Written by: Marti Noxon
Directed by: Michael Gershman

This episode was originally broadcast on February 16, 1999. Transcribed by: Alexander Thompson


~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

Underwater. Copious amounts of bubbles rise through it, some larger, some smaller, as though someone below is doing their best to hold their breath, but can't continue for much longer. The camera pans down, and there is Buffy frantically trying to get to the surface. Below her Allan grabs her ankle and pulls her down. She kicks her legs and flails her arms, desperately trying to shake loose. Eventually she manages to break free of his grip and swim to the surface. She breaks through and draws a deep breath. There, kneeling on the dock above, she sees Faith, who reaches down and shoves her back underwater.

Cut to Buffy's room. She wakes with a start from the nightmare, and draws several deep breaths to calm herself as she realizes it was all just a dream. She sits up in bed and looks around her room. She pushes the blankets back, gets up and walks out into the hall, where she can hear the news on the TV in her mother's room.

News Anchor: We go now live to our field reporter, who is standing by at the waterfront with this breaking news about the murder that has shocked the Mayor and residents of Sunnydale.

Buffy can see the TV from the hall. It is showing footage of the boat retrieving Allan's body.

Field Reporter: Fishermen discovered the body today, the victim of a brutal stabbing. Authorities and citizens alike were shocked when the slain man was identified as Deputy Mayor Allan Finch.

Buffy can't believe that they not only found the body, but that he was also a public figure.

Field Reporter: Still reeling from the news, Mayor Wilkins had this to say.

The news cuts to the Mayor at a press conference.

Mayor Wilkins: Mr. Finch was not only my longtime aide and associate, he was a close personal friend. I promise you I will not rest until whoever did this is found and brought to justice. Thank you very much.

Joyce notices Buffy standing behind her.

Joyce: Oh, honey, you're up. (turns back to the TV) Oh, it's just terrible, isn't it?

Buffy doesn't know what to say or how to react.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~

The Sunnydale High School library. Buffy is sitting on the study table and Faith is sitting in a chair at the table. Wesley paces. Giles is sitting at the far end.

Wesley: I want you to look into this. Find out everything you can about the murder of the Deputy Mayor.

Buffy: (nervous and confused) But that's... I-I mean, that's... That's not really our jurisdiction, is it?

Faith: (eerily calm) It's no big, B. We'll get into it if he wants.

Giles: No, Buffy's right. The Deputy Mayor's murder was the result of human malice. There's nothing supernatural about it.

Wesley: We don't know that for certain. (brightly) I say it merits investigation.

Giles: (gets up, walks around the table) Which I'm sure the police are doing. Meantime, if you ask me, there are better uses for the Slayers' time.

Wesley: (snootily) Ah. But I don't believe I did. (holds the daily paper out to him) Ask you.

Giles: (yanks the paper away) Considering the success of your previous adventure...

Cordelia walks into the library. Giles looks over at her.

Cordelia: Don't let me interrupt. Wait. Let me interrupt. I'm in a hurry. (raises her eyebrows)

Giles: What did you need?

Wesley turns to see who has spoken, and is immediately taken by her beauty. He stares at her with his mouth agape, looking her up and down.

Cordelia: Uh, psych class. Freud and Jung. Book me?

Giles: Happily.

Cordelia: (notices Wesley, smiles) Check out Giles: The Next Generation. What's your deal?

Wesley: (stammering nervously) Uh, I, uh... Well... (swallows) I'm a...

Faith is quite amused. She leans forward on the table.

Faith: New Watcher.

Cordelia: Oh.

Wesley: (turns to Buffy, irritated) Does everybody know about you?

Buffy: She's a friend.

Cordelia: Let's not exaggerate. So... (steps closer) You're the new Watcher.

Wesley: (summons his poise, holds out his hand) Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

Cordelia: (takes it) I like a man with two last names. I'm Cordelia.

Wesley: (smiles) And you teach psychology.

Cordelia: I *take* psychology.

Giles walks behind Wesley with Cordelia's books.

Giles: She's a student.

Wesley immediately drops Cordelia's hand.

Wesley: Oh, well. I, uh... (swallows) Yes. (squares his shoulders) In fact, I am... here to watch... girls. Uh, uh, Buffy and Faith, to be specific.

Cordelia: (steps closer, smiling brightly) Well, it's about time we got some fresh blood around here.

Wesley: (laughs nervously) Well. Fresh. Yes.

At the checkout counter Giles stamps the due date into the books.

Giles: Here we go.

Cordelia: (to Giles) Thanks. (to Wesley) So, welcome to Sunnydale.

She gives him a bright smile and goes to retrieve her books. On her way out she makes sure to put just the right amount of swing in her hips.

Wesley: (watching her back admiringly) My. She is cheeky, isn't she?

Faith: (still amused) Uh, first word: jail; second word: bait.

Wesley: Ahem. (pulls out his handkerchief) Well, uh... (dabs his mouth) Where were we?

Buffy: (slips off the table) Done. I mean, we were done, right?

Faith: (stands up) Uh, yep. Off to patrol. So we'll see ya.

Wesley: (draws himself up) One moment, girls. I'm your commander now and on the matter of this murder, I am resolved. Natural or super, I want to know.

Faith: Fine by me. Always ready to kick a little bad guy butt.

She touches her hand to Buffy's shoulder, and the two of them walk out. Wesley smiles beatifically after them.

