Dawn!

Fred: Angel's not evil! You all should know that
better than anyone. He will do everything he can to
teach Connor right from wrong.

Willow: We know that Fred. Dawn didn't mean anything.

Lorne: Listen, I think the action is over downstairs.
Let's say we head back down and finish what we
started.

Fred: Okay. (looks down to find that Connor is
missing) Where's Connor?

Lorne: What? He was just there.

Willow and Dawn look around the room and see no sign
of the boy.

Willow: This can't be good.


Cut to Lobby
Angel: What just happened?

Spike: I'd say you're doing everything you can to
start a catfight over you.

Angel: Are you serious?

Xander: What is going on between the two of you Angel?

Angel: Who?

Xander: Don't give me your innocent undead act buddy!
You were so going beyond friendship with your grip on
Cordelia!

Angel: I don't think it's any of your business
regardless!

Xander: And I suppose you think Cordelia's your
business now? What? You got tired of the Slayer/Vamp
ride, so you bailed and found yourself a new
plaything? Over my dead...

Angel: (rushes to grab him by the collar) Do you
really want to threaten me with your dead body? Keep
your nose out of my life.

Spike: (chuckling) Now why can't you be so obvious
when Buffy's in the room? I'm sure she'd love to see
you defending your affair.

Angel: (releases Xander and spins to face Spike) There
is no affair. You are still the raving idiot you
always were I see.

Wes: Guys please...

Spike: It's not me you have to convince mate. I think
there are two ladies in the other room who might be
much more interested in your explanation.

Angel: I'm warning you Spike. Stay out of it.

Wes: Really gentleman, I think...

He's cut off by the sound of hollering from upstairs.
Angel hears it as well and races to check on Connor.


Cut to Wes Office
Buffy and Cordelia are studying one another in
silence.

Cordy: So are you going to talk or what?

Buffy: Yeah. Are you okay?

Cordy: And now you're concerned about my emotional
well being?

Buffy: What is going on? I know we weren't ever best
friends, but we had made progress before you left
Sunnydale.

Cordy: I'm sorry if my attitude isn't to your liking.
In the last few weeks, I've been reunited with who I
thought was my soul mate, left town on vacation only to
have a vision of my best friend's world collapsing
around him. I get back here to find out that once
again Buffy is involved in everything and everyone
automatically bows to your infinite wisdom and power.
Including Groo echo is now dead out of some twisted
sense of duty to a person he never met. He didn't
think twice about leaving me to save you. Just like
Angel wouldn't either.

Buffy: You think Angel would abandon you for me?

Cordy: Wouldn't he?

They pause to let her question sink in.

Buffy: It doesn't matter what either of us thinks or
believes. I need your help.

Cordy: Please tell me you're kidding.

Buffy: Cordelia, have I ever kidded with you?

Cordy: Good point. So what's the big? And how can
lowly old me be of any help to the Slayer?

Buffy: You can help me bring forth Angelus.

Cordy's jaw drops as soon as the words escape and her
eyes narrow at the thought of what Buffy has up her
sleeve.

 

part 21

Interior: Connor's room
Angel rushes in to find Fred frantically looking
around the room.

Angel: Fred? Where's Connor?

Fred: (jumps at the sound of his voice) Angel! Hi!
He's um...well Connor...

Angel: Fred, don't. Where is Connor? And everyone
else?

Lorne: (entering from hall) Hey there big guy! We have
a slight problem. Nothing to be too concerned about.

Angel: Have you learned nothing in your time here?

Lorne: Point taken. But really, it seems your boy is
playing a game with his Auntie Fred and Uncle Lorne.
(looks around and calls out playfully) Aren't you you
little rascal? (smiles and shakes his head looking
back at Angel) Kids.

Angel: What are you talking about? What game is Connor
playing?

Fred: (blurts) Hide and Seek! He wanted to play hide
and seek but we didn't know he was starting so soon.
He kind of...took off.

Angel: Took off...(eyes get big as he realizes what
they're saying and yells louder than intended) CONNOR
IS MISSING!

The two begin to cower in fear at the tone and volume
of Angel's voice.


Cut to Lobby
Gunn and Wes hear the accusation and look at each
other before heading upstairs.

Xander: Did I hear what I thought I heard?

Gunn: Yep.

Xander: He can't be missing. The kid just got back.
Geez, you people have him for five minutes and lose
him. Buffy is not going to be happy.

Spike: Wait till the Slayer hears that she traveled
through several dimensions and times only to have
Soulboy's squad turn him loose again.

Gunn: Do you know how to do anything other than whip
out smart ass comments?

Wes: No. Spike's only weapon now is his witty repartee.


Spike: I'll show you weapon Chap. (steps forward
menacingly)

Xander: Spike, when are you going to learn? The
stalking isn't too scary to those of us who know your
handicap.

Gunn: Why don't you two just come up and help us?

Spike: Help Angel? I think I've had my fill for one
lifetime.

Xander: (rolls his eyes) Atta boy Spike. Give Buffy
one more reason to see you as the selfish demon you
are. Wait up guys. I'll help find him. He can't have
gone far.

The three climb the stairs and disappear as Spike
looks at the still closed office door.

Spike: Maybe I should tell her. (thinks for a second
and then smirks) Naah.


Cut to Office
Cordy and Buffy are oblivious to what's happening
outside this room. No one has spoken for almost a full
minute.

Cordy: (finally speaks very slowly) You have obviously
lost your mind.

Buffy: I may have. But it doesn't change what needs to
be done.

Cordy: And you think Angelus needs to be brought
forth?
Buffy nods.
Cordy: Okay, setting aside the obvious ramifications
of what you're suggesting, how could I ever help you?

Buffy raises an eyebrow and Cordy almost cries out
before she covers her mouth.

Cordy: (through her fingers) You want me to help you
do the nasty with Angel! You really are insane!

Buffy: (rolls her eyes and speaks in an exasperated
tone) You got me Cordelia! I did all this, came all
this way, through all this crap just to get off! Yep,
you've got my number.
When Cordy doesn't respond but just drops her hand to
stare at Buffy she continues.
Buffy: Cordelia, I'm not having sex with Angel.
She sees the obvious relief on Cordy's face and makes
mental note.

Cordy: Well...that's good. I mean, thinking of
something like that at a time like this, that's just
eeww.

Buffy: Yes, I could never do such an eeww thing. But
we are going to bring Angelus Cordelia. It's the only
way to save Angel, Connor and the rest of you.

Cordy: What are you saying? You think having Angelus
here would protect us? Do you even remember his last
visit with us? Not too much for the protecting if I
recall.

Buffy: I don't have time to explain everything now.
But Wes and Fred know why. And they know I'm the only
one who knows how to prevent disaster.

Cordy: They know you plan on making Angel lose his
soul? And they think it's okay?

Buffy: Not exactly. But...

Cordy: No! You can't do this! Not only do I think it's
impossible for you to even acheive it, you should be
exiled for even suggesting it!

Buffy: (steps forward to face her down) Listen to me
Cordelia Chase. We have no time to argue. I will do
this with or without you. But seeing you earlier, it
gave me an idea. Now we can do it the hard way without
any guarantees or we can do it my way and have a
fighting chance.

Cordy: And what about the guarantee?

Buffy: With Angelus, there's no guarantee. But believe
me when I say, the alternative is much worse.

Cordy: Worse than Angelus? Not seeing how that's
possible.

There a knock on the door just before Spike opens it
and leans inside.
Spike: Just thought you'd like to know that there's a
full on search upstairs for a missing boy.

Buffy: Connor?
Spike nods.

Cordy: Oh God.

Buffy: Okay, Cordy come with me. I'll finish getting
you up to speed on the way.

They run out and up the stairs. Spike watches them and
doesn't move.


Cut to Connor's room
Gunn, Wesley and Xander have joined the others.

Xander: Where's Will and Dawn?

Fred: They went to look on the other floors.

Xander: How big is this place?

Lorne: Big enough to keep us busy for a very long
time.

Angel: Well we're finding him. Do you hear me? Fred,
you, Gunn and Wes take the east side first five
floors. Did Willow say where they were going?

Lorne: I think they took off upstairs. I'll go and
find them.

Angel: Good. When you do, you take the west first
five.

Lorne: Aye Aye.
He leaves the room after the first group exits.
Buffy and Cordy pass them in the hall and find Angel
and Xander staring awkwardly at one another.

Buffy: Angel, what happened?

Angel: I have no idea. Connor is playing hide and seek
according to Fred and Lorne. Everyone else is already
looking for him.

Buffy: Don't worry Angel. This might be my fault. I
made our adventure earlier into a game. He's probably
just waiting for someone to find him.

Xander: I can go. Why don't Cordy and I go together,
she knows her way around better than me?

Buffy: No! (Xander looks at her puzzled) I think you
and I should go Xander. Cordy and Angel can do their
own search. It will be easier if Connor doesn't see
Angel and I together anymore than necessary.

Angel is completely at a loss as to Buffy's words. He
doesn't understand why she won't be alone with him and
wonders if it has something to do with her talk with
Cordy. He gets more confused when he notices the women
exchange a look and an almost imperceptible nod.

