Written by: David Greenwalt
Directed by: David Greenwalt

This episode was originally broadcast on November 3, 1998. Transcribed by: AleXander Thompson


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

The Bronze. Buffy, Willow and Oz are sitting at a bar, nursing sodas and snacks. Buffy seems preoccupied as she idly plays with a cookie. Cordelia and Xander walk behind them and take a place at the end of the bar.

Cordelia: I think we should get a limo.

Xander: A limo?

Cordelia: Yeah!

Xander: A big, expensive limo?

Willow: That sounds like fun! And it is our last Homecoming Dance, so maybe we should make a big deal of it.

Xander: You wanna talk fun? Public bus. You meet the funnest people.

Cordelia gives the others a disbelieving look.

Xander: Back me up here, Oz.

Oz: Well, if it's a dollar issue, we could all take my van.

Cordelia: Van? The Homecoming Queen doesn't go to the dance in a van. Use your head.

Willow rolls her eyes.

Xander: (to Cordelia) Well, technically, you haven't been elected yet... (gets a look from her) Although you certainly and without a doubt will be. (to the others) Who else likes a limo?

Willow: (smiles) A private limo! It, it is pretty... (nudges up to Oz) cuddlesome. (looks toward Buffy) And if we all split the cost...

Buffy: (comes out of her reverie) Um... maybe. You know, if I go and all.

Willow: Why wouldn't you go? You already have your tickets. (Scott approaches) I mean, unless you don't have a da... (notices Scott) ...ay o-or two to think about it. We should all think about it.

She hopes she hasn't messed anything up for Buffy with Scott standing right there. Oz gives a little smirk behind her.

Cordelia: (confused) What's going on here? Did Scott not ask her to the Homecoming Dance yet?

Buffy: (embarrassed) Thanks, Cordelia. Humiliation's really good for my color.

Scott: (unsure) Oh, um... well, no. I just... I assumed that you would think it was corny or something, but I-I'm in... I mean, you know, if you are, if you want to.

Buffy: Uh, sure... I do. You know, i-if you want to.

Scott: Well, I do if you want to.

Willow smiles widely.

Oz: (smiles) The judges will accept that as a 'yes'.

Scott: (to Buffy) Do you want me to get you another drink?

Buffy: Um... no, actually. Uh... I-I'm a little tired. I think I'm gonna call it a night. But I'm excited about the dance. (smiles)

Scott: Me, too.

Buffy leans toward him, tugs gently on his jacket and they kiss.

Cut to Angel's mansion. Cut inside. There is a fire going in the fireplace. Angel walks past it, and the camera follows him. He is
shivering from the cold. He stops and paces back. He turns to go back again, but is startled by some rustling in the atrium. Slowly he walks to the doorway. He quickly whips the drapes aside, and there he finds Buffy, holding a small paper bag. He jumps back a little, startled.

Buffy: I-it's just me. (holds out the bag) Here.

Angel takes the bag and opens it as he walks back into the room. Buffy follows him in, but keeps her distance. Angel remains faced away from her. He pulls a quart-sized clear plastic container out of the bag. It's filled with blood. Angel lifts it to his nose and sniffs.

Buffy: How are you feeling?

Angel jerks his head away slightly from the tub of blood, then lowers it to take off the lid.

Angel: It hurts... less.

Buffy: Good.

She is unsure how to continue. She turns around and takes a few steps away before facing him again.

Buffy: I haven't... told Giles and the others that... you're back.

Angel: (quietly) Giles...

He remains faced away from her.

Buffy: And I'm not going to. They wouldn't understand that you're... better. A-a-and I'm gonna keep helping you get better. It's just that everything's different now. I'm a senior. I'm really working harder in school. (smirks slightly) I'm even thinking about college. A-and I'm involved with someone.

This causes Angel to turn around and give her a surprised look. Buffy startles and takes a step back. He reaches out and straightens the lapel of her leather jacket. Buffy takes it from him, and he lets go. He turns away again, wincing from his body aches as he does so.

Buffy: His name is Scott. He's a nice, solid guy. He makes me happy... and that's what I need: someone I can count on.

The camera suddenly pans quickly to the left, blurring the picture, and comes to a stop on Scott at an outside hall at school the next day.

Scott: I don't think we should see each other anymore.

Buffy: (taken aback) You don't? (confused) When did this happen? Where was I?

Scott: Buffy, it's just... Before we were going out, you, you seemed so... full of life, like a force of nature. Now you just seem distracted all the time, and...

Buffy: (interrupts) Yeah, I know, it's... I'm getting better. Honest. In fact, from here on, you are gonna see a drastic distraction

Scott doesn't react at all to her attempt at a joke.

Buffy: 'Drastic distraction reduction.' Try saying that ten times fast.

Scott: I'm really sorry.

He starts walking away sadly. Buffy just watches him go as the camera pulls back from her.

Cut to a view of her through a pair of binoculars. She is still watching Scott walk away. Cut to a van with darkly tinted windows in a parking lot. The camera closes in on it. Cut inside the van. The man looking through the binoculars lowers them and stares intensely out of the window. Behind him another man steps around him, also looking out the window. The first man raises the binoculars back to his eyes, and the second man attaches a digital video feed to it. Behind them the binocular's view of Buffy appears on three small screens. The second man reaches over to a modem set up below the monitors. It is attached to a
cell phone, which he opens, and he presses a button to establish a connection. The speed dial sends the tones out in a split second.

Cut to a similar modem in a dark office. The tones and screeches of the connection protocol quickly establish a link. The camera pans up and back until we see an old man in a wheelchair roll up to the desk by the keyboard of the computer connected to the modem. He hits a few keys and looks up at the monitor.

Boss: Is that her?

Trick: (steps into view) In the nubile flesh, my friend.

The camera shows a view of Buffy on the monitor as she walks slowly and sadly.

Trick: That's the target.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

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

Sunnydale City Hall. Cut inside. Deputy Mayor Allan Finch is waiting nervously outside of Mayor Wilkins' office.

Secretary: The Mayor will see you now.

Allan takes a deep breath to compose himself, and heads for the Mayor's door. Cut inside the office. Allan opens the door and steps in holding a folder in his hand. He glances at the Mayor's desk, but doesn't see him there. He turns his head and sees him coming out of his private washroom. The Mayor's hands come into the camera's view as he vigorously dries them off.

Allan: I'm sorry to bother you, sir. (closes the door behind him)

Mayor Wilkins: I'm not bothered, Allan. (goes to his desk)

Allan: (steps toward the desk) Well, I-I'm not sure how serious this is, but, uh, (opens the folder) they were spotted in town three days ago. (lays the open folder on the desk) I've just been informed. Frederick and Hans Gruenstahler, uh, (the Mayor picks up a copy of the Interpol warrant) wanted in Germany for capital murder, terrorism, uh, (the Mayor sniffs the paper) the bombing of Flight 1402... Uh, I should have brought it to your attention sooner, but I'd, I'd wanted to... (flustered by the Mayor's sniffing) confirm...

The Mayor takes another sniff.

Mayor Wilkins: Would you show me your hands, please?

Allan: (raises his eyebrows) Sir?

Mayor Wilkins: (insistently) Your hands.

He puts the warrant back down, pushes the file aside and indicates that Allan should put his hands on the desk. Allan holds out his hands and slowly leans over, placing them flat on the desk. The Mayor leans closer to inspect them. Allan nervously watches the Mayor, who draws a breath after looking them over.

Mayor Wilkins: I think they could be cleaner.

Allan: Of course, sir. I-I mean, I, I washed them, but...

The Mayor leans back in his chair. Allan looks like he's about to have a nervous breakdown.