Cut to an empty classroom. The Slayers walk in. Buffy pulls the door closed behind her. Faith checks the other door to make sure it's closed, which it is. They meet in the center of the room.

Faith: (challengingly) So, you gonna rat me out? Is that it?

Buffy: (imploringly) Faith, we have to tell. I can't pretend to investigate this. I can't pretend that I don't know.

Faith: (snidely) Oh, I see. But you can pretend that Angel's still dead when you need to protect him.

Buffy: I *am* trying to protect you. Look, if-if we don't do the right thing, it's only gonna make things worse for you.

Faith: Worse than jail for the rest of my young life? No way!

Buffy: Faith, what we did was...

Faith: (ominously) Yeah. We. You were right there beside me when this whole thing went down. Anything I have to answer for, you do, too. You're a part of this, B. All the way.

Faith walks out of the classroom, leaving a shocked Buffy behind.

Cut to the hall. Buffy comes out of the classroom and walks toward the student lounge. There she sees Willow sitting alone on a couch, and goes to her. Willow notices her coming, glances up for an instant and takes a deep breath as she pretends to go back to her reading, apprehensive about them meeting.

Buffy: Hey.

Willow: Hey. (Buffy sits) Where's Faith? I-I saw her around. Figured you two were gonna go kill some more nasty stuff.

Buffy: Not right now. I-I, um, I think she bailed.

They both begin to talk again simultaneously.

Buffy: Willow, I was won...

Willow: Actually, I'm...

They both stop. Buffy lets out a deep breath.

Buffy: Um... You go ahead.

Willow: (puts her book away) I'm late. I-I'm meeting Michael. The warlock guy? We're still trying to de-rat Amy.

Buffy: (smiles thinly) Okay.

Neither of them says anything for a long moment.

Willow: (evasively) So see ya. (gets up and goes)

Buffy: (to herself) See you.

Cut to the scene where Allan was killed. The red and blue flashing lights of police car light bars illuminate the area. A forensic expert takes blood and fiber samples from the dumpster as another police officer holds a Maglite up to it. Detective Stein is also there, interviewing a potential witness.

Det. Stein: So, uh... You heard the man scream about what time last night?

Woman: (worriedly) Oh, I'm not sure. 7:00, maybe 8:00.

Det. Stein: Can you be more specific, say between 7:30 and 8:00?

The camera moves through the scene and finds Angel, watching from a distance. He sees the blood on the dumpster and watches as the samples are taken. He flashes back to the previous night when he saw the blood on Buffy's hand.

Angel: Your hand.

Buffy: Oh. It's okay.

He's back in the present, and continues to watch all the activity.

Cut to City Hall. Cut to the Mayor's office. He puts a sheet of paper into the shredder and listens to it whir through. He follows it with another. The camera pans up to his face. He's not a happy Mayor.

Mayor Wilkins: It's not working.

Trick: It's supposed to do something besides shred?

Mayor Wilkins: It's *supposed* to cheer me *up*. Usually using the shredder gives me a lift. It's fun.

Trick: And today you're not getting the ya-yas.

Mayor Wilkins: (morosely) No.

He shreds another sheet.

Mayor Wilkins: Guess it'll take more than this to turn my frown upside down. I just *don't* understand why Allan would leave such a paper trail about our dealings. (considers) Do you think he was gonna betray me? Oh, now, that's a horrible thought. And now he's dead, I'll never have the chance to scold him.

Trick: Maybe this will change your mood.

He drops a copy of the coroner's report on the desk. The Mayor picks it up and opens it.

Mayor Wilkins: What is it?

Trick: Bombshell. The Deputy Mayor had wooden splinters in his wound. Struck right through the heart with a sharp, pointed object. Now, word is, someone was fighting vampires not a block away from the scene. Any smart money says it was a Slayer who did this job.

Mayor Wilkins: Why? Do you think he talked? To them?

Trick: If he did, I'm thinking he said the wrong thing.

Mayor Wilkins: (closes the report) Well, this *is* exciting. A Slayer up for Murder One. That's sunshine and roses to me. It really is.

He laughs as he taps the end of the report on his desk and sets it down.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~

City Hall at night. Cut to Allan's office. Faith and Buffy break in. Buffy closes the door behind them, checking to make sure they weren't seen. She turns on the light. They both look around the office.

Faith: (darkly) I'm telling you, we did the world a favor. (goes to his chair) This guy was about as interesting as watching paint dry.

Buffy: (uneasily) Faith...

Faith: I'm joking. Jeez, lighten up a little, B.

She looks across his desk and notices a picture of him with the Mayor. Buffy goes through the papers in his inbox. Faith picks up the picture and stares at it, cradling it gently.

Faith: He came out of nowhere.

Buffy: (sympathetically) I know.

Faith: (annoyed) Whatever. (puts down the picture) I'm not lookin' to hug and cry and learn and grow. I'm just saying it happened quick, you know?

She pulls open his drawer. Everything inside is neat and in place. Buffy starts to go through some papers lying on top of his filing cabinets. Faith loses her patience.

Faith: You know what? Let's just blow. Who cares what this guy was about? It's kind of moot now, don't you think?

Buffy: I don't think he was in that alley by chance. I think he was looking for us. I'd like to know why.

She opens a file drawer. It's empty.

Faith: So, what, you think there's some big conspiracy?

Buffy closes the drawer and opens another. All the folders in it are also empty.

Buffy: You were saying?

Faith: So his papers are gone. That doesn't prove anything.

Buffy: Except that somebody didn't want us to prove anything.