Cordy: Yeah. Connor needs to get used to you being
gone Buffy. He's too attached to you after the trip.

Xander: Huh? What are you talking about? And how are
Buffy and I supposed to find Connor in this place?

Angel: Cordy and I will take the upper floors. Buffy,
you and Xander can cover the familiar territory. Check
the Lobby, offices and basement. Connor could get
easily lost here.

Buffy: Right. Come on Xander, we'll grab Spike and
make him help.
Buffy pauses to look deep into Angel's eyes. It seems
she's searching for something or at least trying to
communicate something that she won't allow herself to
say. Angel frowns and starts to open his mouth to ask
why she's behaving so strangely.
She sees it coming and touches his arm.
Buffy: We'll find him and everything will be okay.
You'll see.

Angel reaches to cover her hand with his and squeeze
before she pulls away and pushes Xander out the door.
Cordy takes a deep breath as Angel leads the way on
their search.


Cut to Lobby
Spike stands when he sees Xander and Buffy heading his
way.

Xander: Good to see you're not tiring yourself with
the effort Spike.

Spike: I told you I've done my part in Angel's name.
My work is done. I'm just waiting for the rest of you
to realize the same.

Buffy: I'm afraid its not that simple. Things are
about to get real interesting Spike and I need you to
play a part.

Spike: Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like
this plan?

Xander: There's a plan? When did we get a plan? And
why do I not know the plan before Spike?

Buffy: Listen, you two start looking. I have to take
care of something and then I'll fill you both in. But
Connor has to be found first. I can't do anything
until I know he's safe. Go!

She waits for them to head down to the basement and
runs back upstairs to find Willow.


Cut to Angel and Cordy walking down a hallway opening
each door one by one to look inside for Connor.
Angel: I can't believe we're wasting time with a silly
game.

Cordy: Well, Connor's not a baby anymore Angel. I'm
still not clear how, but this is what kids do. They
play stupid games and constantly search for new ways
to get attention. He's just being a normal boy.

Angel: And here I thought I would always welcome those
words. But I didn't know it meant he would scare the
hell out of me on a daily basis by pulling a
disappearing act.

Cordy: (smiling)You're so cute.

Angel stops and looks at Cordy.
Angel: What did you say?

Cordy: What? (faces him and puts her hands on her
hips) Oh like you didn't know.

Angel: (seems unsure of how to respond) Cordelia I...

Cordy: Why are you always so serious? (playfully
punches him in the arm) Come on Broody guy! Look
around you.

Angel: What?

Cordy: Angel, just hours ago you thought your world
had ended. Your son was gone, you had been betrayed by
your best friend, I was off with Groo and you thought
your only shot was with Buffy Summers! Now look at us.
Connor's home, with us, Wes is working to redeem
himself, Buffy and her friends will be leaving soon
and things will finally be back to normal.

Angel: But Groo...

Cordy: (falters slightly) Yeah Groo is gone. And I'll
miss him believe me. We had some good times. (shrugs
and turns to look in another door) But it wasnít the
same as being here...with you.

Angel: (growing more uncomfortable) I don't think
you're thinking clearly Cordy. You're still grieving.

Cordy: (stops and turns to step to mere inches away
from his face) It's okay to be happy Angel. You have
everything you've ever wanted within your grasp. Well,
almost everything.

Angel watches in disbelief as she waits for her
meaning to sink in.


Cut to Hall
Buffy walks up behind Willow and Dawn calling out
Connor's name while looking in the different rooms.
Lorne is with them now.

Buffy: Willow!

Willow: (Startles) Geez! Are you trying to kill me?

Buffy: Sorry. I need to talk to you.

Dawn: We're kind of busy here Buffy. Looking for
Angel's son you know?

Buffy: Yeah, I know. You and Lorne go ahead and we'll
catch up.

Dawn: You want me to go with him? (points to Lorne) By
myself?

Lorne: What is it going to take to make you get used
to me?

Dawn: I don't know. Maybe less horns and green?

Lorne: You have your big sis' sense of humor I see.
Well, your barbs donít even come close to what I've
already heard, so get over yourself.

Dawn: I didn't mean anything bad.

Lorne: Of course not. (pulls her by the arm) Lets go,
you can make it up to me later.

Willow: (smiling as they go) There's just something I
like about that guy.

Buffy: (impatiently) Yeah he's a keeper. Now I need
your help.

Willow: You said that once before and I never heard
anything else. Are you ready to explain now?

Buffy: I sure am. I just hope you're ready to listen.
Buffy begins quickly telling Willow what must be done.
After several moments of arguing, Willow reluctantly
agrees just as someone hollers from downstairs.


Cut to Lobby
Spike: (standing at the bottom of the stairs looking
up) WE FOUND THE BOY!

Xander: (Sees Spike is about to repeat himself) I
think they heard you Spike.

Spike: (shuts his mouth and turns to see Xander on all
fours peeking out from under the counter) I bet you're
tired of hearing that noise huh? (Connor nods) Join
the club. I've had to listen to it for three years
now.

Spike: Ha-Ha. You're such a funny man.

Xander: (ignores him) So you're quite the hider aren't
you?

Connor smiles and nods again.

Spike: He's quite the pain in the...

Wes: (walking up behind him) Spike.

Spike: (turns to see Wesley, Gunn, and Fred coming in
the lobby) The boy had you all searching this pathetic
excuse for a building like ninnies. I'd say that
doesn't exactly make him Johnny Goodtime.

Gunn: I never thought I'd meet a vamp stranger than
Angel.

Spike: You'd do well to forget meeting me, strange or
not.

Gunn: Not gonna be a problem.

Wes: Connor?

Xander: (leans out) He's back here Wesley. Still not
out of hide mode I'm afraid.

Fred rushes to take over and Xander gets up.
Xander: So where's everybody else?

The group looks at one another and back up the stairs
to see them still empty.


Cut to Angel and Cordy
Cordy: See? Life is good. Connor's safe and sound,
just like before. No worse for wear.

Angel: I...I'll just go check on him.

Cordy: (grabs his arm as he tries to walk away) Wait a
minute! I'm not letting you get away that easy.

Angel: (flabbergasted) What? Cordelia...

Cordy: (brings finger to lips) Sshh. Close your eyes.
I have one more surprise for you.

Angel doesn't close them right away and Cordelia takes
the hand from her mouth to brush over his eyes drawing
them closed.


Cut to Willow and Buffy
Willow: Are you sure?

Buffy: Stop stalling. This is the only way. What about
you? Are you sure you can pull it off?

Willow: How's 80 percent sure? Is that gonna work for
you?

Buffy: I guess it will have to. Let's do it.

Willow nods quickly and closes her eyes.
Buffy listens and watches closely looking around to
make sure no one will see.

Cut to Angel and Cordy
Angel: (with her fingers against his lips and his eyes
still closed) I don't...think...

Cordy: (looks around briefly and steps on her tiptoes)
Didn't I say ssshhh? (She leans closer until her hand
moves just as her lips find his)


Cut to Lobby
The group is still waiting for the others when a wave
of energy sweeps down the stairs and knocks them all
backwards.


(VO): It has begun.

 

part 22

Interior: Hyperion Hall
Willow and Buffy push themselves up off the floor and
look around in wonder.

Buffy: Did it work?

Willow: I'm not sure. I mean, yes. I mean something
worked. Something definitely happened. I'm just not
clear on what.

Buffy: (eyes widen) I have to find Spike!
She takes off leaving Willow staring after her.

Willow: Spike?


Cut to Lobby
Everyone is back on their feet and waiting for an
explanation for the recent turn of events.

Gunn: That was different.

Xander: You think?

Spike: I don't like the feel of that.

Wes: Feel of what?

Spike: That's the mojo. Someone's creating some
serious mojo.

Xander: Mojo like witchcraft?

Gunn: We have a witch here now?

Wes: (to himself) Willow.

Xander: (hearing Wes) No! Willow doesn't practice any
more. There's no way that she...

Spike: I meant mojo as in supernatural wacky people.
Not necessarily magic or maybe it is.

Gunn: Could you maybe be a little less vague?

Spike: Could you maybe be a little less naive?

Gunn: Hey...

Fred: (from counter) Guys! Look.
She points to Buffy running full speed down the
stairs.

Buffy: Where's Connor?

Fred: (pointing to her feet) Down here.

Buffy: Good, keep him with you until I get back.
Spike, come with me.
She doesn't wait for an answer before grabbing him by
the arm and nearly yanking it off in her haste to get
him into Wes office and close the door.

The rest of the group watches each other for a
reaction. Finally everyone seems to look at Xander for
an answer.

Xander: (Defensively) What?


Cut to Other hallway
Cordy and Angel haven't budged from their previous
position. What ever happened in the hotel doesn't
appear to have affected them.
They're kissing passionately now both returning the
affection and intensity. Suddenly Angel breaks away
breathing hard.
He hides his face for a couple of minutes almost as if
in pain. Finally his hand drops and his breathing
slows.

Cordy: (watching him closely) Um...Angel?

Angel: (returns her gaze for several seconds and then
starts to smile) My my Cordelia! I never would have
thought you had it in you.