Mayor Wilkins: After every meal and under your fingernails. Dirt gets trapped there... and germs... and mayonnaise. My dear mother said, 'cleanliness is next to godliness', and I believed her. She never caught a cold. (laughs) I'd like these two (points at the warrant) to be put under surveillance, (Allan straightens back up) and I'd like to know if... any other colorful characters have come to town.

Allan: I'll take care of it. (smiles weakly)

Mayor Wilkins: You have all my Faith.

Allan takes a step back from the Mayor's desk and walks out just a bit creeped out.

Cut to Sunnydale High. Cut to the lounge. Yearbook pictures are being taken. Cordelia gives the camera a glowing smile, and her picture is taken. Xander is up next, and he gives the camera a goofy, heavily dimpled smile as the flash goes off. Willow hops up on the stool and gives the camera a big grin. When the photographer doesn't immediately snap her picture, her expression becomes a bit concerned, and such will be her picture in the yearbook. Oz just stares blankly into the camera
with a thin smile on his face. After their pictures are taken, Xander and Willow start to walk out of the lounge.

Willow: You have to help me pick an outfit. I wanna wear something that makes Oz go, 'Oh.' (grins)

Xander: No problem. I got the tux goin' on. I'm gonna look hot if it even remotely fits.

They reach Cordelia, who is looking at the other girls that are running for Homecoming Queen.

Xander: Whatcha doin'?

Cordelia: (startles and faces him) Checking out the I-laughingly-use- the-phrase competition.

She looks over at Holly, playing with her hair and talking to a couple of boys. Oz comes up behind Willow and gently puts his arm around her.

Cordelia: Holly Charleston: nice girl, brain dead, doesn't have a prayer.

She shifts her gaze to Michelle, who is handing out campaign flyers.

Cordelia: Michelle Blake: open to all mankind, especially those with a letterman's jacket and a car. (looks at Xander, concerned) She could give me a run. (crosses her arms)

Willow: Where's Buffy? (Oz looks around) She's gonna miss the yearbook pictures.

Xander: Buffy and Faith are in the library getting all *sweaty*.

Cordelia: (corrects him) They're training.

Xander: (gives her a look) I stand by my phrase.

Oz: I don't think she was here the day they announced them. Did anybody tell her?

Cordelia: Oh, I'll tell her now. I have to go to the nurse's office for an ice pack anyway.

Xander: (puts his hand on her arm) Did you hurt yourself?

Cordelia: (smiles) No, silly. (nudges him) It shrinks the pores! (walks off)

Oz gives Xander a look that oOzes "duh".

Cut to the library. Faith holds up her padded hands as Buffy throws several punches to them. After a particularly hard punch, Faith has to shake out her hand and take off the pads.

Faith: Oh, man! Guys should break up with you more often.

Buffy: Gee, thank you. (heads toward the book cage)

Faith: (follows) No, I mean it. You really got some quality rage going. Really gives you an edge. (sets down the pads)

Buffy: (picks up her jacket) Edge Girl. (pulls it on) Just what I always wanted to be.

Faith: (wipes her cheek with a towel) Well, screw him, alright? You move on, and... you party heavily, and you'll be fine. I mean, you're still going to that dance, right?

Buffy: (opens a juice bottle) Maybe. (takes a swallow)

Faith: You got the tix already. Why don't we go together?

Buffy: (closes the bottle) I don't know about that. (smiles)

Faith: Come on. We'll find a couple studs, we'll use 'em and... discard 'em. That's always fun. (nods and takes a swig of her own drink)

Buffy: Okay, I'm in. Not the stud-using part, though. (smirks and rolls her eyes) Or... probably not.

Cut to the hall. Cordelia looks into the library through the round door windows, and sees the two Slayers talking. She pushes the door open and is about to go in when she notices two boys walk by. She slips back into the hall and rushes to catch up with them.

Cordelia: Uh, Bobby! Mashad! (smiles and giggles) You don't phone, you don't write... (makes eyes at them) Where's the love?

Cut to the quad. A teacher comes down the stairs while looking over some reports. When she reaches the bottom, Buffy notices her and runs up to her.

Buffy: Ms. Moran? (the teacher looks up) Hi! (smiles) I'm so glad that I ran into you. (they walk slowly) Um, I had this little incident last year of getting kicked out of school. And I'm back now, though, I've done all of my makeup tests, but I still need one written recommendation from a teacher. I think the word that Principal Snyder used was 'glowing'. (smiles awkwardly) Uh, to put in my file so I can prove that I belong here.

Ms. Moran: (confused) And, um, you are...?

Buffy: (taken aback) Buffy. B-Buffy Summers. (Ms. Moran tries to remember) Third row. I sat by the window. Uh, your class: Contemporary American Heroes from Amelia Earhart to Maya Angelou. The class that changed my life?

Ms. Moran: Were you absent a lot, um...

Buffy: Buffy?

Cut to the cafeteria. Willow, Oz, Buffy and Xander are sitting at a table. Buffy just stares off into space while the others pick at their food. Cordelia walks into view holding out a flyer and touches a student on the arm.

Cordelia: Hi. I hope you'll consider me for Homecoming Queen.

She walks off, and the camera focuses on the group at the table again.

Buffy: I can't believe it. My favorite teacher, and she didn't even remember who I was. I'm like a non-person. (to Oz) Am I invisible? (waves her hand in front of him) Can you see me?

Oz: Big as life.

Buffy: At Hemery, I was Prom Princess, I was Fiesta Queen, I was on the cheerleading squad. And the yearbook was, like, a story of me. Now it's senior year, and I'm going to be one crappy picture on one-eighth of one crappy page.

Xander: (looks up from his plate) Uh, no, actually, you're not.

Buffy: What do you mean?

Xander: Well, you, uh, missed the picture-taking.

Buffy: (eyes wide with surprise) When? (looks at Oz) Why?

Oz: We did 'em yesterday.

Willow: Didn't Cordelia tell you?

Buffy settles her gaze on a campaigning Cordelia.

Cut to Cordelia handing a flyer to a student. Buffy approaches behind her.

Cordelia: Thanks for your support. (smiles and turns around) Buffy, you look so cute in that outfit.

Buffy: I'm not voting for you.

Cordelia: (curtly) Then make it snappy.

Buffy: How come you didn't tell me they were doing the yearbook pictures? (crosses her arms)

Cordelia: Didn't I? Oh, I guess I forgot. What's the big?

Buffy: It's just... (exhales) You could've thought about somebody else for thirty seconds, that's all.

Cordelia: Hey, I am under a *lot* of pressure here.

Buffy: Oh, yeah, campaigning. Rough gig.

Cordelia: What would you know about it? Just because you were Guacamole Queen when you were three doesn't mean you understand how this works.

Buffy: Obviously, it involves handing out entirely lame flyers.

Cordelia: No. It involves being part of this school and having actual friends.

Buffy takes offense, and glares at Cordelia.

Cordelia: Now, if it was about monsters, blood, and innards, then you'd be a shoo-in. I'd like to see *you* try to win the crown.

Buffy: You would?

Cordelia huffs and walks around Buffy to leave.

Buffy: Then you will.

Cordelia stops in her tracks and turns to face her.

Cordelia: What does that mean?

Buffy: (faces her) I'm gonna show you how it's done. I'm gonna run for Homecoming Queen, and I'm going to win.

Cordelia: This is starting to be sad.

Buffy: Sorry, Cordy, but you have no idea who you're messing with.

Cordelia: What? The Slayer?

Buffy: I'm not talking about the Slayer. I'm talking about Buffy. You've awakened the Prom Queen within. And that crown is going to be mine.

Cut to Trick's house.

Trick: Competition. Competition is a beautiful thing. It makes us strive. It... makes us accomplish. Occasionally, it makes us kill. We all have the desire to win. (walks through the room) Whether we're human... (gestures to three men) vampire...