Faith begins to get it.

Cut to the hall. Buffy opens the door and peeks out. The hall is clear, so she steps out into it. Just then the Mayor's door opens further down the hall, and Mr. Trick steps out. The Mayor is right behind him. Buffy looks back at Faith, and they both scramble back into Allan's office and close the door quietly. They can still hear them talking out in the hall.

Mayor Wilkins: Get as many men on it as you can.

Trick: Yeah. We'll be wanting to turn up the heat.

Cut to the streets. Buffy and Faith step off the sidewalk and into the street.

Faith: So the Mayor of Sunnydale is a Black Hat. That's a shocker, huh?

Buffy: Actually, yeah. I didn't get the bad guy vibe off of him.

Faith: (exasperated) When are you gonna learn, B? It doesn't matter what kind of vibe you get off a person. 'Cause nine times out of ten, the face they're showing you is not the real one.

They step up onto the opposite sidewalk.

Buffy: (evenly) I guess you know a lot about that.

Faith: (stops and faces Buffy) What is that supposed to mean?

Buffy: It's just, look at you, Faith. Less than twenty-four hours ago, you killed a man. A-and now it's all zip-a-dee-doo-dah? It's not *your* real face, and I know it. Look, I know what you're feeling because I'm feeling it, too.

Faith: (insolently) Do you? So fill me in 'cause I'd like to hear this.

Buffy: Dirty. Like something sick creeped inside you and you can't get it out. And you keep hoping that it was just some nightmare, but it wasn't. And we are gonna have to figure out...

Faith: (interrupts) Is there gonna be an intermission in this?

Buffy: Just let me talk to Giles, okay? I swear...

Faith: No! We're not bringing *anybody* else into this. You gotta keep your head, B. This is all gonna blow over in a few days.

Buffy: And if it doesn't?

Faith: If it doesn't, (shrugs) they got a freighter leaving the docks at least twice a day. It ain't fancy, but it gets you gone.

Buffy: (in disbelief) And that's it? You just live with it? You see the dead guy in your head every day for the rest of your life?

Faith: (steps closer) Buffy, I'm not gonna *see* anything. I missed the mark last night and I'm sorry about the guy. I really am! But it happens! Anyway, how many people do you think we've saved by now, thousands? And didn't you stop the world from ending? Because in my book, that puts you and me in the plus column.

Buffy: We help people! It doesn't mean we can do whatever we want.

Faith: Why not? The guy I offed was no Gandhi. I mean, we just saw he was mixed up in dirty dealings.

Buffy: Maybe, but what if he was coming to us for help?

Faith: What if he was? You're still not seeing the big picture, B. Something made us different. We're warriors. We're built to kill.

Buffy: To kill demons! But it does *not* mean that we get to pass judgment on people like we're better than everybody else!

Faith: We *are* better!

Buffy is taken aback.

Faith: (exhilarated) That's right, better. People need us to survive. In the balance, nobody's gonna cry over some random bystander who got caught in the crossfire.

Buffy: (sadly) I am.

Faith: (disdainfully) Well, that's your loss.

She turns her back on Buffy and walks away.

Cut to Buffy's house. Her mother sees her coming and meets her at the door. When she opens it, Buffy can see Detective Stein standing behind her.

Joyce: Buffy.

Buffy looks at him, eyes widening, remembering him from before.

Cut to the living room. Joyce sits in an armchair with her feet together and her hands folded in her lap, listening to the detective question her daughter. Buffy sits on the couch across from her.

Det. Stein: Tell me again. You got home at what time last night?

Buffy: Late. Um, a-a little past 1:00, I guess.

The camera pans around Detective Stein as he asks his next question, and when it moves away from his back he's talking with Faith in her room.

Det. Stein: Maybe you can explain to me what a girl your age is doing out all night.

Faith: (playing dumb) Just hanging.

Det. Stein: Hanging. By yourself?

Faith: No. I was with my friend Buffy.

Cut to Buffy.

Buffy: We were at Faith's watching TV.

Joyce listens anxiously to them.

Det. Stein: What did you watch?

Cut to Faith.

Faith: Some old movie.

Cut to Buffy.

Buffy: Infomercial.

Cut to Faith.

Det. Stein: Hmm. (nods) That's funny 'cause I got a couple of witnesses who put you near the alley.

Faith: (innocently) Witnesses?

He walks around her, eyeing her suspiciously.

Det. Stein: Somebody stabbed this guy through the heart.

Cut to Buffy.

Det. Stein: Strange thing is, the weapon, it was made out of wood.

Cut to Faith.

Det: Stein: Any of this mean anything to you?

Faith: (flippantly) Yeah. That whoever did it wasn't hip to The Bronze Age.

Detective Stein inhales deeply and sighs. Cut to Buffy.

Buffy: Is that it? I'm kinda beat.

Det. Stein: Yeah, I have enough for now. Buffy, if you know something, if you're protecting someone, I promise you it'll be better for everyone if you just come clean.

Cut to Faith.

Faith: You mean am I covering for someone? Hardly. I'm not the throw- myself-on-the-sword type.

Cut to Buffy.

Buffy: (politely) I wish I could help you.

Det. Stein: Well, call me if you remember anything.

Cut to Faith. Detective Stein hands her his card. Cut outside her hotel room. He pulls the door closed, takes out his keys and walks to his car. He opens the door, gets in and starts the engine. In the shadows beyond Angel watches him. Detective Stein puts the car in gear and drives off.

