Killed by Death

Written by: Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali
Directed by: Deran Sarafian

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


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

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

The cemetery. The camera closes in on the top of the perimeter wall. A pair of hands hook over the top, and Buffy pulls herself up. She coughs while she pulls her legs over. She jumps down the other side. When she hits the ground she can't keep her balance, and has to use her hands to keep from toppling over. She breathes heavily through her mouth because her nose is stuffed up. Every now and then she sniffles. She pulls a stake out of her jacket. She puts her hand on her forehead and moans as she stands up. Slowly she starts to make her way across the graveyard.

Cut to in front of her. The camera follows her as she walks, still sniffling and rubbing her nose. She senses something and tries to concentrate while she slowly approaches a small mausoleum. She raises her stake and jumps around the corner, swinging it to strike at whatever's there. Xander screams and reflexively jumps back, holding on tightly to his own stake. Cordelia lets out a high-pitched scream behind him. Willow is there, too, and the girls both reflexively hold up crosses at Buffy.

Buffy: Non-vampire. Plus two.

Willow: (sternly as she puts her cross away) Hi.

They all step out into the open.

Xander: Man, Buffy! My whole life just flashed before my eyes! (glances over at Willow) I gotta get me a life!

Buffy: What are you doing here?

Willow: What are *you* doing here?

Buffy: Well, I'm patrolling!

Willow: (concerned) Buffy, you're sick.

Buffy: No, I feel fine. I mean, I'm... the world's spinning a little bit, but I like it, it's kinda like a ride.

Cordelia: Half the school's out with this flu. It's a serious deal, Buffy. We're all concerned about how gross you look.

Buffy: (with a hint of sarcasm) I'm touched. Really. But I have work to do.

Willow: Buffy, come on, one night of rest is not gonna kill you.

Buffy: No, but it might kill somebody else.

Xander: (points at her with his stake) You mean Angel might. (Buffy turns away) Buffy, this is not the time to challenge Angel for the ultimate fighting championship. (gestures with his stake) He's at full strength, you're only half a Slayer.

Buffy: Yeah, but I'm still the Slayer. And as long as I am, Angel's not gonna kill anybody else.

Angelus: (behind her) Aw, c'mon. (she turns to face him) Just one more.

He attacks, and the girls scream. He runs right past Buffy straight for Cordelia and tackles her to the ground. Buffy grabs him by the back of his coat and pulls him off of her. She turns him around, takes him by the coat collar and swings at him with her stake. He blocks her with his arm, grabs hers and makes her drop the stake.

Angelus: Not feeling well, lover?

Buffy looks up at him and punches him in the jaw. He glares back at her and tries to kick her, but she grabs his foot and shoves his leg up, making him fall hard onto his back.

Buffy: That helps.

Angelus scrambles to all fours. She comes at him from behind and tries to kick him, but he kicks out with his leg into her chest, and she staggers back a ways until she regains her balance. He gets up and comes toward her. She takes a couple of swings at him, but he evades them easily. He blocks a third, grabs her arm and takes her by the throat.

Angelus: You know, you being off your game's kinda takin' the fun out of all this.

He punches her in the face, and she stumbles backward again.

Angelus: Nope, still fun!

He punches her in the gut, then grabs her by the neck and shoves her around and into a corner column of the small mausoleum. She is dazed and tries to regain her balance, but doesn't get a chance because Angelus wastes no time punching her in the face and knocking her flat on her back. He gets on top of her and pins her arms down.

Angelus: Uh-oh. This does *not* look good for our heroine.

He starts to bend down to bite her, but just then Willow throws Xander's jacket over Angelus' head. As she backs away, Xander grabs his head under the jacket, punches him and knees him twice in the face. Angelus falls over onto his back. Willow and Cordelia pull out their crosses and hold them out at him as he gets up, and he has to back off.

Xander: Take a walk, overbite.

Buffy gets to her feet. Angelus slowly backs away.

Angelus: We'll have to do this again sometime.

He turns and walks off. Buffy just watches him go.

Xander: Buffy, are you okay?

Buffy: (puts her hand to her forehead) I told you guys to leave, I... (getting dizzy) I... Oh...

She falls to the ground unconscious.

Xander: Buffy!

Willow and Cordelia turn to look.

Willow: Buffy?

Xander kneels next to her and looks at the fallen Slayer.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

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

The Sunnydale Hospital Emergency Room. The camera pans from an empty gurney past the admissions desk and over to the entrance. Xander rushes in with Buffy in his arms. Willow and Cordelia are right behind him.

Xander: We need help!

Willow: Somebody, please, now!

Intern: (approaches them) What happened?

They all speak at once.

Xander: She fell.

Willow: The flu.

Cordelia: She fainted.

A nurse brings over the gurney.

Xander: The flu, fainted and fell. She's sick, make it better!

Intern: (pulls the gurney up) It's gonna be okay. Let's get her up.

Xander lays Buffy out on the gurney. The intern takes out his pocket light and checks Buffy's eyes for a response. The nurse takes notes while he speaks as they start to wheel her into the emergency room. They all follow.

Intern: Patient's unconscious... Pupils are unequal and unresponsive.

Cordelia: What does that mean?

Willow: Is she gonna be okay?

Intern: Please, you gotta give us some room.

Dr. Wilkinson: (arrives) What do we have?

Intern: High-grade fever, possible fractures.

Dr. Wilkinson: Get her into Trauma 1, give her a CBC, Chem 7, type and screen.