He nods to Lyle Gorch and his wife, then stops by a yellow-skinned creature with a spiny ridge along the top of his head.

Trick: ...and whatever the hell you are, my brother. You got them spiny-looking head things. I ain't never seen that before.

Kulak: I am Kulak, of the Miquot Clan.

Trick: Isn't that nice. (continues walking) Point is, you're all here for the same reason.

Lyle: Well, it sure ain't no philosophy class, now, is it?

His wife Candy smiles at him. Trick stops pacing and faces him.

Trick: Mr. Gorch, my account statement says that your deposit has not yet been made.

Lyle: Well, me and Candy... we blowin' our whole honeymoon stash on this little game here.

He empties a bag of cash onto the table.

Trick: (unimpressed) They're dirty.

Lyle: (smiles) They're nonconsecutive.

Trick gives the money another look, and this time is impressed.

Trick: (to everyone) The games will begin in a few days' time. The first target, Buffy, you've all seen. The second, Faith, is... a little more elusive. But they will both be together and ready for the killing, and that is a money-back guarantee.

The Gorches smile.

Trick: Ladies, gentlemen, spiny-headed looking creatures, welcome to SlayerFest '98!

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

The Rosenberg house that evening. Cut to Willow's room. "How", by Lisa Loeb, is quietly playing on the radio. Willow is trying on an outfit, and steps out from behind her changing screen wearing a crimson blouse over a white satin slip dress.

Willow: What do you think of this?

Xander glances over at her as he tucks his white, long-sleeve dress shirt into his tuxedo pants. His bow tie hangs around his collar, still untied.

Xander: (shrugs) Nice. (smiles)

He goes back to tucking in his shirt.

Willow: It's my first big dance, you know? (unbuttons her blouse) (smiles) Where there's a boy and a band... and not just me alone in my room pretending that there's a boy and a band.

Lyrics: I didn't come this far

Willow: (picks up another outfit) I just want it to be...

She goes back behind the changing screen as Xander steps over to her dressing mirror to tie his bow tie.

Xander: Special. That's why I spared no expense on the tux.

Willow: The tux? I thought you, uh, borrowed it from your cousin Rigby.

Lyrics: For you to make this hard for me.

Xander: (struggling with his tie) Expense to my pride, Will. They're our only relations with money, and they shun us... as they should.

Lyrics: And now you want to ask me 'how'?

Willow steps out from behind the screen again, this time wearing a black top embroidered with several randomly placed small sunflowers and a smiling sun over a full-length black skirt with a floral print.

Willow: What do you think about this?

Lyrics: It's like / How does your heart beat?

Xander: (looks and nods) Nice.

Lyrics: Why do you breathe?

He turns his attention back on his tie. Willow sees him struggle with it and comes over to him, raising her hands along the way to reach for the tie. Xander lets go of the tie, and she starts to tie it. She looks up at him and gives him a little smile.

Lyrics: How does your heart beat?

Xander: What?

Lyrics: And why do you breathe?

Willow: (smiling) I was just...

Lyrics: Why did you come here?

Willow: Remember the eighth-grade cotillion? (giggles) You had that clip-on?

Lyrics: You weren't invited

Xander: Hey, I was pretty stylin' with a clip-on.

Lyrics: And you're on the outside

Willow: And now here we are, and it's... Homecoming. (concentrates on the tie)

Xander: Yeah, we should face it, Will.

Lyrics: Stay on the outside.

Xander: You and I are gonna be in neighboring rest homes while I come over so you can adjust my, um...

Lyrics: And now you want to ask me 'why'?

Willow raises her eyebrows at him.

Xander: My, uh... Well, I can't think of anything that's not really gross.

Lyrics: It's like / How does your heart beat?

Willow is finished with the tie and smiles at him. She pats the tie and then goes back behind the screen to try on yet another outfit. Xander pulls on his vest.

Lyrics: And how do you cry?

Xander: So, uh... you and Oz.

Lyrics: How does your heart beat?

Xander: How do I put this? (buttons the vest) Are we on first, second, or, uh... ye gods?

Willow: That's none of your business, Alexander Harris.

Her shadow on the screen shows her adjusting the shoulder straps of the dress she's putting on.

Lyrics: And there are some things that I like to figure out

Xander: (smiles) Ooo, rounding second. (reaches for his jacket)

Willow: (huffs) You don't know that. What about you and Cordelia?

Lyrics: There are some things that I can do without

Xander: (pulls on the tuxedo jacket) Oh, a gentleman never talks about his conquests.

Willow: Oh, yeah? (steps out from behind the screen) Well, since when did you become a...

Lyrics: You and your letters are gone forever

They are both struck dumb when they see each other. She is wearing an elegant black, sleeveless, full-length dress. Xander is looking dapper in his tuxedo. They don't say anything for a long moment. Willow finally breaks the silence to finish her sentence.

Willow: ...gentleman? (smiles and giggles)

She looks down at her dress, then back up at him and shrugs.

Willow: Uh, I know. 'Nice.'

Xander: I was gonna go with 'gorgeous'. (steps toward her)

Willow: (smiles) Really? (steps toward him) You, too. I-in a guy way.

Lyrics: With all the things that you could be

Xander: (smiles back and draws a breath) Oz is very lucky.

Willow: (smiling) So is Cordelia... i-in a girl way.

Lyrics: You never could learn how to be me.

Suddenly Willow looks very worried.

Willow: I don't know if I can dance in this. I don't know if I can dance!

Xander: Come on. Piece of cake.

He steps up to her and offers his hands to dance.

Xander: Here.

Lyrics: And now you want to ask me 'how'?

They take a few seconds to get positioned for a traditional slow waltz, and then start to dance.

Xander: Well, that seems to, um...

He looks down at their feet as they sway back and forth for a little while. Willow looks up at him, but tries not to look like she is.

Lyrics: It's like / How does your heart beat? / Why do you breathe?

Willow: Yeah. This shouldn't be a... problem.

Lyrics: How does your heart beat?

Xander: No.

They slowly inch closer to each other.

Lyrics: Why do you breathe?

Xander: No problem.

Lyrics: How does your heart beat? / Why do you breathe?

He slowly leans his head down to her, and she responds by angling hers up to him. They are soon very close, and kiss gently. The kiss goes on for several seconds before they realize what they are doing and quickly jump apart.

Lyrics: How do you breathe?

Xander: (points at her) That didn't just happen!

Willow: No! (gestures nervously) I mean, it did, but it didn't!

Xander: Because I respect you. And Oz. And I would never...

Willow: (furrows her brow) I would never, either! I-it must be the clothes. I-it's a fluke.

Xander: It's a clothes fluke, that's what it is. And there'll be no more fluking.

Willow: Not ever.

They step closer again, and are about to kiss when they jump apart again.

Xander: We gotta get out of these clothes!

Willow: Right now!

They quickly realize the implication of what they just said, and get all flustered and gesture wildly.

Xander: Oh, I didn't mean...

Willow: I didn't... me, either!

She rushes back behind her screen. Xander hastens the other way.

Cut to Sunnydale High the next day.

Buffy: A campaign is like a war. It's won or lost in the trenches.

Cut to the library, where Buffy has the large whiteboard arrayed with pictures of Cordelia, Michelle and Holly. Next to each picture is a thermometer filled in red up to their perceived levels of popularity. Below each picture is a list of strengths and weaknesses for each girl. Buffy walks past the board, pointing at each picture with a pointer stick as she goes by.

Buffy: Holly, Michelle, and our real competition, Cordelia, all have big head starts. (sets down the pointer) Speaking of big heads, if I had a watermelon as big as Cordelia's, I'd be rich.

She smiles at Xander, Willow and Oz, who are sitting on the table fidgeting nervously and looking as though they are desperate to get out of there. They don't react to Buffy's joke at all. Her smile fades.