Cordy: (rubs her bruised lips uncomfortably) Yeah, I
guess I surprised myself too. (frowns) Wait...what
didnít I have in me?

Angel: (vamps out) What it takes to make me happy.

Cordelia doesn't seem to understand at first but then
she begins to realize what's happened. She takes a
shaky step backwards away from him and shakes her head
slightly in disbelief.

Cordy: No...
Angel laughs and grabs her just as she starts to turn
and run. He twists her around so her backs against his
chest and encloses her throat with one hand cutting
off her airway. She struggles against him but it only
amuses him more.

Angel: Come on Cordy! Don't play coy now. You wanted
me, well you got me. What? Am I too much for you to
handle? Don't worry. (bends to rub his cheek against
hers as she stills in his arms, terrified) I'll be
gentle.

Cordy: (trying to sound calm) Let me go.

Angel: What's the magic word?

Cordy: (tears well in her eyes-her voice shakes)
Ple-ase Ang-el.

Angel: (Looks around and notices the empty room next
to him) Now how can I take you seriously when you
won't even call me by my name?

Cordy: (her breath catches as he spins her painfully
to face him) I...(hiccup) did.

Angel: (pushes her into the room) I'm afraid we can't
play anymore until you stop lying. No worries. I have
plenty to keep me occupied in the mean time. I'll just
save you for last. After all, I wouldn't even be here
if it weren't for you.

Cordy: What are you going to do?

Angel: (puts a finger to his lips) Sshh. You'll ruin
the surprise. Just practice my name. I know you can
say it. You might just be graded on it later.
He offers one last evil smirk before closing Cordy in
and barring her from finding any means of escape.

Cordy finally breaks down and cries as she falls to
the ground.


Cut to Wes office
Spike: What in the hell is your problem woman?

Buffy: We don't have a lot of time. Did you guys feel
anything down here?

Spike: Yeah we felt it. We felt it knock us to our
asses.

Buffy: That's good. Then we know it wasn't just us.

Spike: Wasn't just who? What are you babbling about?

Buffy: I need your help Spike. You're the only one that
can help control him.

Spike: Who?

Buffy: Angelus?

Spike: (raises an eyebrow) Excuse me?

Buffy: I think Angelus is back and we don't have a lot
of time. Now shut up and listen. You have to do
exactly what I say.

Spike doesn't seem convinced that Buffy is all
together sane, but after hearing only the first part
of her explanation he bends closer to get the details.


Cut to Lobby
Willow walks downstairs and seems a bit weak.

Xander: Will? What's wrong?
He walks to catch her just as she trips over the last
step.

Willow: Oh! (straightens form Xander's arms) Xander.

Xander: Yeah, Xander. Now what's going on? Why are you
all fainty?

Willow: Something weird happened up there.

Gunn: It happened down here too. Although, you seem to
have gotten the worst end of it.

Wes: Magic?

Willow: (avoiding) Where's Buffy?

Fred: She went in the office with Spike. Seemed pretty
important.

Willow: Oh. What about Dawn?

Xander: I thought she was with you.

Willow: She was, but Buffy showed up and her and Lorne
went ahead without us.

Wes: So Dawn and Lorne are unaccounted for?

Gunn: So are Angel and Cordy last I checked.

Willow: Maybe we should get...
Before she can finish, the door swings open and Buffy
and Spike come out.

Buffy: Willow! Any sign?

Willow: Not yet.

Xander: Sign of what?

Buffy: (walking behind counter) Hey there buddy. Didja
miss me?

Connor: I didn't know if you were coming back.

Buffy: I told you I would didn't I? I always keep my
promises.

Connor: What was that strange feeling I had?

Buffy: (glances at Willow) What kind of feeling?

Connor: I felt mad and hurt and sad all at the same
time. Now I just don't feel anything.

Buffy: You know what? It's okay. I think I know what
you mean and we all feel that way sometimes. But you
have to remember what I told you okay? No matter how
confusing those feelings get, you have to remember
what's important.

Connor: Important?

Buffy: That's right. You can be whoever and whatever
you choose to be. So it's very important that you
choose well. And I'm going to help you do that okay?

Connor: Does that mean you're staying?

Buffy: For a while.

A loud noise is heard coming from upstairs and
everyone looks up.

Gunn: That didn't sound good.

Wes: Where are the others?

Buffy: (standing) Others? You mean Cordelia?

Xander: And Angel and Dawn and their green friend.

Fred: His name is Lorne.

Xander: Yeah. Him.

Buffy: Dawn and Lorne never came back? When you called
that you found Connor, they never came down?

Willow: (sensing Buffy's panic) Not yet Buffy.
At that moment another loud noise comes from upstairs
followed by a scream. Dawn's scream.
Buffy and the others startle and she's about to charge
when footsteps can be heard on the landing.
Dawn comes racing downstairs and trips as Willow did.
But no one is there to catch her and she lands in a
heap. Buffy races to help her up.

Buffy: Dawn? What is it? You're shaking? Are you okay?

Dawn: (eyes wide-breathing heavily and obviously
frightened) Buffy...it's...Lorne...he took him.

Xander: Lorne took who?

Dawn: (shakes her head and licks her lips against her
dry mouth) No! It was Angel!

Wes: Angel took Lorne?

Gunn: No Lorne took Angel?

Dawn: (wrenches free from Buffy's hands and faces them
all down before yelling) He's killing him!
Everyone just stares in confusion.
Dawn: (looks at Buffy) Angel's killing Lorne!


Cut to room
Cordy has stopped crying and stands. She is about to
try the door when she has a vision.

Flash: Buffy bleeding just like in her other vision.
Flash: Enemy advancing-Buffy defenseless
Flash: Face of enemy- Angelus in vamp face and then
something new

Cordy cries out at the image and frantically pulls on
the doorknob trying to warn the others.

Cordy: BUFFY! WESLEY! GUNN! ANYONE!


Cut to Hallway
Angel is dragging Lorne forward by the arm

Lorne: Big Guy! What is it? Whatís happened? You're
hurting your buddy here.
He doesn't get what is happening and Angelus smiles.

Angelus: I can't believe the lowlifes that soul gets
me involved with.

Lorne: Soul? What are you talking about? Whose Soul?
Suddenly, it all becomes clear and Lorne manages to
stop and make Angelus look into his eyes.

Lorne: Angel?

Angelus: (smiles) Wrong answer. But I have something
that might help you remember.

He pushes him against a wall and lifts him off his
feet.

Angelus: The name...is...Angelus.
He is leaning in for the kill with fangs bared and
Lorne struggles uselessly knowing he will be drained
by his friend.

Buffy: (standing in hallway with hands on hips) And
here I never thought I'd hear that name again.

Angelus stops and drops Lorne who collapses in a pile
at his feet. Angelus steps away and turns to face her
down.
They look at one another as if no time has passed
since they last met.

Angelus: (smirks) Now this is going to be fun...

 

part23

Interior: Hallway
Angelus and Buffy are still facing off as Lorne scoots
himself backwards and away from Angelus. Just as he's
out of reach he's spotted.

Angel: (glancing at him) Do you really think you could
get away that easily?

Lorne: (nervously) Apparently just wishful thinking.

Buffy: I'm really disappointed. The old Angelus would
have already gone on to the bigger fish.

Angelus: (looks back at her) Let me guess. You're the
bigger fish?

Buffy: (not breaking eye contact with Angelus) Lorne,
go downstairs.

Angelus: I don't think you get to make that call.

Buffy: I don't think I've ever listened to your
opinion.

Angelus: (smirks and takes a step closer to her as
Lorne escapes down the hall) I can't believe you're
still so gullible. Did you learn nothing last time?

Buffy: (raises chin defiantly) I sent your ass back to
hell didn't I?

Angelus: No sweetheart. See, that's the beauty. (stops
only a foot or so in front of her and looks at her
with fake sympathy) You sent your pansy-ass boyfriend
back to hell. Your witch bitch made sure I didn't
suffer at all.
He smiles when Buffy is obviously rattled by the
memory. But she quickly recovers and hides her
emotion.

Buffy: Where is Cordelia?

Angelus: Oh yeah! (leans back on his heels and taps
his chin with a fingertip) I gotta say, I was
surprised by that one.

Buffy: How so?

Angelus: Come on Buff! (drops his hand and looks her
squarely in the eye) It's gotta sting a bit that she
did with one kiss what it took you...well a lot more
than a kiss to accomplish. Guess you weren't the end
all be all that you and the soulboy liked to imagine
huh?

Buffy can't keep the tears from welling in her eyes
and struggles to stay focused amidst the pain that his
words inflict.


Cut to Lobby
Xander: I can't believe this.

Dawn: Well it's true. It's the only explanation for
what I saw.

Willow: We have to find Cordy.

Xander: I knew I should have been with her. I told
Buffy, but she insisted.

Dawn: So you're saying you'd rather Buffy have been
there?

Xander: I didn't mean...

Spike: We all know what you mean. You see your long
lost puppy love in the flesh and all the sudden you're
hero guy.

Xander: (snaps) Do you even think about what you're
saying before you open your mouth.