Intern: Right.

The Intern and nurse take her through the doors to the emergency room beyond. They all try to follow, but Dr. Wilkinson blocks their way.

Dr. Wilkinson: I'm sorry, you can't go any further.

Xander: Someone should be with her!

Dr. Wilkinson: I'm sorry! You can't go any further.

She backs in and closes the door in their faces. They look through windows for a couple of seconds. Willow reacts first.

Willow: I'll call Giles, tell him what happened. (to Cordelia) You call Buffy's mom, tell her, n-not what happened, just get her here.

The two of them go to find the phones. Xander keeps looking in through the emergency room door, where he can see the doctor and intern still working on Buffy. He looks away as they wheel Buffy into Trauma 1.

Cut to later. Cordelia, Xander and Willow are sitting on a row of chairs in the waiting room with worried looks on their faces. The camera pans over to the door where Giles is also waiting and nervously cleaning his glasses. The camera continues to pan over to the elevator. The door opens and Joyce comes out. She sees them sitting there.

Joyce: Where is she?

They all get up. Giles comes over also.

Giles: She's still in the emergency room.

Joyce: I wanna see her. (starts out of the waiting room)

Cordelia: They won't let us in there.

Joyce stops and looks back at her. Just then Dr. Wilkinson comes to the door.

Dr. Wilkinson: Mrs. Summers?

Joyce: (faces her) Yes?

Dr. Wilkinson: I'm Dr. Wilkinson.

Joyce: Is Buffy okay?

Dr. Wilkinson: We were able to stabilize and...

Joyce: (interrupts insistently) Is she okay?

Dr. Wilkinson: (reassuringly) She's going to be fine.

Joyce: (with relief) Thank you. (puts her hand to her face)

Xander: Good. Good. (rubs his hands) That's good.

Dr. Wilkinson: I wanna keep her here a few days, though. She still has some healing to do.

Giles and Joyce look at her anxiously.

Cut to a hall upstairs near Buffy's assigned hospital room. They are all waiting for her to be brought up. When they see her coming they all approach the bed. She has an IV in her right hand. Her left forearm is wrapped in an elastic bandage.

Joyce: Buffy? (reaches the bed) Hi, sweetheart.

They all accompany her toward her room.

Xander: Hey, Buffy, we're all here.

Buffy: (groggy) Hey. Here we are. It's all of we. Are we taking me home? (tries to get up)

Dr. Wilkinson: (pushes her back) No. Buffy, you need to lie down, honey.

Buffy: (groggy) Yeah? Lie at home. My bed is better than any bed that's... not my bed.

Dr. Wilkinson: (looks at Joyce) She's still a little out of it.

Joyce nods back.

Buffy: (to Xander) Shhh! (points at him) Hospital zone. No singing.

Dr. Wilkinson: She'll feel better after (Buffy looks at her) she's been here a while.

Buffy: No! (tries to get up again) Lemme go. Look, I wanna go.

The orderly pushing the bed, two nurses and Dr. Wilkinson struggle to get her to lie back down. Buffy puts up a fight.

Willow: Buffy, what's wrong?

Buffy: No! No! Let me go!

Cordelia: I think she wants to go.

They manage to get her pushed back down on the bed.

Buffy: No, don't do that! Stop it!

Dr. Wilkinson: Hold her steady!

Buffy: (delirious) Giles, tell them!

Orderly: I got her.

Buffy: The vampires! I need to kill the vampires!

Dr. Wilkinson: This'll help you relax.

She puts a needle against Buffy's inside elbow and injects her with a sedative. Xander throws Giles a concerned look. Cordelia cringes and looks away.

Buffy: Ow! (winces in pain) No!

When the doctor pulls the needle back out she lies back and breathes heavily.

Xander: It's gotta be the fever.

Willow: Yeah, it made her delusional.

Buffy: (to Giles insistently) They're out there!

Giles: (smiling reassuringly) Yes, uh, well, we'll, uh, we'll get those, uh, vampires later. (laughs lightly, looks at Joyce) I hear it's
best t-to play along. (keeps smiling)

The sedative takes effect and Buffy begins to relax. One of the nurses checks her IV. Her mother leans in and strokes her hair.

Joyce: Honey, listen...

Buffy: I wanna go home.

Joyce: It's gonna be okay. I promise.

They start to wheel her away again.

Buffy: Please don't make me stay here...

Joyce: I *promise*.

They all follow as Buffy is taken to her room. They wait outside. The door closes and Xander looks in through the narrow window. After a moment he looks over at Giles.

Xander: That was a new experience. I'm not used to seeing Buffy scared like that.

Joyce: Yeah, she just *hates* hospitals. Ever since she was a little girl.

Willow: What happened?

Joyce: When she was eight her cousin Celia died in a hospital. Buffy was alone with her at the time.

Cordelia: Yuk!

Joyce: Yeah, they were very close.

Willow: Wow, and she was eight?

Joyce: (looking in at Buffy) Well, it looks like she's asleep. I should go call her father. (heads toward the nurse's station)

Giles: (accompanies her) Um, I-I think there's a, a phone...

The camera follows them.

Joyce: Thank you for coming. I-I *really* appreciate the way you look out for her.

Giles: Oh...

Joyce: *All* of you.

Giles: Well, we're, uh, we're very fond of her. (they stop at the nurse's station) The, uh, the telephone. (starts away)

Joyce: I, I... (stops him) I hope I'm not out of line, but... I-I-I wanted to say how sorry I am about, uh, that teacher, Ms. Calendar.
Buffy said you were close.