Buffy: Waits for laugh...

She gives up waiting for a response and takes a few steps along the board.

Buffy: Okay, you're right. Making fun of the competition only makes me seem petty. Now, this is just like any other popularity contest. I've done this before. The only difference being this time, I'm not actually popular. Although, I'm not exactly unpopular. A lot of people came to my welcome home party.

Willow: But they were killed by zombies.

Buffy: (points at her) Good point. Okay, (steps up to them) here's the plan. Willow, I need you to make a database. See who's for us, who's on the fence and where our real crisis areas are. Oz, you take the fringe: musicians, those not normally inclined to vote. Xander, what...

She notices Cordelia coming into the library. Cordelia looks at them, wondering what's going on and crosses her arms.

Buffy: Uh, Cordelia... Okay, look. I know this is a little awkward, but I don't see any reason why we all can't get along during this campaign time. (Cordelia shrugs and nods) I mean, we're... almost friends, and... we are all riding together in the limo.

Cordelia: Yeah, great. Willow, how's that database coming?

Willow: (looks down in shame) Uh, it's... just about done. (sighs)

Cordelia: (insistently) Xander?

Xander: (whips his head around to face her) I got your new flyers. (smiles thinly)

Cordelia: Let's get cracking.

Buffy gives them all a betrayed look. Xander slips off of the table.

Xander: (to Buffy) She's my girlfriend. (goes to Cordelia)

Willow slides off of the table also, and gestures and shrugs a lot when she looks at Buffy on her way to join Xander and Cordelia.

Willow: It's just that... she needs it so much more than you do.

Oz gets off of the table also, and stops by Buffy on his way after Willow, pointing back and forth between Willow and himself.

Oz: As Willow goes, so goes my nation.

He goes over to stand with the others, who are hanging their heads in shame and embarrassment behind Cordelia. Cordelia, by contrast, is standing proudly erect, facing Buffy with her arms crossed.

Cordelia: Thanks for what you said, Buffy. I think we're getting along great. Don't you?

Buffy takes it silently with a look of betrayal and abandonment evident on her face. Cordelia turns and heads out of the library. The others each give Buffy a quick apologetic glance and follow her out. Giles walks into the area as Buffy goes to the table to get her bottle of apple juice.

Giles: Seems like a lot of fuss for... one little title.

Buffy: Well, you know, it's no fun if you don't try your best. (takes a drink)

Giles: As long as fun is still in the mix.

Buffy: (smiling) Sure! It's not like anyone takes it that seriously.

The bottle in her hand suddenly shatters under the pressure of her grip. Buffy gives Giles an innocent smile.

Cut outside to the quad. The Homecoming Queen campaigning is well under way. "Fire Escape", by Fastball, plays in the background as the camera moves around, taking in various scenes of the girls trying to get votes. Buffy talks to a small group of students while handing out fliers, then looks over her shoulder at Cordelia. The camera pans over to Cordelia glancing at Buffy. When she notices Buffy looking at her, she shifts her attention to her own group of people, several of whom already have her

Lyrics: Well, I don't wanna be president

The camera pans again, and the scene dissolves to Trick's abode and Jungle Bob checking his rifle.

Lyrics: Superman or Clark Kent

He walks past the Gruenstahler brothers wrestling with each other.

Lyrics: I don't wanna walk 'round in their shoes

The camera continues panning past Lyle and Candy Gorch kissing on a couch.

Dissolve back to the quad at school. The camera pans across a bulletin board on which Holly, Michelle and Cordelia each have a flyer posted.

Lyrics: 'Cause I don't know whose side I'm on

Buffy walks up to the board and posts her much larger flyer right on top of Cordelia's.

Lyrics: I don't know my right from wrong

Cut to the Gruenstahler's boss, checking maps and coordinates on his computer.

Lyrics: I don't know where I'm going to

Behind him his boys keep up with their training. Cut to Jungle Bob, testing a bear trap. He sticks a mannequin leg into it, and the jaws instantly snap shut, shattering the leg. Cut to Kulak. He raises his arms and snaps them down so his forearms are extended out from him horizontally at his waist.

Lyrics: I don't know about you

Both of Kulak's forearms split open from elbow to wrist, and a long, serrated, green throwing weapon pops out of each arm and into his hands. He roars and quickly heaves them both at a wall, where they both hit within inches of each other.

Cut to the quad at school again. Buffy comes down the stairs with a bounce in her step.

Lyrics: I'll be the rain falling on your fire escape

At the bottom she fakes dropping her stack of flyers. Scott sees them fall, and quickly kneels down to pick them up.

Buffy: Sorry.

Scott: Here.

He hands her the flyers, and they both stand back up.

Lyrics: And I may not be the man you want me to

Scott: (looks at the flyers) I heard you were doing this.

Buffy: Uh... yeah. It's just something to pass the time.

Lyrics: I can be myself

Buffy: It's silly, really.

Lyrics: How 'bout you?

Scott: I don't think so. For what it's worth, you have my vote.

Buffy: No, I don't want you to feel... (reconsiders and smiles) Thank you.

Scott nods his head back at her and leaves.

Lyrics: I don't wanna make you mad

Buffy smiles to herself and pulls out her campaign notebook.

Lyrics: I don't wanna meet your dad

She opens it to a list of names, and checks off Scott's name.

Lyrics: I don't wanna be your dream come true

She closes it, notices another boy coming and tosses her flyers on the ground again, making like it was an accident. The boy bends down to pick them up. Cut to a hall. Buffy is wearing a Sunnydale High team jacket and talks to a group of athletes also wearing team jackets. They all smile at her as she makes small talk with them.

Lyrics: 'Cause I don't know just what I've found

Cut to her campaign book. She checks off the name of Daryl Sancton. Cut to the quad. Holly is about to offer a brownie to a boy when Buffy comes up to him and gives him a huge chocolate cupcake. She gives him a radiant smile, and then smiles smugly to herself as she walks off.

Lyrics: I don't know my sky from ground

Cut to her campaign notebook. She checks off Leafe Small's name.

Lyrics: I don't know where I'm going to

Cut to the quad. After giving away two more chocolate cupcakes, Buffy walks over to a column to post a flyer. Cordelia comes up to the two students and smiles brightly as she hands them each a basket full of sweets and chocolates.

Lyrics: I don't know about you

Cordelia then holds open a bag for them to dump their cupcakes into. Buffy watches as Cordelia steps over to a trashcan and drops the bag into it. Cordelia gives her a smug look and smiles before walking off.

Cut to the halls. Willow looks at two flyers of Buffy and Cordelia posted next to each other, sighs and starts to walk along the hall. She only gets a few steps before she runs into Buffy.

Buffy: Hey.

Willow: (jumpy) Hi! How are you? You good? You look good. Anything new? (smiles) Hey, did I mention you look good?

Buffy: Willow, it's okay that you're helping Cordelia. We're best friends. I'm not gonna hold it against you.

Willow: (whining) No, I'm not a friend. I'm a rabid dog who should be shot! But there're forces at work here! Dark, incomprehensible forces.

Buffy: And I'm sure they're more important than all we've been through together, or... the number of times that I've saved your life.

Willow: (looks at her imploringly) What do you want?

Buffy: Fifteen minutes alone on your computer with Cordelia's database.

Willow: (gives in with a squeaky voice) 'Kay.

She slides her backpack from her shoulder and sits at a table by a window.

Buffy: (smiles) Good! Oh! (sits also)

Cut outside the window. The camera pulls back from it.

Buffy: So, I spoke to the limo people, and we're all set.

Cut inside the Gruenstahler's van. One of them is looking at them through binoculars while the other has a parabolic listening device trained on them and records their conversation.