Cut to Willow's room. She's at her laptop doing research. She hears a tapping at her French doors, and goes to open them. There she sees Buffy looking in sadly.

Buffy: Hey.

Willow: Hey.

Buffy: I need to talk to you.

Willow: Good. (Buffy comes in, closes the door) 'Cause I've been letting things fester. (goes to her bed) And I don't like it. (sits) I
wanna be fester-free.

Buffy: (smiles weakly) Yeah. Me, too.

Willow: (stands up) I mean, don't get me wrong. I-I completely understand why you and Faith have been doing the bonding thing. You guys work together. You... You should get along.

Buffy: It's more complicated than that.

Willow: But, see, it's that exact thing that-that's just ticking me off! It's this whole 'Slayers only' attitude. I mean, since when
wouldn't I understand? You, you talk to me about *everything*. I-it's like all of a sudden I-I'm not cool enough for you because I can't kill things with my bare hands.

Buffy suddenly bursts into tears. Willow is aghast at this result.

Willow: (regretfully) Oh! Oh, Buffy! Don't cry. (hugs her close) I'm sorry. I-I was too hard on you. (lets go) Sometimes I unleash. I-I don't know my own strength. I-i-it's bad. I-I-I'm bad. I'm a bad, bad, bad person. (looks for forgiveness)

Buffy: (tearfully) Will, I'm in trouble.

Cut to later, after they've calmed down and Buffy's explained. They sit on Willow's bed.

Buffy: And Faith acts like she doesn't even care. The way she talks, it's like she didn't even make a mistake.

Willow: (takes it all in) Do you think she's, like, i-in shock?

Buffy: (sighs) I don't know. And I think that detective knows more than he's saying. I think he knew that I was lying.

Willow: (decisively) You have to go to Giles, Buffy. He'll know what to do.

Buffy lets out a deep breath, knowing that her friend is right.

Cut to the library. Buffy comes in quietly and walks past the counter.

Buffy: (troubled) Giles?

She stops when she sees him come out of his office.

Giles: Buffy.

Buffy: Uh... (exhales) I don't really know how to say this, so I'm- I'm... I'm just gonna say it. I know I've kept things from you before, but...

Giles turns his head slightly as Faith comes out of his office, too. Faith gives her a steely look, like she expects Buffy to keep things quiet.

Buffy: (fumbling) But, um, but I-I've been blowing off my classes. You know, in-in the sense of not attending. And, uh...

Faith: It's okay, Buffy. I told him.

Buffy: (surprised) You told him?

Faith: I had to. He had to know what you did.

Buffy: (confused) What I did?

She realizes that Faith has told Giles a bold-faced lie.

Buffy: Giles, no. Tha-That's just not what happened.

Giles: (upset) I don't want to hear it, Buffy.

Buffy: (shocked) No! It...

Giles: I don't want to hear any more lies.

Buffy: (frantically to Faith) You can't be serious! You're setting me up?

Giles: Get in my office, now. Faith, I'll talk to you in the morning.

Buffy: (imploringly) Giles, please, you have to...

Giles: (sternly) Now!

Buffy can't believe what's happening. Faith walks around Giles. Buffy goes into his office. Faith stops and faces him.

Faith: Um... Sorry.

She leaves at a brisk pace.

Giles looks down for a moment, then goes into his office. Inside Buffy faces him.

Buffy: (desperately) Giles, I didn't do this. I swear. Look, I know that I messed up badly, but the murder, i-it... it was...

Giles: (interrupts) Faith. I know.

Stunned, Buffy realizes he was just playing Faith's game.

Giles: She may have many talents, Buffy, but fortunately, lying is not one of them.

Buffy: Oh. Oh, God. (sits) I thought...

Giles: I'm sorry. I needed her to think that I was on her side. I don't know how far she'll take this charade.

Buffy: Try far. Like, all the way.

Giles: You should have come to me right off. (sits facing her)

Buffy: I know. Well, I, I wanted to.

Giles: But Faith wouldn't hear of it?

Buffy: It's not all her fault, Giles. We both thought it was a vampire. I-I only realized it a second before.

Giles: Buffy, this is not the first time something like this has happened.

Buffy: (confused) It's not?

Giles: The Slayer is on the front line of a nightly war. Now, it's, it's tragic, but accidents have happened.

Buffy: W-what do you do?

Giles: Well, the Council investigates, um, metes out punishment if punishment is due. But I... I have no plans to involve them. I mean, it's the last thing Faith needs at the moment. She's unstable, Buffy. I mean, she's utterly unable to accept responsibility.

Buffy: She's freaking. So, so then we just have to help her deal, right?

Giles: She's in denial. There *is* no help for her until she admits what happened.

Buffy: (uncertainly) I-I could talk to her.

Giles: (sighs) Perhaps.

Buffy: Or maybe I'm too close. Maybe, maybe one of the guys could.

Giles: We should meet. It-it may be that they're seeing a different side of her.

Buffy: Okay.

Cut to the main area looking into the office. The camera pans past the window.

Giles: In the meantime, no one else is to know. Understood?

Buffy: Of course.

The camera keeps panning until it comes to rest on Wesley, who is standing by the counter, arms crossed and listening grimly.

Giles: I mean, this is... extremely delicate. If we scare her off now, we may lose her forever.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~

Wesley's apartment. He picks up the phone and dials an international number.