Giles: (nods slightly) Oh, uh... (looks down) Thank you. (looks up)

Joyce: (exhales) Buffy's been so down since it happened. I mean, she never gets sick.

Giles: (looks down) Well, I'm sure she'll be, uh... (looks up, smiles reassuringly) She'll be fine.

Joyce: I'm sorry, I, I babble when I'm nervous, I just wanted to... Well, if, if you need anything...

Giles: (nods) Thank you. (quietly) Thank you. (walks off)

Joyce turns to the nurse to ask to use the phone.

Cut to outside Buffy's door.

Xander: Do you think she's gonna be okay in here?

Cordelia: (pacing) I don't know, Lysette got her nose done here, and she came in looking for the Gwyneth Paltrow, and it looked more like the Mr. Potatohead.

She steps over to the door and looks into Buffy's room.

Xander: Cordy...

Willow: Buffy's not here for cosmetic surgery.

Cordelia: No, but while she's in here, she might as well get that thing done.

Willow gives Xander a look.

Cordelia: You know, that thing on her face? (faces them) You know that thing.

Willow: (to Xander) Do you think Angel will attack Buffy in here?

Xander: He can come in, it's a public building.

Willow: (worried) That's true.

Cordelia: Am I the only one that's noticed that thing?

Cut to the hospital at night. Cut to Buffy's room. She stirs in her bed. The clock on the nightstand changes to read 2:27am. Cut to her IV slowly dripping in. The LED on the heart monitor next to the IV blinks steadily. The camera pans down from it to Buffy's face. She takes a deep breath as she wakes up. She blinks her eyes several times before looking over at the door. It's standing open, and a young boy is there just silently staring in at her. A few moments later he starts away down the hall. She continues to look out the door, and a man in a black suit and hat walks by.

Cut to a closeup of the man. He glances into Buffy's room as he walks by. She sees his face. It's all disfigured, his nose is long and bent down to a point, his teeth are all long fangs, and his fingers are grossly elongated. He looks back after the boy and continues to follow him out of view. Buffy raises her head in disbelief. She pushes her hair back with her bandaged hand and slowly sits up. She gets out of bed and steadies herself to a stand. She ties her robe closed as she walks out of the room.

Cut to the hall. It's deserted except for the janitor mopping the floor behind her. As she walks she has a flashback to her youth, and the corridor is suddenly brightly lit. Little Buffy comes walking down the bright but deserted hall. The camera closes in on her face. Cut to her view of a cart of surgical instruments. Cut to her again, looking around nervously as she walks. Cut to a shot from behind her as she approaches Celia's room. Sunlight is pouring brightly from the door. She edges up to it and goes in.

Cut to inside the room. Little Buffy comes in and slowly goes over to the curtain pulled around Celia's bed.

Cut to Buffy in her hospital bed. The clock on the nightstand changes to read 2:27am. She stirs and wakes from her dream. Her door is open, but there's no one there. She pushes her hair back with her bandaged hand and slowly sits up. She feels the IV in the back of her right hand and looks at it. She pulls the tape off and the needle out. She covers her face with both hands, draws them back through her hair and starts to get out of bed.

Cut to her walking down the hall, holding her robe closed with her hands. It's deserted except for the janitor mopping the floor behind her. She hears coughing coming from a room and looks in. A woman is tucking in an old man and comforting him.

Woman: You'll be fine. Is that better?

She continues down the hall and looks into the next room. An old woman is sitting on the edge of the bed with her face in her hands. She continues, hears the old woman cough and lets out a little cough of her own. She passes another doorway and walks past the camera. A security guard looks out from the doorway and watches her go.

Cut to another part of the hall near the children's ward. Buffy comes walking toward the door as two orderlies wheel a child covered with a sheet out of the ward.

Orderly: Man, I hate it when you lose the young ones.

They go down the hall past Buffy. She looks at the gurney as they go by. She turns back to the children's ward door and slowly approaches it. She can hear Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Backer arguing inside in hushed tones, so she doesn't go in.

Dr. Wilkinson: I'm just saying, step back on the dosage until we can analyze the results.

Dr. Backer: There isn't time. I should think that would be clear to you by now.

Buffy peeks into the room and sees them arguing.

Dr. Wilkinson: The normal course of treatment...

Dr. Backer: (interrupts) They *aren't* responding to the normal course of treatment. (gestures to the kids) Look, they're getting worse.

Dr. Wilkinson: Raising their temperatures is poten...

Dr. Backer: (interrupts) Dr. Wilkinson! I have the consent of the

Dr. Wilkinson: They're desperate! They don't understand what you're...

Dr. Backer: (interrupts) You know what, if-if you have a problem with my methods, just take it up with the board.

Dr. Wilkinson: I have!

Buffy has heard enough, and turns away to go. There in front of her is the little boy she saw in her dream and a little girl. She stops and they look at each other.

Ryan: He comes at night. The grownups don't see him. He was with Tina. He'll come back for us.

Buffy: Who?

Ryan: Death.

Buffy looks back and forth between the two kids in disbelief.

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

Sunnydale General. Xander is sitting on a chair outside the waiting room across from the nurses' station that is down the hall from Buffy's room. There are two police officers talking to a security guard. Nurses and orderlies are going about their tasks. Angelus comes walking out of the waiting room from the elevator bearing some white flowers and whistling a few bars of "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th symphony. Xander hears him and looks to see who's coming. When he sees Angelus he quickly gets up and faces him down in the hall.