Buffy: They'll pick up Faith, then me, then swing by and get you guys. Now, what's your database tell you about *my* weaknesses?

Cut to a hall. Jonathon takes a big bite out of a chocolate cupcake as he walks slowly along. The camera pulls back from him to show Buffy walking with him with her arm around his shoulders.

Buffy: You know, Jonathon, I've always felt a special bond between you and me.

Jonathon: (with his mouth full) Cordelia gave me six bucks. (they stop walking) That buys a *whole* lotta cupcakes. (takes another bite)

Cut to another part of the hall where Cordelia is talking to another group of students.

Cordelia: Are you kidding?

She holds up her hand with her fingers spread in the characteristic 'V' form of the Vulcan greeting.

Cordelia: I've been doing the Vulcan death grip since I was four.

She smiles at a guy and pokes him in the forehead a few times with her spread fingers, blissfully unaware that she doesn't know the first thing about the Vulcan nerve pinch, not even its proper name. Buffy walks up behind her with her arms crossed.

Buffy: So you really are giving out money, huh?

Cordelia: (turns to face her) Is that any more tacky than your faux 'I'm shy but deep' campaign posters?

Buffy: Yes.

Cordelia: This whole trying to be like me really isn't funny anymore.

Buffy: I was *never* trying to be like you, and when was it funny?

Cordelia: I don't see why your pathetic need to recapture your glory days gives you the right to splinter my vote.

Buffy: (not believing what she's hearing) How can you think it's okay to talk to people like this? Do you have parents?

Cordelia: Yeah. Two of them... unlike some people.

Buffy: (completely flabbergasted) Your brain isn't even connected to your mouth, is it?

Xander and Willow walk up behind Cordelia.

Cordelia: Why don't you do us both a favor and stay out of my way?

She starts to walk past her, putting her hand on Buffy's shoulder to push her out of the way. Buffy grabs her hand and pulls it off of her.

Buffy: Don't *ever* do that again.

Cordelia: (jerks her hand away) You're sick, you know that?

Xander takes Cordelia by the arms from behind.

Xander: Okay, let's not say something we'll, uh, regret later...

Cordelia: (to Buffy) You crazy freak!

Buffy: Vapid whore!

Xander: ...like that!

He pulls Cordelia away from Buffy.

Cordelia: (incensed) What did you call me?!

Xander quickly leads her away down the hall. Willow steps up to Buffy looking extremely worried.

Willow: This is just...

Cut to Willow's room later that afternoon. She paces behind Xander.

Willow: ...the worst thing that's ever happened. Ever!

She sits on her bed and crosses her arms and legs, looking down sadly. Xander sits down next to her and puts his arm around her.

Xander: I know. I know. It's just... when I look at you now, it's like I'm seeing you for the first time.

Willow: I'm talking about Buffy and Cordelia.

Xander: (yanks back his arm) Me, too.

Willow: (sighs) What are we gonna do? I mean, we have to do something. This is all our fault.

Xander: How do you get from 'chick fight' to 'our fault'?

Willow: (flustered) Because: we felt so guilty about the fluke, we overcompensated helping Cordelia, and we spun the whole group dynamic out of orbit, and we're just a big meteor shower heading for Earth...

Xander: Okay, calm down. Let's just put our heads together and think of something. (Willow nods) (takes a breath) Okay, one of us here is pretty darn smart, and I am...

Willow looks at him expectantly.

Xander: ...just in Hell. I-I mean, I-I thought being a senior *at last* and, and having a girlfriend *at last* would, would be a *good* thing. Now, why wouldn't that be a good thing?

He notices Willow's gazed fixed on his mouth.

Xander: What?

Willow: Sometimes when you're falling to pieces, your mouth, (reaches up with her hand) it just does the sweetest thing. (smiles)

Xander reaches up with his hand, takes hers in it and lowers their hands to his knee. He puts his other hand over hers as well.

Willow: What are we gonna do?

Xander: We just have to get the two of them communicating.

Willow: I'm talking about us.

They look at each other in silence.

Cut to Buffy's house that night. She is wearing a bright red spaghetti- strap evening gown with matching shoes and purse. She comes down the steps from the porch and walks over to the limousine waiting for her in the driveway. The driver holds open the door for her, and she gets in. He closes the door. Buffy looks next to her and finds Cordelia sitting there wearing a green satin dress with a corsage on her wrist.

Buffy: What's going on here? Where's Faith?

Cordelia hands her the card she found in the limo when she was picked up. Buffy opens it and reads.

Dear Cordelia and Buffy,

We won't be riding to the dance with you.
We want you to work out your problems
because our friendships are more important
than who wins Homecoming Queen.

Your friends.

P.S. The limo was not cheap. Work it out.

She folds the card closed and sets it down.

Buffy: Well...

She looks around and notices the corsage waiting for her in a small box between them.

Buffy: They bought us corsages?

Cordelia: I took the orchid.

Buffy: (rolls her eyes) Okay.

The driver gets in and starts the car. The camera is in a close-up shot of his ear, and he puts an earpiece into it as the camera pulls out to reveal that the driver is one of the Gruenstahler brothers. He puts the car in gear and drives off.

Cut to a lonely stretch of road in the woods. The limousine drives along at a steady speed.

Cordelia: I don't see what the big deal is.

Cut inside the limo.

Buffy: I'm not making a big deal. You wanted the orchid, you got the orchid.

Cordelia: It goes with my complexion better.

The driver pulls the limo to the side of the road.

Buffy: It does have that sallow tint.

She notices the car stop.

Buffy: Finally we're here.

They hear the driver's door slam and his footsteps as he runs off. Buffy gives Cordelia a concerned look. She opens her door and gets out of the car. Cut outside. Cordelia gets out behind her and swings the door shut. They look around, surprised to find themselves in the middle of the woods.

Cordelia: What is this? (loudly) Okay, guys, we've had enough of your stupid little game!

Buffy notices a VCR and a monitor waiting for them on a rock.

Buffy: What's massively wrong with this picture?

They walk up to it. A sign on the VCR says "Press Play", which Buffy does. Trick appears on the screen.

Trick: Hello, ladies. Welcome to SlayerFest '98.

Buffy and Cordelia stare at the monitor in disbelief.

Trick: What is a SlayerFest, you ask? Well, as in most of life, there's the hunters and the hunted. Can you guess where you two fall? From the beginning of this tape, you have exactly thirty seconds--(checks his watch) no, that's seventeen now--to run for your lives. (smiles)

Cut to Cordelia.

Trick: Faith...

Cut to Buffy.

Trick: Buffy...

Cut to the monitor.

Trick: (smiling hugely) Have a nice death.

The picture fades to black, and the word "SlayerFest" appears in red and white.

Cordelia: (to the woods around them) Hello! How stupid are you people? (points at Buffy) She's a Slayer. (puts her hand to her chest) I'm a Homecoming Queen!

They hear a distant gunshot, and an instant later the monitor explodes. Cordelia gasps in fright, and the two of them begin to run.

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

The Homecoming Dance at The Bronze. Dingoes Ate My Baby (Four Star Mary) are on the stage performing "She Knows". The camera is overhead looking straight down on the drummer. It tilts up as it moves past Oz on his guitar and Devon at the mic and out into the crowd.

Lyrics: She flies from a blinding light / And spirals to my heart

The camera closes in on Willow and Xander standing about three feet (1m) apart. Willow has her hands folded in front of her and looks sad as she watches the band play. Xander is idly nibbling on a finger sandwich while looking down at the floor, seemingly deep in thought. Faith comes up behind them.

Faith: What are you two so mopey about?

Lyrics: I try to find my mind to go / don't know where to start

Xander: (looks at her) Oh, we're not mopey. We're groovin'. (points at the stage) On Oz's band. He's a great guy, Oz.