Spike: The only reason people have to think is when
they need to lie. Honesty always worked for me.

Gunn: A vamp that likes to psychoanalyze? Now I've
seen everything.

Fred: I think we better be concerned with the vamp
that just turned against us. What if Buffy can't beat
him?

Willow: She did it once before, she can do it again.

Connor: (pulling on Fred's skirt) Who has turned
against us? Is it the different one? The one who made
me?

Fred: Don't worry Connor. Buffy's going to fix
everything. You'll be safe with us.

Connor: I don't care about safe. I want to help. (Fred
smiles at his innocent pledge) I want to help him.

Everyone turns to look at Connor when he says the
words. Could he have meant what they thought he meant?

Wes: Connor? Who do you want to help?

Connor: (closes his eyes and seems to be thinking hard
and it's confusing him) I don't feel good.


Cut to Hallway
Lorne runs trying to find the quickest way down when
he hears Cordelia's screams. He almost ignores them
but can't make himself leave. After several minutes
and several doors, he reaches the one she's pounding
on.

Lorne: Cordelia quiet down!

Cordelia: (from other side-quieter) Lorne? Is that
you? Oh Thank God, get me out of here!
Lorne sees that Angelus has broken the doorknob off
and sealed Cordelia inside.

Lorne: Give me a second. I have to find...

Cordy: I want out of here now! We have major problems
and I have to warn the others!

Lorne: (pulling a pair of tweezers out of his pocket)
I just knew these would come in handy someday.

Cordy: What are you doing? Hurry up! I did something
really bad.

Lorne: (breaks the tweezers apart and begins trying to
jimmy the broken lock with the pieces) No, I think
Daddy Dearest has you beat on the really bad thing.

Cordy: Oh no. So you saw him already.

Lorne: Yeah. Not a pretty picture. But maybe it was
the almost getting sucked dry that clouded my vision.
He breaks the tweezers in the door and curses under his
breath.

Cordy: What was that? What happened?

Lorne: That is the sound of my incompetence. Our boy
did a number on this lock. I canít get it. Maybe you
can wait while I...

Cordy: That's it! (She reaches back with one hand
balled into a fist and strikes at the door out of
complete frustration)
Lorne doesn't have time to move before the door flies
off its hinges and plasters him against the wall
underneath it.
Cordy stares in shock at the splintered wood and back
at her fist. She knows it's not normal and needs to be
explained, but she ignores the obvious questions and
rushes to help.

Cordy: (lifting the door off Lorne and helping him to
his feet) I am so sorry! I don't know what...(looks
back at the broken doorframe) did you see that?

Lorne: (brushing himself off) Actually no. But this
time it was the speeding projectile coming at me that
clouded my vision. Surprisingly almost as effective as
the previously mentioned bloodsucking incident.

Cordy: We don't have time to waste now. Where are the
others?

Lorne: I guess downstairs. That's where Buffy told me
to go.

Cordy: Buffy? Where was she?

Lorne: I left her with him. With Angelus.

Cordy: So I really did it.

Lorne: Huh? Did what?

Cordy: Nothing. We have to go.
She pulls him with her downstairs.


Cut to Buffy and Angelus
Angelus: Oh how I've missed those sad little eyes. But
you know what I've missed even more?

Buffy: Can't imagine.

Angelus: I've missed being the one to put the sadness
there. I've got quite a bit of catching up to do now
don't I? Seems to me you owe me for denying me my
destiny with Acathla.

Buffy: I do owe you. So you ready to collect?

Angelus: From you? (smiles and readies his stance) I'm
always ready for that.

Buffy smirks back at him for a split second before
lunging.
He sidesteps her first blow and his own fist connects
with her back as she passes him sending her headfirst
into the wall. She leaves a hole where she makes
contact. But doesnít seem to be phased as she comes
right back at him.
She fakes him out with the first swing and when he
blocks it she swings up with a solid kick at almost
the same time. Her boot finds it's target and he
doubles over in surprise. A low growl is heard and
this time he's vamped out when he rises.

Buffy: What? Already coming with the big guns? You
never needed gameface before. Whatís wrong? Lost your
edge?
He seems to take exception and makes the effort to
revert to human face.

Angelus: You're right. Why should I make it easy on
you? If you want to fight, fight him.

Buffy: Him, you...it's all the same to me. Times have
changed in your absence you know. I'm not the same
girl.
She doesn't give him a chance to reply before
attacking again. They begin a brutal fight that seems
unwinnable.


Cut to Lobby
Xander: He said him? You guys heard it right? He said
him! He wants to help Daddy!

Fred: He didnít mean it like that! He doesn't feel
good.

Spike: Maybe that's the problem. Maybe Angelus Jr.
here is feeling exactly what he's supposed to feel.

Gunn: (stepping up to Spike) Watch yourself buddy. The
kid is an innocent. You'd do well to remember that.

Spike: Sure thing. (looks at his wrist like there's a
watch there) Well, I have something to take care of.
I'll see you folks later.

Dawn: Spike? where are you going?

Spike: I'm not too keen on taking on Angelus.

Willow: What? You're ditching us?

Xander: Oh that's just classic! Isn't that the same
thing you did last time Spikey? Run away when Angelus
reared his ugly head?

Spike: (muscles in his jaw clench and unclench under
the strain of holding his tongue) I was protecting
Dru.

Xander: Well, she's not here now. So I can only see
one person you're leaving would be protecting. It's
good though. I've been waiting for you to finally show
your true colors again. This is good. I just wish
Buffy could be here to see it. Oh Wait! She's busy
taking Angelus on...alone. Don't worry though. I'll
give her your regards.

Spike sees Xander turn and walk away and the others
all look away from him uncomfortably. He almost breaks
when Dawn does the same but he steels himself and
heads out the door.

Spike: Bloody idiots.

Just as the door closes behind him Cordy and Lorne
rush down the stairs.

Cordy: Why are you all just standing there? Don't you
know what's happened?

Wes: Of course.

Lorne: And?

Dawn: And Buffy went up to find him. She said she had
to do it alone.

Cordy: And that's it huh? God, has nothing changed
since high school?

Xander: Stop acting like you're somehow better than us
because you ran away from Sunnydale before the fires
were even out at Sunny D High!

Willow: Buffy knows what she's doing Cordelia. She's
been through this once before.

Cordy Yeah well that's because she caused it once
before. That's not the case this time.

Fred: She has a point. I thought the whole point of
the curse was ensuring Angel never felt true happiness
again. If he found a way to find happiness in the
middle of recent events I'd really like to know how.

Wes: Yes. There has to be something we're missing.

Willow: (interrupting nervously) Cordelia! (Cordy
startles) You were with him when it happened right?
Did you see anything? Did you notice anything
different?

Cordelia looks down at her feet as the group watches
her curiously.

Xander: Cordy?


Cut to Hallway
Buffy and Angelus have destroyed two rooms throwing
one another about. They both are sweating and Buffy is
on the ground with him straddling her. He has her
hands pinned above her head with one hand and she
struggles unwaveringly as the other hand strokes down
her body in a sadistic game.

Angelus: Stop fighting it Buff. You know you can't
resist. You fall for the charm and sweet talk every
time.

Buffy: (sucking in ragged breath) Too bad there's none
of either close by.

Angelus: (smiles and brings his free hand up to grasp
her by the throat) Maybe it's just not for you
anymore.
Buffy stills against his grip as his words begin to
burn through her brain.
Angelus: She was always a little more my style you
know. A little fire, A little ice. She sure knows how
to drive a man wild. You just never could get that
part down could ya?

Buffy begins to roll side to side in a desperate
attempt to pitch him off and shut him up.
Buffy: You have no idea what I'm capable of now. You
never did. And you never will.

Angelus: Really? Is there some deep dark secret you've
been keeping from your one true love?

Spike: (from doorway) Am I interrupting something?

 

Part 24

Interior: Hallway
Angelus looks up at the sound of Spikeís voice and
almost forgets to hold on to Buffy. She uses the lapse
to her advantage and rolls over and away from him. He
manages to hold on to one wrist and now she cries out
in pain as he mercilessly twists it.

Angelus: (chuckling) Still havenít lost that feisty
side have you sweets?

Buffy: (stops struggling under the pressure on her
arm) Donít call me that.

Spike: I guess I did then.

Buffy: (snaps) Did what?

Spike: Interrupt. (Steps closer) I had to see it for
myself.

Angelus: Whatís that?

Spike: You of course Angelus.

Angelus: (looks at Buffy) See? Now, is that so hard?
Spike here knows what to call me. Why is it so hard
for the rest of you people to show me the same
respect?

Buffy: I guess youíre just gonna have to get all the
respect you need from your boy, cause wait. Shouldnít
you be more concerned with what your boy did to you
the last time he saw you?
Angelus frowns and then seems to remember being
blindsided the last time he saw them.

Angelus: (scowling at Spike) You? You helped her. You
betrayed me?

Spike: I helped myself mate. (Shrugs innocently) I
believe it was you who taught me that. To thine own
self be true.

Angelus: (releases Buffy and stands) I would never
spout that poetic crap.