Xander: Visiting hours are over.

Angelus: Well, I'm pretty much family.

Xander: (trying hard to stay cool) Yeah. Why don't you come back during the day? Oh, gee, no, I guess you can't.

Angelus: (threateningly) If I decide to walk into Buffy's room, do you think for one microsecond that you could stop me?

Xander: Maybe not. Maybe that security guard couldn't either. Or those cops... or the orderlies... But I'm kinda curious to find out. You game?

Angelus: (pauses) Buffy's White Knight. You still love her. (leans in close) It must just eat you up that I got there first.

Xander: (fighting his nervousness) You're gonna die. And I'm gonna be there.

Angelus slaps the flowers against Xander's chest.

Angelus: Tell her I stopped by.

He gives Xander one final look and then goes back through the waiting room to the elevator. Xander shudders, covers his mouth and lets out a breath of relief.

Cut to a flashback of Little Buffy and Celia. Celia is on the bedroom floor covered with pillows and writhing around, pretending to be trapped under a pile of snow and ice.

Celia: Help me, help! Avalanche! Help! Help! I'm trapped! Avalanche!
Help! Help!

Little Buffy comes in through the door and stops in a heroic stance with her hands on her hips.

Little Buffy: Power Girl to the rescue!

She kneels down and starts to heave off the pillows as though they're huge, heavy blocks of ice and snow and thuds them aside.

Celia: Help me! Help! Help! Please, help!

Buffy gets the last pillows off of Celia's face, and she sits up.

Celia: You saved me! Thank you, Power Girl!

The two girls embrace.

Little Buffy: You're safe now.

Cut to a flashback of Little Buffy coming into Celia's hospital room. She slowly approaches the curtain around the bed and opens it enough to look in at her cousin. She steps through. Celia is lying there peacefully asleep.

Cut to Buffy in her hospital bed. She wakes with a start.

Dr. Wilkinson: (coming in) Good morning.

Buffy moans, rubs her eyes and sits up.

Buffy: Could've fooled me.

Dr. Wilkinson: How are you feeling? Looks like your fever's gone down.

Buffy: Well, good! Thanks for having me. Let's try and keep in touch. (tries to get out of bed)

Dr. Wilkinson: (pushes her back) Not so fast. (inspects Buffy's bandaged arm) Hmm.

Buffy: Good 'hmm' or bad 'hmm'?

Dr. Wilkinson: Swelling's... gone! (looks up) Does this hurt?

Buffy: Nope.

Dr. Wilkinson: Amazing. (gets the chart)

Buffy: Well, then I should probably go, right? (tries to go again)

Dr. Wilkinson: (stops her again) No. Soon. We have to make sure that fever is gone. That's a strong virus you have. Maybe not as strong as you, but...

Buffy: I-is that the same virus the kids have?

Before Dr. Wilkinson can answer there's a knock on the door.

Giles: May we come in?

Dr. Wilkinson: Please! (they all come in) Maybe you can keep our patient from bolting. (to Buffy, sternly) Rest! Hmm? (leaves)

Xander: (presenting five balloons) Flowers for milady.

Buffy: (looks up at them) I think they call those balloons.

Xander: (looks up) Yeah, stick 'em in water, maybe they'll grow.

Willow: Not to be outdone... (sets school books on the bed)

Buffy: Homework!

Willow: It's my way of saying, 'get well soon'.

Buffy: You know, chocolate says that even better.

Willow: I did all your assignments. All you have to do is sign your name.

Giles munches on a grape.

Buffy: Chocolate means *nothing* to me.

Willow steps back and looks up at Cordelia.

Cordelia: Nobody told me I was supposed to bring a gift. (looks at Giles) I was out of the loop on gifts.

Giles: It's, it's tradition among, um... people. Um... (walks up to the bed) Grapes. (sets down the bag) Well, did you, uh, pass the night well enough?

A nurse comes into the room and walks around the bed.

Buffy: Not really. Something happened I thought you...

The nurse checks Buffy's IV.

Buffy: You know what? Let's take a walk.

Cut to outside the hospital main entrance. The camera pans over to Willow pushing Buffy along in a wheelchair while the others walk alongside.

Buffy: Now, this part I could get used to.

Willow: Do you want me to go real fast? (gets a look from Giles) Not that I would.

Giles: We were discussing, um, stuff.

Buffy: Yes, stuff. Um, you know, a girl died here last night.

Willow: How?

Buffy: Well, the flu.

Xander: Flu doesn't exactly sound monsterrific.

Buffy: I know. But there's this Dr. Backer, and he's been giving them these experimental treatments.

They stop by a bench and Giles sits.

Buffy: I-I'm not sure what he's up to, but he's a little creepy. A-and then there was this kid, Ryan. He said he saw something.

Giles: Saw what?

Buffy: Death.

Cordelia: Death?

Willow: *The* Death? As in, 'it is your time'?

Giles: Buffy, a-a-a frightened child...

Buffy: Yeah, but I thought I saw something. I'm not sure, I was really out of it, but...

Cordelia: But you do know that you saw death.

Willow: Did it have an hourglass?

Xander: Ooo, if he asks you to play chess, don't even do it. The guy's, like, a whiz.

Buffy: Maybe it wasn't death. Maybe it was something else.