Lyrics: Won't ever, can't ever find my sanity

Willow: He wrote this song for me.

Faith glances around and sees Scott behind her dancing with a girl.

Lyrics: Won't ever...

Faith: (to Willow, indicating behind them) Sleazebag! (huffs and walks off)

Lyrics: ...can't ever till I hear her calling for me

Giles finds them and rushes up behind them.

Giles: We have to find Buffy. Something terrible's happened.

Willow and Xander look at him, but aren't upset by this news.

Lyrics: She knows that, she knows that

Giles: (smiles) Just kidding. Thought I'd give you a scare.

Willow looks back at the band. Xander just stares at him.

Lyrics: She knows that side of me

Giles: (sees Xander's sandwich) Are those finger sandwiches?

He goes off to find the buffet table to get a few sandwiches of his own. Xander looks back at the band now, too.

Lyrics: I can't help it, can't help it

Cut to the woods. Buffy and Cordelia jog through it at a brisk pace. Buffy scans the forest around them as they go. Cordelia just follows her.

Cordelia: I have an idea. We talk to these people, we explain that I'm not a Slayer, and they let me go.

They slow to a walk. Buffy ignores Cordelia's comment, and keeps scanning around them. Cordelia looks down and sees that Buffy is about to step into a bear trap.

Cordelia: Look out!

With her fast Slayer reflexes, Buffy instantly lifts her foot back up, and the trap snaps shut empty. Knowing someone must be near, Buffy grabs Cordelia and pulls her to the ground as Jungle Bob takes aim with his rifle.

Buffy: Get down!

He shoots and misses. Buffy grabs the sprung trap and hurls it at Jungle Bob. It hits him hard, and he staggers back and steps into another bear trap. He grunts when it snaps shut on his leg. Buffy hurries over to him with Cordelia not far behind. She picks up his rifle and points it at him.

Buffy: That's gotta smart.

Jungle Bob tries to pry open the trap.

Buffy: Now, I can let you out of that, or I can put a bullet in your head. How many are there in this little game, and what are they packing?

He just stares at her, refusing to speak. Buffy pumps a fresh round into the gun's chamber. This gives him cause to think again.

Jungle Bob: There's me, two Germans with AR-15s and grenade launcher... yellow-skinned demon with long knives... Vampire couple from Texas named Gorch.

Buffy: That everybody?

Jungle Bob: Everybody who's out here. Germans are wired. Their boss is tracking them on computer. Now get me out of this!

Cordelia: Could I just ask you an *eensy* favor? Could you just tell your friends that I'm not a Sl...

Cordelia screams and jumps back as Kulak's serrated weapons slice into the tree in front of her.

Cut to The Bronze. Giles selects a few finger sandwiches from the buffet table.

Lyrics: Just a little more, just a little more

Behind Giles, Faith moves around the table, and the camera follows her over to Scott. He is dancing slow and close with his date.

Lyrics: Just until I know what I'm feeling

Faith touches the couple, and they pull apart.

Faith: Scott? There you are, honey!

Lyrics: Just a little more

Faith: Hey, good news.

Lyrics: Just a little more / To find my sanity

Faith: (with lots of gesturing) The doctor says that the itching and the swelling and the burning should clear up, (puts her hands on his chest) but we gotta keep using the ointment.

Scott's date isn't sure what to make of that. Faith turns to her and touches her on the shoulder.

Faith: Hi.

Lyrics: She knows that side is calling back for me

She turns back to Scott, grabs him by the lapels and gives him a little pull. She lets go of him and walks away. Scott turns back to his date, thoroughly embarrassed.

Scott: Uh...

The camera pans back across the buffet table to Giles. He chews on a bite of his finger sandwich and steps over to Willow and Xander sitting angled away from each other. Willow stares at the floor while Xander leans his face into his fist.

Lyrics: I've lost my mind / I never believe

Giles: I suspect the, uh, finger food contains... actual fingers.

Xander gives him a quick disgusted glance. Willow just stares sadly at
the floor.

Lyrics: She knows that side...

Giles: I-I-I think I'll retreat to the library until the coronation.

He gets no reaction from either of them.

Lyrics: ...is calling back for me

Giles: I wanna be here when, when, when Buffy... Well, uh, however the thing turns out for her.

Lyrics: I lost my mind til she's calling for me

Giles: A-and that was a very fine thing you two did, putting Buffy and Cordelia together.

Lyrics: She's calling for me / She's calling for me

He holds out the rest of his sandwich wrapped in a napkin out to Xander, who idly takes it. Giles then heads out of The Bronze to go to his library.

Lyrics: She knows that, she knows that

Willow keeps staring down at the floor with a big frown on her face.

Willow: We did one fine thing.

Lyrics: She knows that side of me

Xander: Yeah. They've been gone for a while. They must really be getting' into it.

Lyrics: I can't help it

Cut inside a run-down cabin in the woods. Buffy kicks the door in, and she and Cordelia rush in. Buffy holds Jungle Bob's rifle in one hand as she pushes the door shut with the other and pulls a chair over to barricade it. She starts to go each window to close the shutters and draw the drapes over them.

Buffy: We should be safe in here for a while. You need to find a weapon.

Cordelia: (panting with fright) Safe? I'm not safe. I'm gonna die!

Buffy pulls back the drapes from another window to close its shutters, but it comes loose in her hand and falls to the floor.

Buffy: (shrugs) Yeah, you are if you just stand there.

She pulls the drapes across to at least block the view and goes on to do the rest of the windows.

Cordelia: (sobbing) I'm never gonna be crowned Homecoming Queen. I'm never gonna graduate from high school. I'm never gonna know if it's real between me and Xander, or if it's just... (sobs) some temporary insanity that made me think... (sobs) I loved him. (sobs) And now I'm never gonna get the chance to tell him.

Buffy allows her attention to be diverted by Cordelia for a moment. She sighs and goes over to her.

Buffy: Yes, you are. We are gonna get out of here, and we are gonna head back to the library, where Giles and the rest of the weapons live. Then I'm gonna take out the rest of these guys just in time for you to congratulate me on my *sweeping* victory as Homecoming Queen. (heads back to a window)

Cordelia: I know what you're up to. (Buffy turns back to face her) You think if you get me mad enough, I won't be so scared. And, hey! It's working! Where's a damn weapon?

She looks around and sees an end table with drawers, walks over to it and starts searching for anything that she can use. Buffy resumes her surveillance at the window.

Buffy: You really love Xander?

Cordelia: Well, he kinda grows on you, like... a Chia Pet.

She finds a spatula and takes it over to Buffy.

Buffy: That's it?

Cordelia: Just this and a telephone.

Buffy: A telephone. And you didn't think that'd be helpful?

Cordelia: No, this is better for...

She swings it a few times and realizes it probably won't be of much use.

Cordelia: Oh. (exhales)

Cut to Trick's place. The Gruenstahler's boss is using his computer to track the happenings in the woods.

Boss: You're about to see why Daniel Boone and that idiot demon are creatures of the past... and why I am the future. I'm picking up a signal.

He zeros in on a grid on his computer map.

Boss: They've got a phone!

Cut to the cabin. Buffy is on the phone.

Buffy: If you get this message, Giles, get help and get out here...

The phone clicks and goes dead.

Buffy: Hello?

Cordelia: What happened?

Buffy: It went dead.

Cut to Jungle Bob in the woods. Kulak walks up behind him and watches him grunt and struggle to pry open the bear trap.

Kulak: Want me to cut that leg off?

Jungle Bob: No, thanks.

Kulak gives him a disgusted grunt and walks off after the girls.

Cut to the Gruenstahler brothers. They are decked out all in black and have their AR-15s raised and ready, listening to their boss on their headsets and scanning the area as they go.