Spike: Thatís right. I apologize. Let me think. (Taps
chin in thought) Oh yes, I think yours was something
like, Donít get yourself killed because of some other
worthless being. If we die, we die for ourselves. I
never did like the sound of that.

Angelus: Thatís because your head was always filled
with hearts and flowers. By the way, how is my dear
Dru?
Angelus smiles wickedly when Spike is visibly upset by
the tone.

Buffy: Do you really need me around for the vamp
bonding scene. Geez, both of you are so sickeningly
lost in the past and verbal zingers, a girl could
start to feel left out.
They both look at her.

Angelus: Youíve been stuck with her all this time?
(Looks at Spike) I donít get it. What did I miss?

Spike: Its not you that missed it.

Buffy: Spike

Angelus: Huh?

Spike: Never mind. (Signals privately to Buffy) So
whatís the plan here?

Angelus: Plan? (Glances at Buffy watching cautiously
then back at Spike) Nothing set in stone. Just mass
murder, violence, gore, and a lot of blood. I thought
what better way to start than where I left off. Am I
right?
Angelus smiles and looks back to see her reaction, but
Buffy has disappeared. His face drops and he snaps
back to look at Spike.
Angelus: Where did she go? Why didnít you tell me?

Spike: Have I got to start from the beginning with
you?

Angelus: (eyes widen a bit as he seems to recollect
Angelís memories) You work with them now. Youíre with
them now!

Spike: Easy fella. Weíve got some serious chatting to
do.

Angelus: I donít have time for chat Spike! If youíre
not here to help, youíre here to die. Which is it?
Spike squares off against Angelus and thinks of the
best way to handle the mess heís in.


Cut to Lobby
Buffy runs downstairs as the others are still in
planning mode.

Dawn: (sees her first) Buffy!

Cordy: Oh God youíre here! Does that mean heís mean
Angelus. Is Angelus dead?

Buffy: Not quite. Whereís Connor?

Fred: heís here lying down. He doesnít feel well.

Xander: Thatís cause heís feeling vampy.

Buffy: What?

Xander: The kids the spitting image okay? We just
havenít seen him spit yet.

Gunn: Man, didnít I tell you

Wes: Buffy
Buffy passes by Willow and stops to look at her.

Buffy: How you holding up?
Willow just nods and Buffy moves on to Connor whoís
lying face down on the floor at Fredís feet with his
face buried in is arms.

Buffy: (bending to put a hand on his back gently) hey
there little one? You okay.
She notices heís shaking and his shirt is damp with
sweat.
Buffy: Connor? (She pulls him over onto his back and
sees heís in bad shape)

Fred: Oh my, whatís wrong with him?

Buffy: (scoops him up in her arms and stands to look
at the group) Okay, Wes, everyone we have about five
minutes before all hell breaks loose in here. So
youíre going to have to trust me and do exactly what I
say.

Cordy: Buffy, Iím not doing anything until

Buffy: Cordelia!

Lorne: (steps forward to place a hand on Cordyís arm)
Lets hear her out sweetheart.
Cordy doesnít like it but she shuts her mouth.

Buffy: I have to take Connor downstairs. When they get
down here, you guys will be on your own for a bit.
Gunn, you and Xander need to get every vamp weapon you
can. The works. Hand them out to everyone. Each of you
should have at least two backups. I need you to stall
without getting yourself killed. When I give the
signal, you let him know where we are.

Xander: Wait. You said They. Whoís They?

Buffy: (breathes heavily) Spike and Angelus.

Dawn: Spike? But he left! He ran away!

Buffy: Obviously not, because I just left him upstairs
getting reacquainted.

Cordy: Great. Angelus comes back and the first thing
he does is recruit Spike back into his fold. What the
hell was I thinking?

Xander: Why do you keep saying things like that? You
keep talking as if this was your fault. Last I heard
you were the last person that could be a threat to the
curse.
No one speaks and Xander tries to laugh at his joke
but suddenly realizes its not funny.
Xander: (shaking head slowly) Oh no. This cant be
real. Are you saying(points at Cordy) What are you
saying?

Wes: Cordelia?

Fred: (mumbles) I knew it.

Xander: No Way.

Buffy: People! Can we focus here? Not so much
mattering right now how, but more about the what do we
do? And I just told you. So?

Xander: Buffy, are you getting this? Because
apparently Angel and Cordy are.

Cordy: Shut up!

Buffy: (Connor starts to struggle against being held)
It doesnít matter right now Xander. We have work to
do. Gunn?

Gunn: Right. (He takes Xanderís arm and pulls him
towards another weapons stash)

Buffy: Willow, I need you and Dawn somewhere safe.

Dawn: Here we go. Dawn, go hide.

Willow: Actually this time itís me that needs hiding.
Iíll explain once weíre there.
She pulls Dawn out of the room towards parts unknown.

Buffy: Cordy.
The two women forget everything for a moment as they
look at one another. Cordy seems to want to say
something and Buffy appears to want to do anything to
avoid hearing it.
Buffy: I need you here. He wonít hurt you right away.
He likes to make the one who brings him suffer.
(pauses painfully) I wonít let him get a chance to do
it to you too.

Cordy: (whispers and nods) I know. Iím Sorry Buff..

Buffy: (Cuts Cordyís words short looking at Wes) All
the reasons you had for doing the things you did
before were right Wesley. You just had the way it
happened wrong. Angel was supposed to kill him. He
would have had to. But he could never have hurt him.
Not like he was. You were protecting the wrong one.

Wes: And now?

Buffy: Now you just have to keep everyone else alive.
Iíll worry about Connor and Angelus.

Lorne: And whoís going to take care of Spike?

Buffy: No worries. Heís just doing what I asked.
She strides out of the room and takes Connor down to
the basement.
The others are left staring after them and then at one
another.


Cut to Basement
Buffy sets Connor down on the floor and kneels beside
him.

Buffy: Connor listen to me. (He seems to have trouble
focusing on her so she takes his face in her hands and
forces him to look into her eyes) Connor, I have a
story to tell you and you have to listen carefully.
Okay?
Connor nods weakly as the sweat continues to seep down
his face and back.

Buffy: Angel is your father and heís different. You
know that. And right now, I know youíre feeling really
bad inside. And I think I can tell you why. But you
have to understand that its just like what I told you
before, no matter what you feel or think, you can
control your own body okay? So because we donít have a
lot of time, Iím gonna have to talk fast. Are you
listening very closely?

Connor: (Voice shakes) I hurt all over Buffy.

Buffy: I know sweetie. But it will all be over soon. I
promise. See there was a boy like you once before. He
was created by somebody different. Somebody not like
himself. Something bad.

Connor: Iím bad?

Buffy: No! Listen, Angel has a bad part inside him
that comes out sometimes without him knowing it.
Because he made you, he gave you some of that bad
part. But itís not like his bad part Connor. Yours is
smaller and as long as you grow and live and love, it
will get smaller and smaller until it disappears and
you will be the best boy in the world.

Connor: (smiling) Iíll be good?

Buffy: Oh yes, youíll be a hero. But before anyone can
be a hero, they have to be tested. And youíre so
special, that your first test is going to happen
tonight. Now.

Connor: What kind of test?

Buffy: In just a few minutes, youíre icky feelings are
going to get worse and worse because your dad is going
to come down here and bring all his ickiness and try
to get rid of it too. But if he gets rid of it the
wrong way, it might just all go into you. And we donít
want that.

Connor: No! I want to be good!

Buffy: Thatís right. So no matter what. You have to
fight it and fight him if you have too. Whatever it
takes to make the icky go away.

Connor: Will you help me?

Buffy: Oh baby, I wish I could. I really do. But this
part that you and your dad have isnít like my special
part. But I will be here when its over and I will be
the first to give you a great big hero hug! Okay?
Connor nods.
Buffy: Okay so when he gets down here, no matter what
I say or do or anyone else does or says, you remember
what will happen if you do the right thing.

Connor: What happened to the boy in the story?

Buffy: (flinches as she remembers what she witnessed
before) Umhe wasnít strong enough. He let the icky
feelings take him over and he became very bad.

Connor: Did he die?

Buffy: No Connor. He didnít die, but a lot of other
people did. Even the boys father.

Connor: (notices her voice shaking and reaches up
innocently to touch her cheek) Donít cry. Iím stronger
than him. I wonít let you down.
Buffy smiles and hopes that Connor is right.



Cut to Lobby
Angelus: (from top of stairs looking down) Well look
here!
The group all freezes at the menacing tone in his
voice.
Angelus: I would have thought some of you might be
smarter than this. Didnít you hear the good news?
He sees Cordy standing by the desk and smiles.
Angelus: Didnít I tuck you in upstairs? Who went and
let out my one true moment girl?

Xander: I see you still love to hear yourself talk.

Angelus: Xander! How Iíve missed your scent! I mean,
call me crazy but that stench of fear is better than
any drug. Isnít that right Spike?

The group notices Spike standing behind Angelus and he
smirks when he emerges to stand at his side.

Spike: I know I always had a thing for it.

Xander: I shouldíve known. You werenít running from
him, you were running to him.