Cordelia: So this isn't about you being afraid of hospitals 'cause your friend died and you wanna conjure up a monster that you can fight so you can save everybody and not feel so helpless?

Giles: Cordelia, have you actually ever heard of tact?

Cordelia: Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

Willow: Your mom did tell us about your cousin.

Cordelia sits also.

Buffy: This has nothing to do with that. This little boy Ryan is afraid of something, something real. As long as I'm forced to stay here, I'm gonna find out what.

Xander: So, is this the part where we say, what can we do to help?

Cut to the hospital records room after hours that evening. The place is deserted. Cordelia and Xander quietly come in.

Cordelia: (whispers) You had to ask that, didn't you?

They walk over to a records cabinet.

Xander: (quietly) Pft! It'll be cake. Just gotta figure out what killed this little girl Tina, we'll be out. Five minutes tops. (opens a cabinet door)

Cordelia: (leans against the wall) This is what happens when you're compassionate towards sick people. They take advantage of you.

Xander: (gives Cordelia a look) Uh-huh. Buffy almost died just to put you out.

Cordelia: I didn't wanna be the first one to say it.

He finds nothing and points over to the cabinet to his right.

Xander: You there. (points to his left) Me here.

Cordelia: Right.

He goes on the next one around the corner. She reluctantly goes back to the one on the other side of the door where they came in. She opens the cabinet and looks in. Suddenly a security guard appears next to her, and she jumps and gasps.

Guard: What are you doing here?

She gives him a worried smile and lets out a breath.

Cut to the library. Willow and Giles come walking in.

Willow: So, where do we start?

Giles: Hmm? Oh, I don't know. Maybe look into the history of the hospital, bizarre incidents, that sort of thing.

Willow: I'm sensing a little less than full committal here.

They stop by the counter.

Giles: Oh, I-I suppose so. Cordelia may be (inhales) homerically insensitive, but she may also be right. Death and disease are, are things, possibly the *only* things that, that Buffy cannot fight. It's only natural for her to try to create a-a defeatable opponent. Especially now, after... after Jenny.

Willow: (gives Giles a sad look) That's true. But on the 'we live on the Hellmouth' side, these kids may have seen a monster.

Giles: (starts toward the stacks) What, a monster that grown-ups can't see? Doesn't ring a bell. (pauses) Unless...

Willow: (sits on the table) Unless?

Giles: Well, sometimes small children *do* see something we adults don't: us. Our true selves, our, our... our hidden faces.

Willow: So the kids might be afraid of a regular person? (realizes) Like the weird doctor!

Giles: Stanley Backer was his name, no?

Willow: Let's look him up. (goes to get her laptop)

Cut back to the hospital records room. Cordelia has the guard wrapped around her finger. She smiles sweetly at him and pretends to be interested as he leans against the wall and talks.

Guard: You know, most people think that security guards are just guys that failed the police exam. But that's not me. This is my career.

Cordelia: Stereotypes are so unfair.

Guard: I did take the fireman's exam, though. I didn't do so good.

Cordelia: Oh, well, you know, I think that security guards (plays with his badge) are *way* sexier than firemen. They're all sooty.

Guard: Well, this is where all the action is anyhow. I'm all the time restraining people.

Cut to Xander behind the other storage cabinets. He's found the file he wants and is waiting and listening for an opportunity to get out.

Cordelia: Mm, how thrilling. (cut to her) Do you ever get scared?

Guard: 'Fear is for the weak.' That's my motto. Either that, or 'Live in the now.' I haven't decided yet.

Cordelia: I bet you see a lot of tragedy. You know, like that little girl?

Guard: Oh, one of Dr. Backer's patients. Dr. Backer's a great man. He understands...

Cut to Xander. He cringes at what he's hearing and thuds lightly back into the cabinet.

Guard: ...the real truth about children.

Cordelia: (cut to her) What's that?

Guard: Sometimes they die.

Cordelia closes her eyes. Xander makes another bumping noise, this time loud enough that the security guard hears it.

Guard: What was that? (draws his baton)

Cordelia: Uh, you know, I didn't hear anything. (tries to get his attention) You know, you have the most... perfect nose I've ever seen.

He turns to face her. She giggles and reaches up her finger to run it over his forehead and down the length of his nose. Behind the guard Xander steps over to the door, quietly opens it and goes out.

Cordelia: You must work out.

Guard: (gives her a little growl) Yeah.

Cordelia: (smiles and nods her head) Mm-hm.

Cut to the hall outside the records room. Xander waits around the corner for Cordelia. She walks around it and lets out a surprised gasp when she runs into him there.

Xander: Could you make just a little more with the touchy-gropey?

Cordelia: Jealous?

Xander: Of Rogaine boy? (chuckles) I don't think so. (hands her the file) Here, take this to Giles, okay?

Cordelia: What about you?

Xander: I'm gonna stay here.

Cordelia: Oh, right. Your obsession with protecting Buffy. Have I told you how attractive that's not?

Xander: Cordelia, someone's gotta watch her back.

Cordelia: Yeah, well, I've seen you watch her back.

Xander: What is that supposed to mean?

Cordelia: Well, I was using the phrase 'watch her back' as a euphemism for 'looking at her butt.' You know, sort of a pun.

Xander: Oh! Right. (gets the insult) Hey!

Cordelia: Well, you do.

Xander: Jealous?

Cordelia: Fine. Watch *my* back.

She walks past him and down the hall. He turns around and watches her go. He tilts his head to check out her butt, but quickly straightens back up again.