Boss: Continue proceeding south ninety meters to vector three.

Cut to Giles' office. He comes in, notices that there is a message for him on his machine and presses the playback button. He takes a sip of his tea as the machine rewinds briefly, beeps and plays Buffy's message.

Buffy: Giles, it's me... and Cordelia. We're in a cabin in Miller's Woods, and we're in big trouble.

Cut to the cabin. Cordelia sits down on a cot.

Cordelia: Why is it every time I go somewhere with you, it always ends in violence and terror?

Buffy: (staring out a window) Welcome to my life.

Cordelia: I don't wanna be in your life. I wanna be in my life.

Buffy: (looks back at her) Well, there's the door. (points with the rifle) Please feel free to walk out at any time and live your life.

She walks over to another window and looks out again.

Cordelia: All I wanted was to be Homecoming Queen.

Buffy turns to face her again and lowers the gun.

Buffy: And that's all I wanted, too, Cordelia.

She sighs, looks down at her dress and heads back to the other window again.

Buffy: I spent a year's allowance on this dress. (looks out again)

Cordelia: I don't even get why you care about Homecoming when you're doing stuff like this.

Again Buffy turns around to face her.

Buffy: Because this is all I do. This is what my life is. (lowers her head and steps into the room) You couldn't understand. (shrugs) I just thought... Homecoming Queen. (smiles) (Cordelia keeps respectfully silent) I could pick up a yearbook someday and say, I was there. I went to high school, I had friends, and... for one moment, I got to live in the world. (smiles) And there'd be proof. Proof that I was chosen for something other than this.

Cordelia gives her an understanding look. Buffy raises the rifle in her hands.

Buffy: Besides... (pumps the rifle) I look cute in a tiara.

Cordelia lets out a little laugh. Then they hear a growl outside of the cabin.

Cordelia: Do you hear...

Suddenly Kulak comes crashing through a window. He immediately grabs Buffy and throws her down onto an old mattress and pillow on the floor, making her drop the rifle. She rolls out of the way as he swings at her with his green serrated blades, and they just slice into the pillow. Buffy rushes to the far wall and takes down a set of antlers to use for defense. Kulak swings his blades at her while Cordelia slaps him on the back with her spatula from behind. Buffy blocks the blades with the antlers and shoves the antlers aside. Kulak goes down with them.

Buffy: Cor, the gun!

Kulak gets to his knees and takes a wide swing at Buffy, cutting her slightly on the arm and making her fall.

Buffy: Ooh!

Cordelia finds the rifle on the floor and picks it up. Kulak stands up and tries another swing, but Buffy grabs the end of the rug he's standing on and yanks it out from under him, making him fall backward and hit the floor hard on his back. Cordelia has the gun raised now, and waves it around looking for a target. Kulak gets back to his feet, and Cordelia shoots but misses, hitting a bottle on a shelf instead.

Buffy: Cordelia, the spatula.

Cut outside of the cabin. The Gruenstahler boys sneak up on it. Cut to their boss.

Boss: Prepare to launch.

Cut inside the cabin. Kulak takes a lunging swing at Buffy. She avoids it and grabs the hanging lamp above her and uses it to support herself to deliver a solid mid-air roundhouse kick to Kulak's face. He goes flying backward into a desk against the wall and falls to the floor.

Cut outside. One of the brothers loads a grenade into his launcher and closes the chamber. Their boss gives them coordinates over their radio feeds.

Boss: Target's in range, ready your weapons. Y-axis fifty-three degrees west by eight degrees south.

The assassin punches the coordinates into his targeting computer.

Cut inside. Cordelia tries to get Buffy's attention.

Cordelia: Buffy!

Buffy looks over at her, and Cordelia tosses her the rifle. She aims it at Kulak as he gets up from the floor. He roars and starts to come at her. Buffy pulls the trigger, but the chamber is still empty from Cordelia's shot, so the hammer just clicks on nothing. Buffy quickly raises the rifle above her head to block Kulak's swing. His blade embeds itself in the rifle's stock, and Buffy twists it around, pulling Kulak's arm with it and pinning him down.

Cut to the Gruenstahler's boss.

Boss: Launch!

Cut outside the cabin. The grenade is launched. Cut inside. The grenade penetrates a window shutter and falls to the floor in front of Buffy and Kulak. They look at each other and let go of the rifle. Buffy grabs Cordelia and starts to run toward a window with her in tow. Kulak runs for another window. Buffy and Cordelia both jump and crash through the glass. Kulak jumps also, but his window is shuttered behind the curtain, so he just bounces off of it and back into the room by the grenade. He takes a quick, terrified breath.

Cut outside. Buffy and Cordelia run like mad. Behind them the cabin explodes in a huge fireball, sending bits of debris flying everywhere and knocking them to the ground. They both look up at each other, panting.

Buffy: We gotta get back to the library.

They get up and start running through the woods. The Gruenstahlers begin to track them.

Cut to the library. Lyle and Candy have the book cage open and have found the weapons stash. A couple of battle-axes and a mace are on a table. Candy loads a bolt into the crossbow, turns around and points it at Lyle.

Lyle: Easy, darlin'. (nudges the weapon away) These things go through you faster than Grandpa Pete's chili.

Candy: I want to do Buffy: my weddin' present for what happened to your poor brother.

Lyle: Tector.

Candy: (impatient) When's she comin'?

Lyle: (looks down at the floor) Well, he's her Watcher. She'll show... just as soon as she gets rid of some of our competition.

The camera pans down to Giles lying unconscious on the floor.

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

Inside Trick's house. The Gruenstahler's boss is tracking Buffy and Cordelia on his computer.

Boss: They're heading west, back into town.

Trick: They got away?

Boss: Temporarily.

Trick: Well, give it up for the Slayers. They got character.

There's a knock at the door.

Trick: I'll take care of it.

He goes to answer the door. The boss keeps tracking the girls. Cut to the door. Trick opens it. There he finds two police officers waiting.

Trick: Evening, gentlemen. How may I help you?

Without a word the two officers grab him and drag him out of the house.

Trick: Excuse me! Anybody got a warrant here?

Cut to the halls at the school. Buffy and Cordelia come around a corner and head for the library.

Buffy: Jungle Bob and Spike-head are down and out. We've lost the Germans twice, but they seem to keep finding us. If we take them out and the Gorches, we can still make Homecoming.

Cordelia: Those animals! Hunting us down like poor defenseless... well, animals.

They walk into the library.

Buffy: We just need to find Giles...

Candy roars and grabs Buffy by the arm. She swings her around and lets go, but Buffy maintains her balance and doesn't fall. Candy does a roundhouse kick to Buffy's face, making her stagger a bit. She grabs Buffy by the back of the neck and shoves her into a bookcase, bringing her head down onto the shelves and breaking several of them as she falls to the floor. Lyle smiles at Candy's clever move, but Buffy does a sweep kick, knocking Candy's legs out from underneath her and making her fall
also. Buffy scrambles to her feet. Cordelia gets her attention.

Cordelia: Buffy!

She tosses the spatula to Buffy, who grabs it in mid-air and turns to face Candy with it. Candy grabs the coat rack as she gets up. Buffy lunges at Candy with the handle of the spatula and impales her on it. Candy shoves the base of the coat rack into Buffy's face and makes her stumble back into the walls. She falls over a wastebasket and into a potted tree before falling to the floor unconscious. Candy drops the coat rack and notices the spatula sticking out of her chest. Lyle's face takes on a look of terror.

Lyle: Candy!

She burst into ashes before his eyes.

Lyle: Oh, Candy...

He heads for Buffy on the floor. Cordelia calmly steps over and heads him off.

Lyle: I'm gonna kill both you Slayers for this! You hear me?

Cordelia: I hear you, you redneck moron. You got a dress that goes with that hat?