Wesley: Yes, hello. Mr. Travers, please. Quentin Travers. (listens) Wesley Wyndam-Pryce calling. (listens, confused) The code word? Monkey. (listens, exasperated) M-o-n-k... Just put him on, will you? This is an emergency.

Willow: Well, maybe we should all talk to Faith together.

Cut to the cafeteria. She, Buffy, Xander and Giles sit among the tables, which have the chairs inverted on them for the night.

Buffy: You mean, like that intervention thing that you guys did on me? As I recall, Xander and I nearly came to blows.

Xander: Uh, *you* nearly came to blows, Buffy. I nearly came to loss of limbs.

Giles: No, Faith is too defensive for a confrontation like that. She'll respond better to a one-on-one approach.

Xander: Well, *I* can be the one... on her one. (gets confused looks) Let's rephrase. I think she might listen to me. We kind of have, um, a connection.

Buffy: A connection? Why would you think that...

Xander: (interrupts) I'm just saying it's worth a shot. That's all.

Buffy and Willow exchange a look.

Giles: No, I don't, I don't see it, Xander. I mean, of, of all of us, you're the one person arguably that Faith has had the least contact with.

Xander: Yeah, but we hung out a little... recently, and she seemed to be, um... responsive.

Willow picks up on that, and figures it out. She looks sadly off into space.

Buffy: When did you guys hang out?

Xander: Oh, she was fighting one of those, uh, apocalypse demon things, and I helped her. Gave her a ride home.

Buffy: And you guys talked?

Xander: (shakes his head) Not extensively. No.

Buffy: Then why would you... (figures it out also, widens her eyes with surprise) Oh.

Giles: (gets it, surprised) Oh!

He and Buffy both look at Willow, concerned. She notices and looks up.

Willow: I don't need to say 'oh'. I got it before. They slept together.

Buffy is genuinely sorry that she had to hear it like this. Willow looks back off into space. A long silence follows. The tension in the air is very thick. Giles finally breaks it.

Giles: Fine, fine, let's, let's, let's move on.

Buffy: Alright. Look, I-I know that you mean well, Xander, but, um, I-I just don't see Faith opening up to you. (gently) She doesn't take the guys that she has a... 'connection' with very seriously. And they're, they're kind of a big joke to her. No offense.

Xander: (guffaws, sarcastically) Oh, no! I mean, why would I be offended by *that*?

Giles: However, i-if you still want to be of assistance, I, I, I need some help with research. There's still the business of the Mayor and Mr. Trick to attend to.

Buffy: Yeah, they, they seemed pretty cOzy the other night.

Giles: Yes. Uh, Willow, c-c-can you, um, access the Mayor's files?

Willow: (comes back to Earth) What? Oh, uh, sure. I can try.

Giles: (stands up) Good, yes, because clearly we, uh, (picks up his chair) we need to take a harder look at him. (turns it over) He's, he's, um, he's obviously up to something. (sets it on a table)

Buffy: What about Faith?

Giles: (sighs) I don't know. I need time.

Buffy: She needs help now. (Giles looks at her) I owe her that.

Cut to the girls' bathroom. The camera pulls in to a stall with its door not quite closed. "Wish We Never Met", by Kathleen Wilhoite, plays over the scene.

Lyrics: Disappointment stops by from time to time

The sound of sobbing is coming from inside the stall. Cut inside. Willow sits there crying her eyes out.

Lyrics: To see how I'm doing / And he came by last night right after you left / My life in ruin

Cut to the library. Xander sits on the steps to the stack level, staring off into space and tapping his fingers.

Lyrics: When I don't get what I want

Cut to Faith's room. She's lying on her bed, idly watching TV.

Lyrics: The spoiled child inside breaks down

She hears a knock at her door. She rolls off her bed and goes to answer it. It's Xander.

Faith: (bored) What?

Xander: (awkwardly) I just, uh, came by to see how you are, actually.

Faith: (with hostility) I'm sick of people asking me that, for one thing.

A long moment of silence ensues.

Xander: Can I come in? Just to talk. I promise.

Faith: (skeptical) Like you could make something happen if I didn't want it to?

Xander: Hey, yeah. Got me there. Pretty much not gonna try to... take you under any circumstances. (holds out his arm) See, here, feel that. (points to his biceps) Probably like a wet noodle to you, huh?

Faith: (steps aside) Five minutes.

Xander: That's all I need. (comes in) For talking and conversation. (Faith closes the door) I'm, um, quick as a bunny.

Faith: (turns off the TV) Clock is running.

Xander: It's just, uh... I heard about what happened, and I thought you might need a friend.

Faith: So then, go talk to Buffy. She's the one who killed a guy.

Xander: Yeah. I heard that version.

Faith: (not amused) Version?

Xander: (sighs) Either way, i-it sounds like it was an accident, and that's the important part.

Faith: (angrily) No, the important part is that Buffy is the (makes finger quotes) accidental murderer.

Xander: Faith, you may not think so, but I sort of know you. And I've seen you post-battle. And I know firsthand that you're, um... like a wild thing. And half the time, you don't know what you're doing.

Faith: (snidely) And you're living proof of that, aren't you?

Xander: See, you're trying to hurt me. But right now, you need someone on your side. What happened wasn't your fault. And I'm willing to testify to that in court if you need me.

Faith: You'd dig that, wouldn't you? (gives him a sexy look) To get up in front of all your geek pals and go on record about how I made you my boy toy for a night.

Xander: No. N-n-n-n-no, that's not it.