Cut to the hall outside the children's ward. Buffy comes along, stops by the door and looks into the room. Ryan is sitting at a table drawing a picture with crayons. Buffy walks over to him.

Buffy: Hey. Remember me?

Ryan: You shouldn't be here.

Buffy: Why not?

Ryan: Contagious.

Buffy: Nah. I already got what you got.

She sits down by the table. Ryan goes back to drawing his picture.

Buffy: Oh, what, you think because I'm a grown-up? Believe me, I'm not that grown up.

She takes a look at his picture. It's of the monster that he's seen coming after the other kids. Buffy briefly flashes back to when she saw it walk past her door in her dream.

Ryan: He'll come again tonight.

Buffy: Ryan, listen to me. (he looks at her) I'm not gonna let this thing hurt you. Any of you. Grown-ups don't believe you, right? Well, I do. We both know that there are real monsters. But there's also real heroes that fight monsters. And that's me.

He looks away and goes back to drawing his picture.

Ryan: Can't fight death.

Cut to the library. Willow is sitting at the table surfing for information on her laptop. Giles is standing behind her looking over her
shoulder. Dr. Backer's medical database file comes up on the screen.

Giles: Our Dr. Backer has something of a rap sheet.

Willow: Reprimands for controversial experiments, risky procedures, a malpractice suit. Looks like it was dropped suddenly.

Giles: (takes off his glasses) Factor in Buffy's observation that he gives her the, um, uh, wiggins... (turns away and thinks)

Willow: This may be our death guy?

Giles: (turns back to her) I just wish I knew what he was doing to these children.

She looks up at him.

Cut to a deserted hall in the hospital. Cut to Dr. Backer's office. He's deep into his research and mutters under his breath. He looks up from his printouts and steps over to his refrigerator. He opens it, pulls a specimen from a rack, checks the label and marks it. He puts the test- tube back, closes the fridge and reaches for a reference volume on his desk. He sits back down as he quickly leafs through it and finds the page he wants. He reads it back to himself and jots some notes onto his papers.

Dr. Backer: Yes. Yes.

Cut to the hall. Xander is sitting on a chair, waiting out his self- imposed sentry duty. He nearly nods off, but jerks his head back up. Cut to the table between his chair and the next one. A bag of Krispy Kreme doughnuts plops down onto it. The camera pulls back, and Cordelia walks in front of it and sets down a tray with two cups of coffee. Xander looks up at her as she sits down. She looks back at him, then turns her attention to a copy of Cosmopolitan that she brought with her. Xander
reaches for one of the coffees. He gives Cordelia another look and takes the bag of doughnuts also. He takes a long sip of coffee and then opens the bag.

Cut to the hall outside Dr. Backer's office. He walks out, and the camera precedes him as he makes his way to the children's ward. He goes through one of a pair of doors. The camera stops, pans over to Buffy waiting behind the other door and closes in on her suspicious face.

Cut to the children's ward. Dr. Backer comes in and looks around at the various beds as he makes his way over to a particularly sick child. The boy is asleep. He checks his watch and looks at the child for a moment. The boy lets out a labored breath. Dr. Backer raises a syringe, taps it twice to get the air bubbles to the top and depresses the plunger until the fluid starts to squirt out. He takes the IV line and pushes the needle into the drug administration stopper. Behind him he hears a
muffled laugh and turns to look, but sees nothing. He looks back at the boy again. Suddenly he gets hit in the back and spun around by something unseen.

Dr. Backer: Uhh!

He is hit again in the chest and yells out in pain. Ryan sees what's happening from his bed and cowers in fear. Dr. Backer is choking. Four slashes appear on his lab coat that go deep and draw blood. He grabs his wound, but is bent backward onto the bed, still being choked. On the wall a shadow can be seen swinging its arm for another slice at the doctor. He screams, and blood sprays onto the wall. Ryan cowers further under his covers.

Cut to the hall. Buffy slowly approaches the door to the ward and looks in, but she quickly has to step back and out of the way as Dr. Backer comes flying out and onto the floor. He groans, and she bends down to help him, but something pushes her away and throws her back into the wall. She hits it hard and slides down to the floor unconscious. Dr. Backer's arms are lifted by the unseen being, and his body is pulled around and dragged down the hall. Further down the hall he is dragged around a corner and out of sight.

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

Sunnydale General. Cut to Buffy's room. She's in her bed looking at the picture Ryan drew. The grapes Giles gave her are on a plate on the table. Giles appears in the doorway and knocks. Buffy looks up as he, Xander and the girls come into the room. Willow closes the door behind her.

Giles: Uh, well, it looks as if you, uh, were on to something.

Buffy: I know.

Giles: (walks around the bed) The, uh, the, the girl Tina, um, it's apparent that she, she died of the fever, (sits) simple enough, but, but her records show her improving and then suddenly deteriorating w-w-w- without any apparent cause.

Willow: So we checked Dr. Backer out. This guy was *not* a solid citizen.

Buffy: It wasn't Backer. He was clean.

Cordelia: What do you mean 'clean'?

Xander: What do you mean 'was'?

Buffy: He's dead. This thing killed him, and not with kindness. (hands Giles the picture)

Willow: You saw it?

Giles looks at the rough child's drawing.

Buffy: No, it's invisible. I saw Backer nearly shredded and the thing knocked me down. But it's real. Which means I get to fight it.