Lyle: (furious) I'm gonna...

Cordelia: Rip out my innards, play with my eyeballs, boil my brain and eat it for brunch? Listen up, needle-brain. Buffy and I have taken out four of your cronies, not to mention your girlfriend.

Lyle: WIFE!

Cordelia: Whatever. The point is, I haven't even broken a sweat. See, in the end, Buffy's just the runner-up. *I'm* the Queen. You get me mad, (gets in his face and glares at him) what do you think I'm gonna do to you?

Lyle is taken aback by that, and considers his next move. Cordelia raises her eyebrows at him impatiently. Lyle thinks better of taking her on and gives her a quick nod.

Lyle: Later.

He cautiously edges his way around her and heads out of the library. Giles wakes up and gets up from the floor. Cordelia smiles, impressed with herself.

Cut to later in the library. Buffy is awake again, and Giles starts to deal with the mess left by the Gorches.

Buffy: (to Cordelia) That should teach him to mistake you for a Slayer.

Giles: Yes, I must admit I do feel partly responsible. I did give your friends tacit approval to make the switch in the limousine.

Buffy: Aw, it's okay. It gave Cor and I a chance to spend some quality death time.

Cordelia: And we got these free corsages. (looks at hers)

Buffy pulls hers out to look at it.

Giles: Oh, that's nice. Although I don't recall them mentioning corsages.

Buffy: Jungle Bob... said that the Germans were hooked into a computer system.

She gives her corsage a more thorough inspection. Inside she finds a small transmitter.

Buffy: And they're hooked into us.

They both look up when they hear a door slam out in the halls. Cut to the halls. The Gruenstahler brothers make their way in, scanning around with their laser-sighted rifles. Cut into the library. Cordelia quickly pulls her corsage off and gives it to Buffy.

Cordelia: Oh, God, get rid of these things!

Buffy: (to Giles) I need some wet toilet paper.

Cordelia: (sarcastically) Yeah! That'll help.

Cut to the halls. The brothers pull on their night vision goggles and continue to scan and advance into the dark halls. Their boss talks over their com links.

Boss: Transmitting coordinates now.

Cut to their boss tracking them.

Boss: They're fifty feet away.

Cut to the halls as seen looking through the night vision goggles. Suddenly Buffy runs across the hall. They try to trace her and fire, but they can't follow her fast enough with their aim. They hold their fire, and one of them signals the other to advance. Around the corner Buffy ducks into a classroom. The one follows her in. The other listens to his boss' instructions and takes aim through a wall.

Boss: Axis six degrees by forty-three.

Cut to their boss, still tracking.

Boss: I have them both in range.

Cut inside the classroom. The assassin scans around in the dark room, but can't see anything. Cut to the hall. The one out there moves his rifle according to his instructions.

Boss: I have the targets together, twenty feet north and stationary. Final position is locked. Fire when ready.

Cut inside the classroom. The assassin keeps scanning as he walks through the room.

Boss: Both targets seven degrees by thirty-five.

Buffy rises up from behind a low bookcase. She throws a wad of wet toilet paper with the transmitters, and it hits the assassin on his back. He spins around to look what direction he was hit from.

Boss: Adjust! Right ten degrees! Fire!

Cut to the hall. The assassin there starts to shoot through the wall. Cut to the room. The other one turns toward the fire and shoots back. They keep shooting at each other through the wall until they hit each other and die.

Cut to their boss. The targets on his screen disappear, and he assumes that his targets have been eliminated.

Boss: (smiles) I won!

He chuckles and snaps his fingers in triumph.

Cut to the classroom. Buffy looks at the destroyed windows from behind the cover of the bookcase.

Cut to city hall. Cut to the Mayor's office. A police officer escorts Trick in and shoves him to the center of the room. Mayor Wilkins looks up, smiles and offers his hand in greeting.

Mayor Wilkins: Hello! Nice to meet you.

Trick: (ignores the hand) Yeah, hi, it's a pleasure. Where am I?

Mayor Wilkins: (withdraws his hand) In my office. I'm Richard Wilkins. I'm the Mayor of Sunnydale. And you're... (points at him) Mr. Trick. (indicates a chair) Please, sit down.

He walks around to the other side of his desk. Trick takes a seat.

Mayor Wilkins: That's an exciting suit.

Trick: Well, clothes make the man.

Mayor Wilkins: Well, as I understand it, you're not a man... exactly. (Trick nods) Mr. Trick, I've been the Mayor for quite some time. I like things to run smoothly. This is a very important year for me.

Trick: Election year.

Mayor Wilkins: Something like that.

Trick: If this is the part where you tell me that I don't fit in here in your quiet little neighborhood, you can just skip it 'cause, see,
that all got old long before I became a vampire. Do you know what I'm saying?

Mayor Wilkins: Do you have children? (Trick just smiles) Children are the heart of a community. (walks around his desk again) They need to be looked after. Controlled. (sits on his desk) The more rebellious element needs to be dealt with. The children are our future. We need them. *I* need them.

Trick: If this rebellious element means who I think it does, then that problem may be taken care of this very night.

Mayor Wilkins: So I've heard. (chuckles) That's a very enterprising idea you have: SlayerFest. (laughs) I love that name, by the way. You see, *that's* the kind of initiative I need on my team.

Trick: What if I don't wanna be a part of the team?

Mayor Wilkins: Oh, no, that won't be an issue.

Trick just gives him an even stare. The Mayor reaches onto his desk for a thin plastic box and opens the lid.

Mayor Wilkins: See, you and I are gonna get along very well. (offers the box to Trick) Moist towelette?

Cut to The Bronze. The time to announce the Homecoming Queen has arrived. The band's drummer gives a brief drumroll to get everyone's attention as Devon steps up to the mic.

Devon: Hey, guys, the moment we've all been waiting for.

Cut to the crowd. Devon goes on with some minor announcements before naming this year's queen. Willow gives Oz a concerned look.

Willow: They're gonna announce the Queen. Where are they? What's keeping them?

Oz notices Buffy and Cordelia work their way through the crowd behind them. They are still dirty and disheveled from their ordeal.

Oz: I'm gonna go with mud wrestling.

Xander: Oh, God! What did you two do to each other?

Buffy: Long story.

Cordelia: Got hunted.

Buffy: Apparently not that long.

Willow looks at the two of them in disbelief.

Buffy: Tell you one thing, though: you don't wanna mess with Cordelia.

Xander: (laughs and gets a look from Cordelia) No.

Another drumroll gets their attention.

Devon: In this envelope, I hold the name of this year's Homecoming Queen.

He gets a few calls from the crowd. Before opening the envelope he makes another announcement about an after-party.

Cordelia: After all that we've been through tonight, this whole who- gets-to-be-queen capade seems pretty...

Buffy: Damn important.

Cordelia: Oh, yeah.

Devon: And the winner is...

He opens the envelope and checks the name.

Devon: Hey, I believe we have a first for Sunnydale High. We have a tie.

Buffy and Cordelia exchange a look and smile.

Devon: The winners are Holly Charleston and Michelle Blake!

Buffy and Cordelia's smiles fade. Michelle and Holly push between them to get to the stage. Everyone in the crowd applauds as the two queens make their way to the stage. Cordelia and Buffy can't believe it. On the stage Devon holds up the Homecoming tiara, and waves it first over Michelle's head, then Holly's. The crowd continues to applaud. Michelle steps up to the mic.

Michelle: I'm just so honored! (giggles)

Buffy and Cordelia exchange another look, roll their eyes and turn to go.

Michelle: I can't believe it! I mean, that you would pick me... or us... out of every girl in the whole school! It's just... it's so

Cordelia rolls her eyes again as the two of them leave.

Michelle: (starts to weep) I promised myself I'm not gonna cry...