Faith: *I* know what this is all about. (steps closer) You just came by here (runs her fingertips all around his face) 'cause you want another taste, don't you?

Xander: No! I mean, it was nice. It was great. It was kind of a blur. But, okay, some day, sure, yay, but not now. Not like this.

Faith: (grabs hold of his head) More like how then? Lights on or off? Kinks or vanilla?

Xander: (jerks away) Faith, come on. I came here to help you. (looks her in the eyes) I thought we had a connection.

Faith can't help but think that's funny and laughs at his gullibility. She grabs him by his shirt front, shoves him onto the bed and jumps on top of him.

Faith: (excitedly) You wanna feel a connection? It's just skin. (opens his shirt) I see... I want... I take. (kisses him hard) I forget.

She keeps moving above him and rubbing his chest and shoulders.

Xander: (nervously) No. No, wait. It was more than that.

Faith: I could do anything to you right now, and you want me to. I can make you scream.

She licks her tongue over and around his face and returns to his lips, and kisses him forcefully, seizing his lower lip between her teeth and pulling at it.

Faith: (breathlessly) I could make you die.

She kisses him again and gets her hand around his neck. When she pulls away from his lips, he's choking. She kisses him once more, and then rises above him, never letting up on her chokehold. Xander reaches up with one hand to try to push her away and tries to pry her hand from his neck with his other hand, but doesn't have anywhere near the strength necessary to do so. Faith has both hands tight around his neck now, and squeezes hard. He begins to lose consciousness. A few moments more and he's passed out. Faith hears a noise behind her and looks over just in time to be knocked unconscious by Angel.

Cut to Angel's mansion. Faith is chained to the fireplace mantle. She rubs her wrists.

Faith: Finally decided to tie me up, huh? I always knew you weren't really a one-Slayer guy.

Angel: (plays with a bat) I'm sorry about the chains. It's not that I don't trust you... Actually, it *is* that I don't trust you. (sets the
bat aside)

Faith: The thing with Xander; I know what it looked like, but we were just playing.

Angel: (evenly) And he forgot the safety word. (gets up) Is that it? (walks over to her)

Faith: Safety words are for wusses.

Angel: (crouches before her) I bet you're not big on trust games, now, are you, Faith?

Faith: You gonna shrink me now? Is that it?

Angel: No, I just wanna talk to you.

Faith: That's what they all say. And then it's just, 'Lemme stay the night. Won't try anything.'

Angel: You wanna go the long way around, hey, I can do that. (stands up) I'm not getting any older.

He turns his back on her and walks out into the atrium. Buffy waits there, and stands up when she sees him.

Buffy: How's she doing?

Angel: It's like talking to a wall. Only you get more from a wall.

Buffy: But you'll keep trying, right?

Angel: Sure. We're just getting started.

Buffy: So, what do I do?

Angel: Look, right now, there's nothing that you can do.

Buffy: Well, this could take awhile, right? (goes to the stairs) So, I'll just go to Faith's and I'll get some of her stuff. That way she'll see that we're on her side.

Angel: That's a good idea.

Buffy: Okay. (glances at Faith) I'll be back.

Angel: Look, I... I don't want you to get your hopes up, Buffy. She may not want us to help her.

Buffy: She does. She just doesn't know how to say it.

Angel: She killed a man. That changes everything for her.

Buffy: (shakes her head) Giles said with counseling, they might not even need to lock her up.

Angel: That's not what I mean. She's taken a life.

Buffy: I know.

Angel: She's got a taste for it now.

Cut to the Mayor's office. He and Trick are reviewing a security camera tape. On it they see Buffy and Faith enter Allan's office.

Mayor Wilkins: Not one Slayer, but two. Right here in the building.

Trick: There was supposed to be a guard.

Mayor Wilkins: Sh. Here comes my favorite part. (they see them hide in Allan's office) Where the Slayers see us in the hall together, thick as thieves. Oh, wait, we are thieves. And worse. And now they know it.

Trick: Well, they're not gonna be much of a threat in jail.

Mayor Wilkins: Well, we don't have near enough evidence to put 'em away.

On the tape he and Trick walk out of the building.

Mayor Wilkins: No, you're gonna have to come up with a more *efficient* solution. And Mr. Trick, you better think of it soon.

They watch the tape where the two Slayers leave the office after they've gone.

Cut to Angel's mansion. He paces past Faith.

Angel: I know what's goin' on with you.

Faith: Join the club. Everybody seems to have a theory.

Angel: Hmm. (faces her) But I know what it's like to take a life. To feel a future, a world of possibilities, snuffed out by your own hand. I know the power in it. The exhilaration. It was like a drug for me.

Faith: (looks up at him, sarcastically) Yeah? Sounds like you need some help. A professional maybe.

Angel: Hmm. (goes to the coffee table) A professional couldn't have helped me. (sits on it) It stopped when I got my soul back. My human heart.

Faith: Goody for you. If we're gonna party, let's get on with it. (holds out her wrists) Otherwise, could you let me out of these things?

Angel: Faith, you have a choice. You've tasted something few ever do. (stands up, paces) I mean, to kill without remorse is to feel like a god.

Faith: (struggles angrily) Right now, all I feel is a cramp in my wrist, (yanks at the chains impatiently) so let me go!

Angel: (crouches) But you're not a god. You're not much more than a child. Going down this path will ruin you. You can't imagine the price for true evil.

Faith: Yeah? (sneering) I hope evil takes MasterCard.