Giles: Um, (takes off his glasses) this is your work? (indicates the picture)

Buffy: No, one of the kids.

Giles: Oh. Um... Well, it would help if-if we knew what it was. (exhales) I-it's invisible to you, but the, the children can see it.

Cordelia: But you said you did see something the other night.

Buffy: Uh, yeah, but I was pretty delirious. I mean, it doesn't make any sense. Why would I see it then and not last night?

The door to the room opens, and Buffy's mother comes in.

Joyce: Good morning.

Giles puts his glasses back on. She sets down the bag she brought with her.

Joyce: Ooo, looks like I interrupted a secret meeting.

They all let out forced laughter.

Cordelia: (smiling widely) You sure didn't!

Joyce: Honey, I, I just talked to the doctor, and she said I can take you home.

Buffy: (considers a moment) No. I should stay here.

Joyce: (confused) But, honey, I thought you'd be raring...

Buffy: I think my symptoms are flaring up.

Willow: She doesn't look well.

Buffy: 'Cause I'm not well. Uh, I feel all oogy.

Xander: Increased ooginess. That's a danger signal.

Joyce: Are you sure?

Buffy: Oh, yeah, but just for a day... or s-so.

Joyce: Okay, well, I'll, uh, I'll talk to the doctor.

She goes back out of the room. Cordelia closes the door behind her.

Xander: So what's the drill?

Buffy: Giles, see if you can get a mug shot on that guy. I need to know what I'm fighting.

Giles: Right. Yes. (walks around the bed)

Buffy: I'll check Backer's office. See if I can find any post-its marked 'why a monster might want me dead.'

Xander: Sounds like a plan.

Buffy: Course, if I find anything, I won't know what it means, so, Will...

Willow: Oh, yeah, I'm good at medical stuff since Xander and I used to play doctor all the time.

Xander: (chuckles) No, she's being literal. (gets a look from Cordelia) She used to have all these medical volumes, uh, and diagnosed me with stuff. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was playing it wrong.

Willow: (to Xander) Wrong? Why? (to Buffy) How did *you* play doctor?

Buffy: (evasively) I never have.

Cordelia raises her eyebrows at Buffy and clears her throat. Giles picks up on the hint.

Giles: Um, fascinating though this is...

Buffy: Yeah, right. Go!

Giles: W-w-we'll call you if we... know something.

He starts out with Cordelia and Xander close behind.

Buffy: Know something soon.

Cut to the hall. The three of them start toward the waiting room.

Giles: I'd best head for the library. Research beckons.

Xander: I'm on sentry duty. Angel won't show till sundown if at all, but maybe I'll get lucky with this death guy.

Cordelia: He's invisible.

Xander: Yeah, but if I see a floating pipe and a smoking jacket, he's dropped.

Giles: Well, you two, stay alert.

They stop outside the waiting room.

Xander: Finding out who this thing is takes priority. Cordy, you should go with Giles.

Giles: Why do I have to have... (looks at Cordelia) Uh, good thinking. I-I-I could do with a research assistant.

Cordelia: (to Giles) Let's go, tact-guy.

Giles: Yes. (goes to the elevator)

Cordelia: (to Xander) Be careful. (follows Giles)

Xander sits down on the chair across from the nurse's station.

Cut to the children's ward that evening. Ryan opens the door and looks out into the hall. The only person there is the security guard checking things. Ryan steps back into the ward and closes the door.

Cut to Dr. Backer's office. The camera closes in on his nameplate on the door. Cut inside. Buffy opens the door and pokes in her head. Seeing that it's empty she opens the door further to let Willow in, checks the hall and closes it behind her. She starts to looks around and checks out the reference volumes on the shelves by the fridge. Willow looks over the papers on his desk.

Willow: It's weird going through his things. (Buffy opens the fridge) Look, he didn't finish his coffee. Guess he won't. (looks at the printouts)

Buffy: (closes the fridge) Yep, another person I wasn't in time to save. (comes to the desk) It's too bad Angel didn't put me in the hospital sooner. There's something I never thought I'd hear myself say.

The two of them keep looking.

Willow: Hey, wait, I think I have something.

Buffy: Hmm. Sherlock.

Willow: Okay, this makes sense. Dr. Backer was trying to inoculate the kids with a controlled dosage of the same virus they already had. (gets a confused look from Buffy) Oh, raising their temperatures to burn the fever out of them.

Buffy: Would that work?

Willow: According to this it was starting to. So he really was trying to help the kids.

Buffy: Till that thing stopped him.

Cut to the library. Giles and Cordelia are going through a stack of books on the table. He has Ryan's drawing for comparison. She turns a page and finds a picture of a demon. He takes a sip of his tea.

Cordelia: Eww, what does this do?

Giles: (puts his mug down) What?

Cordelia: What does this do? (pushes the book toward him)

Giles: Uh, it, uh, extracts vital organs to replenish its own mutating cells.

Cordelia: Wow! (leans over to look at his book) What does this one do? (points to a drawing)

Giles: (looks up at her) Um, i-it elongates its mouth to, uh, engulf its victim's head with its incisors.

Cordelia: Ouch. Wait, what does this one do? (points to another)

Giles: (frustrated) It asks endless questions of those with whom it's supposed to be working so that nothing is getting done.

Cordelia: Boy, there's a demon for everything.

He slaps down Ryan's picture and gets up from the table in disgust. He takes off his glasses and rubs his forehead.