Angelus: Oh look at Xander. Heís lost his only male
companionship. Guess its back to permanent girlie boy
status for you Xand-man.

Gunn: I hate to interrupt this reunion, but are we
going to fight or what?

Angelus: Gunn! My man! How you living? Guess we lost
the trust again didnít we?

Gunn: Did we ever have it?

Angelus: (walks slowly down the stairs as he speaks)
See, I work a little different than soul boy Iím
afraid. Iím not into the quick kill. No see I go for
the slow torture. Thatís where the real fun is. Can
show you if youíd like. Or maybe the high school
brigade has already filled you in.
He reaches level ground and heads for Cordelia. He
sidles up next to her and circles around to her back.
He begins blowing in her ear and she strains against
the revulsion she feels. He begins whispering in her
ear from behind.

Angelus: I think you and I have some unfinished
business. I mean, you must have some serious shibatz
going to have turned me with just a kiss.
Cordy swallows hard against his words and Xander begins
seething with anger. The others watch helplessly.
Angelus: I always had my eye on you you know. But I
had to keep the Slayer close to the belt, pardon the
expression, if you know what I mean. What better way
to ensure my survival than to make the Slayer think we
had some epic love thing going right? Managed to keep
me around for a long time donít you think. And now
thereís you. The idiot tried to deny it for months.
But shoot everyone saw it.
Angelus raises his head and finds Lorne to gaze at.
Angelus: (points) You! You knew what was going on
didnít you. Tried to tell him over and over. But he
just kept on denying. (looks at Fred half hiding
behind Gunn) And you! You were the first to tell him.
Hell, you were only around them for a few weeks and
you knew didnít you. Guess that cave gave you plenty
of time to hone your skills of perception. Way to use
your time wisely.

Spike: Is this going to take much longer? Why do you
always have to drag things out Angelus? You said youíd
help me.

Xander: Help you? How?

Angelus: I donít think thatís really any f your
concern. Your only concern should be how much pain
youíre going to feel while Iím killing you. And Spike,
you shut up and do things my way, or I wonít be so
willing to forget your earlier transgressions.

Cordy: What does that mean?

Angelus: That means, its time to get down to
business. You know what they say. Always before
pleasure. (strokes Cordyís face) And oh how I plan to
have the pleasure later. So(steps away and stands
straight clapping his hands together) whoís first?

Spike: Arenít you forgetting something?

Angelus: What?

Spike: The one who sent you away the last time?

Angelus: Oh right! See how we just fall back into old
patterns Spike. What a team!

Wes: Who?

Spike: The witch. He wants to make sure the same thing
doesnít happen again.

Xander: Hell no! Not without killing me first!
Xander rushes to Angelus and heís laid out by a single
punch to the chest. Xander collapses struggling
desperately to get his wind back. The others look in
horror at the first sign of physical violence form the
one theyíd worked side by side with for years.

Angelus: Now..(brushes off imaginary dust from his
jacket) Where is she?
Before anyone answers, a loud noise comes from
downstairs. Followed by two short bursts. Buffy is
signaling. Angelus looks at the floor under his feet.

Wes: I donít think you want to mess with her now.
Sheís more powerful than you could ever know. If you
go down there, youíll lose.

Angelus: (smiles) If I go down there, you all will
lose. (He steps towards the door leading to the
basement) Spike, watch them. If any of them move, the
momentary pain you might feel from killing them will
be mild in comparison to the hours of sheer horror
that I will invent just for you) Got it?

Spike: Not a problem.
Angelus heads downstairs as the group looks at Spike
with seething hatred.


Cut to Basement
Angelus descends the stairs slowly and quietly
listening for anything the witch might throw at him.
When he reaches the bottom, his eyes adjust to the
darkness quickly and he sees the two standing in front
of him.

Buffy: Hey there stranger. I was beginning to feel
neglected.

Angelus: (smirks) You? Never. And whoís this?

Connor: (steps from the shadows and faces his father)
You donít remember me Father?

Angelus smile fades and is replaced by angered
realization.

Angelus: Donít call me that. I cant have a son. The
soul let the fool think he could do this, but he was
still dead. Youíre not a son of mine. Youíre just
another trick sent to torture him. But you wonít be
needed any more. He cant be tortured anymore. (raises
hands up) No soul, no heartbeat, no heart.

Connor: Thatís what I was hoping youíd say.
Connor looks at Buffy for one second before turning
back to Angelus. He closes his eyes and seems to
embrace something within. He opens his eyes again and
they are black. Angelus sees this and looks at Buffy
in surprise.

Buffy: What can I say? Heís his fatherís son.
She smiles wickedly as the two rush forward with a
primitive growl


Cut to Lobby
The group let upstairs hereís a muted sound of anger
and fighting begin downstairs. They struggle with what
to do in the interim. Spike watches and listens
intently.



Cut to sewer tunnel
Willow and Dawn emerge and find themselves in a dark
corner of the basement.

Dawn: I can hear them. But where are they?

Willow: It doesnít matter. If I can hear them, its
enough.

Dawn: But youíre already so weak. How can you do this?

Willow: How can I not?

 

Part 25

Interior: Lobby
Xander: Whatís the what Spike? Are you for real here?

Spike: I donít plan to explain myself to you.

Xander: And you really think you can keep us all in
line on your own?

Spike: I think Iíll do what has to be done.

Gunn: I thought you said he was harmless.

Xander: Well, he can technically do harm. But the
excruciating pain he feels when he tries tends to be
of the debilitating sort. Right Spikey?

Spike: (eyes narrow) Watch it.
The sound of the battle is growing louder and Connors
cry can be heard upstairs.

Cordy: Oh God. Whatís happening down there?

Wes: I think theyíre fighting.

Fred: Buffy and Angelus?

Wes: No, I donít think so.

Cordy: I donít understand.

Lorne: I think Wes is trying to say that its not
Buffy that has to fight Angelus.

Gunn: What? If not Buffy, then who?

Wes: Its the prophecy.

Fred: The false prophecy?

Wes: (shaking head) It wasnít false, just misjudged..

Gunn: So the father will kill the son? Youíre saying
its true.

Wes: I thought I had to protect Connor from Angel. But
Angel was never the problem. It was Angelus. Buffy
told me it always had to be Angelus.

Cordy: So thatís why she wanted to bring Angelus back.
But if heís back and theyíre down there oh my God.

Xander: What? What is it?
Cordy: Buffy wants it to happen. Buffy wants the
prophecy to come true!

Fred: You mean she wants sheís trying to get Connor
killed?

Wes: She doesnít want to, but it has to be. It was
destined to be.

Cordy: Are you insane? (looks around the room and to
the door Spike stands in front of) We swore to Angel
that we would protect his son no matter what. Wes, I
believed you were trying to do that when you took him.
However misguided your actions. But this? This is
murder. And Iíll be damned if I stand by and let Buffy
get the only thing left of Angel killed.

Spike: Iím moved by your outrage and nobility dear,
but have we met? I donít think thereís a whole lot you
can do to stop whatever is going on downstairs. My
pain will be temporary, yours may not.

Cordy: (closes her eyes and takes a deep breath) Iím
getting past you Spike. If you have to kill me then so
be it. Do your best. But Iím going down there before
Buffy destroys everything Angel ever cared about.
She begins to walk towards Spike and he smiles as he
plants his feet firmly on the ground. Xander tries
calling after her but Cordy has tunnel vision. Just as
she gets within reach of Spike he vamps out and raises
his hand to strike. Cordelia looks past him and
focuses on the door she is heading for. Her own hand
rises of its own volition as if to block his blow.
Instead of him connecting, his whole body is lifted
off the floor and hurled across the room.
Cordy doesnít even notice before she opens the door
and heads downstairs. The others are left staring at
the moaning Spike still trying to recover from his
flight.

Xander: Did you guys see that?

Fred: Yeah.

Gunn: Did you guys see that she didnít even touch him?

Xander: Was it witchcraft? Is Cordy a witch now?

Wes: Not quite.


Cut to Basement
Connor has attached himself around Angelus neck and
is being tossed from side to side viciously but
refuses to let go. Buffy wants nothing more than to
help him but she knows it has to be this way. Angelus
is crying out in frustration at the small person
giving him such trouble. He is getting angrier and
angrier but it only seems to feed Connorís own rage.
Its no longer a child and a man, but two unnatural
beasts fighting to the death.
Buffy hears footsteps just before Cordy appears on the
stairs. She hesitates for a second taking in the scene
before rushing down to interfere.

Cordy: Connor! Get away from him!
Buffy knows she will put herself in between them if
given half the chance and is left with only one
choice. She rushes her.
Cordy is so focused on the duo; she doesnít see the
attack coming. Just as she makes her move, her feet
are knocked out from underneath her and she falls
backwards on her back hard. Buffy leans over her and
she sees who stopped her for the first time.

Cordy: You are one sick puppy Slayer girl. (stands up)
Iím not going to let you get them killed.

Buffy: You donít belong here Cordelia.

Cordy: That doesnít work anymore with me Buff. Youíre
not superior anymore. Iíve got everything youíve got
and then some.