Angel: (smiles) You and me, Faith, (straightens up) we're a lot alike. Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. (sits next to her) But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right. (looks at her) And they make mistakes. And they fall down. You know, but they keep caring. Keep trying. If you can trust us, Faith, this can all change. You don't have to disappear into the darkness.

Suddenly there is a loud pounding on the door. It is broken in, and Wesley strides straight toward them, holding a large cross and flanked by three others. Angel rushes to head them off, but has to step back from Wesley, who nervously holds the cross in his face. One of his cronies blindsides Angel with a right hook, and he falls to the floor. Another quickly throws a net over him, and the third starts to beat him with a crowbar while the others tie Angel up. Wesley goes over to Faith and removes the shackles from her wrists. While she rubs them and watches Angel get whaled on, Wesley pulls out a set of heavy cuffs and
chains, and before she knows it her wrists are bound once again.

Faith: (confused) What?

Wesley: By the order of the Watcher's Council of Britain... (lifts her up) I am exercising my authority and removing you to England, (guides her out) where you will accept the judgment of the disciplinary committee.

One of the men helps hold Faith, and they all leave the mansion, leaving Angel behind entangled in a mass of net and rope.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~

The streets of Sunnydale. A stepvan drives down a boulevard. Cut inside. Faith is chained to a bench on one side. Wesley and one of his men sit on the bench opposite her.

Wesley: I'm sorry for the extreme measures. Unfortunately, this is a rather extreme circumstance.

Faith: Whatever.

Wesley: Please believe nobody is rushing to judgment. The first priority of both myself and the Council is to help you.

Faith pulls at the ring holding her to the bench.

Wesley: Ah, now, none of that. (to his crony) Tighten her restraints. Faith, there's no point in fighting this.

Faith kicks the man in the knee, and he falls to the floor. She presses down on his face with her boot.

Faith: Have to disagree with you on that one. Now unlock these or I'll pop this guy's head like a grape.

Wesley hesitates, then spies a wrench on the floor. Faith sees it, too.

Faith: Don't even think about it.

She holds up her cuffed wrists for him to unlock. He gives in, stands up, pulls the keys from his pocket and steps over to set her free.

Wesley: Faith, you can't keep running.

She punches him hard in the jaw, and he falls onto the wrench. He grabs it and tries to swing at her with it, but she grabs his wrist.

Faith: Wrong again, Wes.

She grabs his jacket with her other hand and headbutts him hard. He falls down unconscious. She goes to the doors, kicks them open and jumps out onto the street. She rolls a few times before coming to a stop and watches the van drive away. She looks around to get her bearings and makes her getaway.

Cut to Angel's mansion. Buffy arrives with some of Faith's things. Once inside she notices that Faith is gone, and then sees Angel still struggling to get out of the ropes. She rushes over to help him out.

Cut to the library. Giles, Willow and Xander are all there with Buffy and Angel.

Angel: It was the new Watcher. He had a couple of guys helping him.

Willow: Then he figured it out?

Giles: Which means that Faith will be soon on her way back to England to face the Watcher's Council.

Buffy: And then what?

Giles: Most likely they'll lock her away for a good long while.

Buffy: So we head them off at the airport and stop them.

Willow: Can I... I-I'm just wondering. Why? (gets a look from Buffy) I'm not the most objective, I know. I kind of have an issue with Faith sharing my people. (looks at Xander, who closes his eyes) But she murdered someone and accused Buffy. Then she hurt Xander. I hate to say it, but maybe she belongs behind bars.

Giles thinks about that.

Buffy: She's out of control, I know. But Angel was getting somewhere with her. She was opening up. If we could just stop Wesley.

Wesley walks into the library.

Wesley: That's no longer an issue.

Giles: You let her get away?

Wesley: 'Let' wouldn't be the way I'd phrase it, but... Yes, she escaped.

Giles rolls his eyes and takes off his glasses.

Angel: That's good work. (walks across the room) First, you terrorize her, then you put her back in the streets. (sits on the table)

Wesley: That was hardly my plan. I was trying to save her.

Buffy: (accusingly) But you didn't! You probably destroyed her.

Giles: (interrupts quietly) Buffy, that's enough. (puts his glasses back on)

Buffy: I better find her before she does any more damage. (stands up) We're gonna need to split up. I'll check the docks. That's probably where she is. Giles, why don't you go to her motel? Xander, Willow, her haunts and be careful.

They all get up to leave.

Angel: I'll try the airport. (goes)

Everyone walks past Wesley on their way out.

Wesley: What can I do? I want to help.

Buffy: (resentfully) You still got your ticket back to the mother country?

She follows the others out, leaving him standing there alone.

Cut to the docks. The camera closes in on an old, rusty cargo ship and across to the dock. Buffy walks along it watching for Faith. She passes underneath the gangplank and stops when she hears Faith behind her.

Faith: You don't give up, do you?

She's on the ship at the top of the gangplank.

Buffy: Not on my friends, no.

Faith: Yeah, because you and me are such solid buds, right? (walks down the gangplank)

Buffy: We could be. It's not too late.

Faith: (disgusted) For me to change and be more like you, you mean? Little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes? (stops halfway, leans on the railing) It ain't gonna happen, B.

Buffy: Faith, nobody is asking you to be like me, but you can't go on like this.

Faith: (grins evilly) Scares you, doesn't it?

She climbs over the railing and hops down to the dock.

Buffy: Yeah, it scares me. Faith, you're hurting people. You're hurting yourself.