Buffy: (raises an eyebrow) Really?
The sound of grunts and hits distract both of them for
a second as they see Angelus finally remove the leech
from around his neck and throw it against the wall.
Connor slides down semi-conscious.

Cordy: (moving to help) Connor!

Buffy: (grabbing her arm before she can) No!
Cordy struggles against Buffyís grip as both women
watch Angelus advance on the seemingly defenseless
boy.

Angelus: I told you to leave it alone. (glaring
murderously at his son) Iíd just assume leave you to
wander the streets alone after I kill everyone and
everything you know and love.

Cordy: Oh God. (Connor hasnít opened his eyes yet, but
its clear that he hears the words meant to hurt him)
Buffy please

Buffy: It has to happen. Its the only way. Its your
only hope.
Cordy stares at the boy shaking and sweating until he
finally opens his eyes. When he does, they glow and he
snarls exposing non-human teeth.

Cordy: Connor?

Buffy: Ssshh. Heís not Connor right now. And he never
will be again if you donít let him do this.
Before Cordy can respond, Connor stands and signals
for Angelus to come at him.

Angelus: (chuckling) If I wasnít so sure, Iíd swear
you did have a bit of me in you. Too bad I have to
kill you.

Connor: Come and get me Father.
Cordy begins to cry when they attack one another
again. Buffy hasnít let her go and she loses sight of
everything sheís been told in the light of seeing this
ultimate tragedy play out in front of her.
Without warning, she pulls down hard against the hand
that holds her arm getting Buffyís attention. When
Buffy goes to regain her solid grip, she doesnít see
Cordyís other hand flash out to punch her in the nose.
Buffy head snaps back and she loses her grip
completely.
She uses the momentum from the hit to bring her
forward after the initial impact and head butt Cordy
sending her to her knees. She starts to say something
but stops when Cordy looks up at her with a strange
appearance on her face.

Buffy: Cordelia?


Cut to Sewer tunnel
Willow has been chanting for a few minutes now and the
effects are beginning to wear her down. She is no
longer standing and begins to lose track of her words.
Suddenly, Dawn is pushed back form her by something
unseen and a yellow glow engulfs her body.

Dawn: Willow: Whatís happening? Answer me Will Please.
Willow doesnít hear Dawns plea and instead continues
to speak in a foreign language, now with someone
elseís voice. The yellow is getting brighter and
brighter and even Willow herself seems to be unsure of
the ending to her spell.
Willowís hands are balled into fists but Dawn sees one
shaking with effort until it finally releases and a
large marble rolls free and through the glow. It stops
at Dawns leg and she looks down to see something
familiar. She picks it up and looks back to Willow who
no longer has any knowledge of her presence.

Dawn: Iíll be back Will. I promise Iíll be back.
She picks up the marble and rushes down the tunnel.


Cut to Lobby
The group has tied Spikeís hands and feet and he
curses them harshly as they watch him struggle.

Spike: You people have no idea what youíre doing. This
is a huge mistake.

Xander: Iíve never been one for doing all the right
things. I think I can live with the risk. What about
you guys?

Gunn: (looking at Spike) I live for the risk.
Fred: Should somebody go check on Cordelia? Sheís been
down there for a while now. What if she needs help?

Spike: Youíre all going to need help very soon if you
donít bloody well untie me!

Lorne: Iím thinking youíre kind of like the boy who
cried wolf friend. I havenít known you for long but
your aura is just screaming out liar liar pants on
fire.

Gunn: Iím with Lorne. Definitely donít feel like
trusting anything you have to say.

Spike: Fine then! All of you can sod off! I hope
Angelus rips you limb from limb!

Xander: There he is! Thatís the Spikey we all love to
hate!
The front door crashes open and everyone screams and
jumps.

Fred: Heavenís sakes!

Dawn: (rushing in) Sorry guys! Whereís Spike?
She sees him tied up and is confused.
Dawn: What happened?

Xander: He went to the dark side again. Meet Angelus
newest, or oldest recruit.

Dawn: You canít actually believe that.

Wes: He was quite convincing.

Dawn: Howís this for convincing?
She holds up the marble and the others look at it
blankly.

Xander: You brought us a marble?

Wes: Let me see that.
Dawn hands it to him and snorts.
Wes: Iíll be.

Fred: What? What will you be?

Wes: Where did you find this?

Dawn: Willow had it in her hand. She dropped it.

Xander: Where is she? Why did she drop it?

Dawn: (uncomfortable) Well, she kind of got
distracted. Like mystically distracted.

Xander: (eyes widen) Sheís doing magic
somewhere alone?!

Dawn: Sheís doing something for Buffy! Buffy asked her
to.

Xander: (throws his hands up) Iím always the last to
know.

Spike: Will someone please tell me whatís going on?
Whatís with the toy?

Dawn: Its not a toy. Is it what I think it is Wesley?

Wes: (nods) It appears to be. That is if you think
its a jewel of Thesula.

Xander: Jewel of who? (frowning) Wait, why is that
familiar?

Wes: This is a smaller version of the orb Willow
needed to recreate the gypsies spell.

Fred: The spell?

Xander: The soul spell? The taking away of the soul
spell? Willow had this? Why?

Gunn: Are you saying that the girl set this up? She
took Angels soul on purpose?

Fred: No! She wouldnít do that! No one would do that
on purpose! Cordy said it was an accident!

Spike: I am constantly amazed at how slow to the punch
you humans are! Why is there such difficulty here? Can
not a single one of you form a complete thought!

Wes: I think I see whatís happening here.

Xander: Care to share?

Wes: The important thing is Cordelia is not to blame
for Angelís state. It wasnít her that made him lose
his soul.

Fred: But he said

Wes: Yes, Angelus believes that Cordy did it just as
she does. But I believe they are both only at the
mercy of Willowís magic. Iím not sure why, but Buffy
has set this up perfectly. Just as it must play out to
ensure our survival. And Cordy may have just made the
biggest mistake of her life by going down there.

Xander: So what now? What can we do?

Spike: Letting me go can be your first order of
business. I have something to finish.

Gunn: what? Killing us?

Spike: (exasperated) No, however much Iíd like that.
Unfortunately, my job is to save you bleeding morons!
He begins shaking against the ropes and ties binding
him as the others look to each other for a decision.


Cut to Basement
Angelus has gained the upper hand as expected over his
son. Connor is fighting valiantly not even sure why
but he remains driven to continue. It would seem every
bit of repressed evil and hatred that Angel had kept
hidden so well is being multiplied and given and taken
between father and son. There isnít blood or wounds
even, only forced breaths and trading of strengths and
weaknesses. Neither notices the two women on the
other side of the room.
Buffy is still staring down at Cordy. Her features
have changed somehow and Buffy doesnít know how to
react. She watches as Cordy stands and forces Buffy to
look up into her eyes.

Cordy: You wanted to punish him.

Buffy: huh?

Cordy: He left you in Sunnydale but you just couldnít
let him go. You couldnít let him live without you. You
kept coming back just when he was getting past it. You
came back from the frigging grave for Godís sake! Why
are you doing this to him? Why do you hate him?

Buffy: (shakes her head) You donít know what youíre
talking about.

Cordy: Really? Iíve been here Buffy. All these years,
while you were testing the waters with your college
life and your college boys, I was here! I worked with
him and fought with him and I changed!

Buffy: Speaking of changing

Cordy: No! You donít get to speak! You come here and
you play hero all over again. This time, you use his
son to get to him! You couldnít stand knowing that he
might actually be surviving without pining over you.
You had to come here and play with his mind and play
with mine! You convinced me that I could help him by
admitting you knew he would change. You knew it
because you knew he loved me!

Buffy: Cordelia, wait one minute here.

Cordy: No! You donít get to do this again. I canít
believe I fell for your trick! Now look what youíve
done! Iíve lost him, youíve lost him and soon one of
us will have to kill him! But you are sure that he
would go after Connor first! What? You couldnít let
the child that he didnít have with you go on living!
So what better revenge than to take his soul, or
rather make me take his soul and then watch as he
kills his only son! You are sicker then Angelus ever
could be!
She doesnít realize it but the others have descended
the stairs with Spike leading the way and heard her
accusations. They see Angelus slam Connor against a
wall and the women remain oblivious.

Buffy: Donít do this Cordelia.
Cordy takes a deep breath and her face goes back to
normal. Buffy takes the opportunity to look over and
the others do the same. Angelus holds Connor against
the wall by the throat and backs up so that his feet
and body dangle helplessly in the air. The glow in his
eyes begins to fade and Buffy looks around
frantically.
She spots Dawn and Dawn shakes her head that Willowís
not with them. She holds up the marble and Buffy runs
to take it from her. Dawn throws it and it sails
through the air in slow motion almost just before
landing safely in Buffyís hands. She looks down at her
palm and then back to Angelus who has reared back,
fangs revealed to drink his son. Connorís glow is
almost gone when she raises her arm high above her
head and throws the marble at her feet as hard as she
can.
At the exact instant Angelus; fangs penetrate the
skin, the marble hits the ground and Connorís eyes
lose their glow. His eyes close and the marble
fractures in a million pieces creating another wave of
energy not unlike the first that had traveled through
the hotel only hours before. Everyone struggles to
keep on their feet and Angelus drops the boy from his
hands. The boy lands hard on the ground and angelus
collapses face down beside him. The energy finally
dissipates and a deathly silence engulfs the room.