Faith: (approaches Buffy) But that's not it. That's not what bothers you so much. What bugs you is you know I'm right. You know in your gut we don't need the law. We *are* the law.

Buffy: No.

She turns her back and walks away. Faith follows right behind.

Faith: Yes. You know exactly what I'm about 'cause you have it in you, too.

Buffy: No, Faith, you're sick.

Faith: I've seen it, B. You've got the lust. And I'm not just talking about screwing vampires.

Buffy stops in her tracks.

Buffy: Don't you *dare* bring him into this.

Faith: (taunting her) It was good, wasn't it? The sex? The danger? Bet a part of you even dug him when he went psycho.

Buffy: No! (continues walking)

Faith: (follows) See, you need me to toe the line because you're afraid you'll go over it, aren't you, B? You can't handle watching me living my own way, having a blast, because it tempts you! You know it could be you!

Buffy has had enough. She stops, faces her and backhand punches her in the jaw. Faith comes up smiling wickedly.

Faith: There's my girl.

Buffy: (tries to get away) No. I'm not gonna do this.

Faith: (doesn't let her go) Why not? It feels good. Blood rising.

Buffy hears a noise above, looks up and notices a palette of crates above them, falling directly at Faith. She shoves her out of the way, but gets struck herself and goes down. She is dazed, but not out.

Faith gets up and goes to help Buffy, when Mr. Trick and three other vampires suddenly attack. Faith spins around when she hears them roar, but is soundly punched in the face by Trick, forcing her body to snap to the side. He and another one grab her by her jacket and throw her to the ground. As Faith tries to get to her feet, the second vampire roundhouse kicks her in the face. She blocks it and drops a bit, but manages to get up and block an uppercut from the third one by grabbing his hand. She
backhand punches him in the face, making him step back to keep his balance, and turns to face the second vampire. She high blocks a wide swing from him and punches him, making him fall, but the third one behind her flat hands her in the back and she stumbles.

Buffy starts to come out of her daze.

Buffy: (whispers) Oh, God...

The third vampire holds Faith with her arms behind her back. She tries to get free by snapping her heel backwards and striking his kneecap. That has no effect, so she snaps her head back and butts him dead in the nose, but the vamp still doesn't let go of her. The second vampire launches into a half spinning hook kick intended for Faith, but she ducks it and the demon holding her takes the blow, lets go of her and goes down. Faith flies into full spinning, jumping out-to-in crescent kick, hitting the second vampire hard in the face and sending him spinning to the ground. The first vampire runs at her, but she sidesteps him and shoves him into the third, who was just getting up. He isn't knocked down, though, and comes at her. She grabs him and pulls him with her toward the water, and throws him off the dock.

Buffy is out of her daze now, and with difficulty pulls her legs out from under the pallet of crates that fell on her. She gets to her feet, but is immediately punched by Mr. Trick. She falls spinning onto the crates and rolls off onto the concrete. She gets to her feet as Trick approaches and tries to backhand punch him, but he middle blocks it, so she punches him in the gut instead. Her jab is weak, though, and has no effect on him. Trick does a painful right hook to her face. Buffy stumbles backward. Trick advances and swings again, this time snapping her head back with a powerful uppercut, making her fall onto another pile of crates.

Faith does a half-spinning hook kick, connecting with the second vampire's jaw. He falls onto an open barrel and struggles not to fall in. The first one comes at her again, but she has her stake out now and jams it home. He explodes into ashes. She looks over and sees Buffy struggling with Mr. Trick. He wraps a cord around her neck and begins to choke her. But Faith isn't finished with her fight yet. The second vampire throws off the barrel, only to become intimate with her stake and burst into ashes.

Faith sees Trick yank at the cord around Buffy's neck and pull her off of the crates. He pulls her up and swings her around into a pallet leaning against still more crates. She hits it hard and falls to the pavement. Faith looks around, trying to decide what to do. She sees Trick pick Buffy up again and slam her against the huge crates. Buffy struggles to get loose, but the cord around her neck is too tight.

Trick: I hear once you've tasted a Slayer, you never wanna go back.

He opens his fang-filled mouth wide and moves in for the bite. Buffy struggles to keep him away, but can't. Suddenly Mr. Trick stops and looks up in wide-eyed shock.

Trick: Oh, no. (shakes his head) No, this is no good at all.

He begins to fall and explodes into ashes as Faith pulls her stake back. The two Slayers look at each other uncertainly for a long while. Faith lowers her stake. Buffy massages her neck.

Cut to the library. Buffy sits at the table while Giles pours her some coffee from his thermos.

Giles: So she saved you. (walks slowly around the table)

Buffy: She could have left me there to die, Giles, but she didn't.

Giles: She opted to come back to town with you. That... That bodes well. (sits) She still has a lot to face before she can put this behind her.

Buffy: I'm not gonna give up on her.

Giles: (pours himself a cup) Then I think she stands a chance.

Cut to the Mayor's office. He pulls on his overcoat, getting ready to leave for the night. He looks down at his desk and adjusts the angle of the penholder, gives a satisfied nod, picks up his briefcase and heads for the door. When he opens it he is surprised to see Faith standing there, arms crossed.

Faith: (accusingly) You sent your boy to kill me.

Mayor Wilkins: (unfazed) That's right, I did.

Faith: He's dust.

Mayor Wilkins: I thought he might be. What with you standing here and all.

Faith: (steps brazenly into the doorway) I guess that means you have a job opening.

The Mayor steps back to let her enter and closes the door.