A few moments pass before anyone speaks.

Cordy: Connor?
She rushes and steps over Angelus still unmoving on
the floor to cradle the unconscious boy in her arms.
She begins weeping softly.

Gunn: Cordy? Maybe you should bring him away
from Angel.

Fred: Thatís not Angel!

Gunn: I just meant, we donít know when heís going to
wake up.

Xander: Or if heís going to wake up.

Lorne: Cordelia honey? Come on over here with the boy.
Iíll take a look.
Cordy picks Connor up and begins to walk past Buffy to
Lorne. Buffy reaches out but Cordy turns him away.

Cordy: Donít you touch him!
Buffy drops her hand dejectedly and looks at Angel
lying on the ground face down. She begins to walk
towards him.

Xander: Buffy
She raises a hand to silence him and Spike steps
forward to watch closely.

Fred, Gunn, Wes and Xander all step down into the
basement off the stairs. Dawn exits quietly without
anyone noticing.
Cordy is with Lorne and Connor as she cries waiting
for some sign of life.

Lorne: I think heís breathing. Maybe we should take
him to a hospital.

Buffy: (from across the room) Not yet.

Cordy: Shut up.
Buffy ignores her and drops to her knees beside
Angel/Angelus. She touches his back tentatively and
his skin feels cold under her fingertips. After a few
seconds, she feels a slight movement.

Buffy: Guys, step back for a minute.

Fred: Is he?

Buffy: Just give it a minute.
From out of the silence, a low moan is heard. Cordy
looks at Connor hopefully but realizes its not him.
Everyone turns to see Angel/Angelus slowly move and
groan again. Buffy takes the opportunity to help him
roll over slowly onto his back.

Gunn: Are you sure this is a good idea?

Wes: Leave her be Gunn.
The group is surprised that Wes is so sure of Buffy
safety but doesnít question him. Spike steps still
closer.

Angel/Angelus: (eyes open and a look of confusion
crosses over his features) Buffy?

Buffy: (smiles slightly and reaches a hand up to wipe
his brow) Hey.

Fred: Is that?

Wes: (softly) Angel.

Angel: (lets Buffy help him to a sitting position)
What happened?

Buffy: (sits back to look into his eyes) It will only
take a minute to know Angel. (Looks still deeper into
his eyes) Iím sorry.
Angel: (more confused-brow furrowed) What?

She doesnít answer only stands to leave him some
space. He looks around the room trying to acclimate
himself and sees the group watching him. Slowly, his
face begins to show realization. He looks back to
Buffy in wonder and then stands slowly as well. Buffy
backs up once more and finds herself against Spikeís
chest. He reaches up and squeezes her elbow in a show
of support for what he knows will come.
Angel looks around the room again and begins to shake
his head from side to side. Then he sees Cordelia
crying holding Connor.

Angel: Oh no. (shakes his head over and over and
begins to walk closer) No. please no.

Cordy: Angel?
He reaches them quickly and drops down beside her
looking at his son. The marks on his neck confirm his
worst fears.

Angel: (puts a hand out to touch Connor but stops
short-instead he runs his hand through his hair)
NNOOOOO!!!!!!!

Fred: Oh my God.

Gunn: This isnít going to end well.

Xander: Does it ever?
Buffy doesnít speak as Angel snaps around to face her.
The look of worry is replaced with one of what she can
only believe is hate. He stands and rushes across the
room to grab her around the throat and slam her down
to the ground.

Xander: Hey! (Wes pulls him back form trying to help)

Angel: (seething) What have you done?

Buffy: (doesnít attempt to struggle as her airway is
cut off completely) Sor-ry.

Angel: (shakes her by the throat) Stop saying that!
Tell me what you did! What did I do to my son?

Buffy: (beginning to lose consciousness)
K..ki..killed him.
Angel growls and is ready to finish her off when
Xander and Gunn both jump forward to pull with all
their might from behind.
No one notices Dawn walking in supporting a very weak
Willow holding on to her shoulder. They see whatís
going on and Willow is too weak to speak loud enough
to get their attention.

Dawn: STOP IT! ALL OF YOU!
All movement stops as all eyes focus on the two girls
now joining the group.
Xander: Willow! Where have you been? And whatís wrong
with you?
He rushes to take her weight from dawn and transfer it
to himself. The others watch as Willow points at
Connor and makes Xander take her closer.
Cordy protectively tries to shield him, but Willow
insists.
Angel now stands after Gunn pulls him once more. Buffy
begins to cough and rolls to one side to watch Willow
intently.

Gunn: This is some kind of intense.

Spike: You have no idea. (He finally goes to help
Buffy stand as Angel follows Willow to see what sheís
doing)

Willow: (placing a hand on Connorís forehead) The time
is done, the soul is one. A childís pain, A fatherís
name. So be it.
Her eyes close and to Cordy, Lorneís and Angelís
shock, the marks on his neck fade until theyíre
completely gone and his eyes open slowly looking
around.


Cut to White place
Woman: She succeeded. She fulfilled the prophecy and
all are safe.

V.O.: There is still one more path to travel to ensure
completion.

Woman: This will be the worst. Must she suffer more
after such pain?

V.O.: It is her fate. She is the Chosen one. She must
never know of the sacrifices he has made for her just
as he can never know those she makes for him. It is
Their way.

Woman: Why must They be so cruel?

V.O.: They are only as cruel as those that walk the
path. She is the ultimate challenge to all that is
evil in their world. To be effective, she must know
the worst it has to offer.

Woman: When will she finally be released from her
duty? Surely They canít expect her to continue
forever.

V.O.: Her time is coming. For each time she has
escaped the chosen path for her, she will be made to
suffer ten fold. But reward is inevitable. It comes to
all of them eventually.

Woman: But will her reward be too late to give her the
one thing sheís wanted all along?

V.O.: That is not for them to decide. That is up to
her and him.


Cut to Basement
Connor looks up and seems to recognize Angel.
Connor: Father?
Angel smiles and then breaks into full on laughter.
Willow smiles and steps back with Xander as angel
takes Connor into his arms laughing and hugging him.
When he finally stops both are spent and he sets
Connor down gently on his feet. Connor looks around
the room until he spots Buffy.
Angel wants to stop him when he sees what heís going
to do but Cordy touches his arm.

Cordy: Let him go Angel.
Angel seems surprised to hear it form her, but
listens.
Connor walks slowly towards Buffy not breaking eye
contact. He finally reaches her and speaks quietly.

Connor: Did I do well?
Only Angel with his vamp hearing can hear what heís
saying.

Buffy: (reaching to tussle his hair) You did better
than I ever hoped. Guess what that makes you.
Connor begins to smile and blush.

Connor: Does that mean I get my hug?

Buffy: That means I am going to give my hero the
biggest hug heís ever had.
She smiles as he spreads his arms wide and she quickly
takes him in her arms. They stay that way for a moment
as the others watch.
When they finally separate, Buffy has a tear running
down her cheek and Angel sees the emotion.

Connor: Youíre leaving now?

Buffy: Yeah buddy. I have to go home. But everything
is going to be fine for you here. I promise.

Connor: (turns to look at Angel and back at Buffy) I
know.
He looks at her one last time before turning silently
and going to take his fatherís hand and face everyone
together.

The group is awkwardly silent now and its Spike that
finally breaks the silence.

Spike: Are we done here then?

Buffy searches Angelís gaze as they no longer see
anyone else in the room. They seem to be communicating
mentally and everyone else feels out of place.
Especially Cordelia.

Angel: I think we should talk.

Buffy: I donít. It seems to me that its you and
Cordelia that need to talk.
Cordy and Angel exchange a glance as if remembering
for the first time what had happened between them.
They look away in embarrassment.

Gunn: But I thought

Xander: Leave it man.

Fred: but if Willow

Wes: No. Willow only healed the boy. Thatís all. Isnít
that right Willow?

Willow: (looks at Buffy and then nods) Yeah, It was
just a protection spell. I had a hunch.

Buffy: Alright then. (turns to her friends) I think
its time for us to go home.
They begin to walk upstairs.

Angel: Buffy

Buffy: (turns to look at him one last time) I want to
go home Angel.
After another long look, the Sunnydale gang leaves the
basement without saying proper goodbyes.


Cut to outside Hyperion
The group leaves and walks in silence for a moment.

Xander: We know what you did Will.

Dawn: I showed them the marble thing.

Buffy: What marble thing?

Willow: Yeah, what are you talking about?

Xander: What is the deal? Its just us now. Can I
please know what in the hell happened in there?

Spike: Its over Xander. Leave it be.

Buffy: (watching her feet as she walks forward) Yeah.
Its over. Just leave it be.
He group continues on in silence.


Cut to White place
Woman: I fear it will never be the same for them.

V.O.: Surely not.

Woman: And They are content to leave things as they
are?

V.O.: Things are never as they are for these two.

Woman: So they will have another chance?

V.O.: They need only follow their path.

The end.