Giles: I don't even know if we're on the right track. Since this, uh... miscreant has only been seen by select individuals, there's a chance we won't ever... find a picture of it.

Cordelia: Well, it's not in here.

She closes her book, and on the cover is a drawing of the monster they are seeking. Giles looks down at it and puts his glasses back on. She notices his gaze and looks at the book's cover also.

Cut to Giles' office. Cordelia is on the phone with Buffy.

Cordelia: It's called Der Kindestod.

Buffy: (cut to her on her bed) Who is this?

Cordelia: (cut to her) It's me. I've got your monster!

Buffy: (cut to her) Where's Giles?

Cordelia: (cut to her) Looking up stuff.

Buffy: (cut to her) Well, can you put him on?

Cordelia: (cut to her) Hey! (closes the book and heads for the desk) I found your guy, (cut to Buffy) okay? Just listen.

Buffy: Right.

Cordelia: (cut to her at Giles' desk) The name means 'child death'. (cut to Buffy listening intently) This book says that he feeds off of children by sucking the life out of them. (cut to her) Eew! But anyway, afterwards, it looks like they died because they were sick.

Buffy: (cut to her) So it did kill Tina.

Cordelia: Yeah, that's my take. (cut to her) 'Cause it would be looking at the children's ward as basically an all-you-can-eat kind of thing, y'know.

Buffy: (cut to her) Backer was curing the kids and taking away the (cut to Cordelia, nodding) Kindestod's food.

Cordelia: Hence, the slice-age.

Giles: (comes into his office) I found a picture of how it kills. Let me talk to her.

Cordelia: (takes the book and looks) Oh! Eww!

Buffy: (cut to her) What?

Cordelia: (cut to her) Oh! (cut to Willow, looking concerned) Uh, you should see this thing! The way it does its thing, (cut to her) I mean, eww! (hands the phone to Giles and gets up) Why do I let you guys drag me into this stuff? (leaves)

Giles: (into the phone) Uh, uh, Buffy? (cut to Buffy) Are you, are you still there?

Buffy: Hanging on every (cut to Giles) eww.

Giles: (sits) Uh, the, um, the Kindestod gorges by sitting atop his prey, (cut to Buffy listening closely) pinning it down, uh, helplessly. Then he slowly draws out the life. I-it must be, uh, h-horrifying for the victim.

Buffy just stares off into space.

Giles: Buffy? Hello?

Cut to a flashback of Little Buffy pulling aside the curtain around Celia's bed.

Little Buffy: Celia?

Celia wakes and starts to scream. She holds her hands in front of her as if trying to push something away.

Little Buffy: What's wrong?

Celia keeps screaming at the top of her lungs in complete terror.

Little Buffy: I don't know what to do, Celia!

Celia continues screaming and swats with her hands at something unseen.

Little Buffy: (toward the door) Help! Help! Help! Somebody help!

Celia: Get it off of me! (screams)

Little Buffy: Come on, Celia!

Celia: Get it off of me! (screams)

Cut to the bright and empty hall outside Celia's room. No one is coming in spite of all the screaming.

Cut back to Buffy holding the phone to her ear and staring off into space.

Giles: (cut to him) Buffy, w-what is it?

Willow: (cut to her) (takes the phone) Thanks. (hangs up)

Buffy: It killed Celia.

Willow: Your cousin?

Buffy: (looks at Willow) We have to get this thing, Willow, before it gets any more kids.

Willow: You will. We will.

Buffy: But how? I-I can't even see it.

Willow: You saw it once.

Buffy: Did I? Uh, maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. I mean, I was crazed with that fever. Who knows...

Cut inside Dr. Backer's refrigerator. The door opens and the light goes on.

Willow: Buffy, think about this.

Buffy: I have. Lots of thoughts. (crouches down)

Willow: It's crazy.

Buffy: (searches the test-tubes) The fever. That's how you see the Kindestod. That's why Celia could see it. That's why Ryan still can. (finds the right one) It's the only way.

Cut to the office. Buffy stands back up and faces Willow.

Willow: But how are you gonna fight this thing with 107 degree temperature? (42d C)

Buffy: I guess we'll find out.

She uncaps the tube and raises it to drink the serum. Willow quickly stops her.

Willow: Buffy!

Buffy: Willow, I'm going to do this.

Willow: Buffy, that's 100% pure. It'll kill you in an instant.

Buffy: Oh. They really should put that on the label.

Willow reaches into the refrigerator for a bottle of drinking water and grabs a beaker that's sitting on top. Buffy closes the fridge while Willow sets the beaker on the desk and opens the bottle.

Willow: It needs to be diluted.

She pours some water into the beaker and closes the bottle.

Buffy: Okay, but this better work fast.

Willow takes the test-tube and draws some of the serum into a dropper. She holds it over the beaker and lets a single drop fall in.

Buffy: Faster than that.

Willow looks up at her, worried, but gives in and puts another drop into the water. Buffy takes the beaker, holds it up and looks at it, then over at Willow.

Buffy: Here's to my health.

After another moment's hesitation she quaffs the water and serum.

Cut to the hall outside the children's ward. Willow and Buffy come around the corner and head toward the ward. Buffy is already feeling the effects of the virus and walks unsteadily, breathing heavily. Willow supports her.

Buffy: Oh, God. I'm not sure this was such a good idea.

Willow: Hang in there. You'll be okay.

Buffy: Okay. I'm okay.

They reach the door to the ward, and Buffy looks in through the door's window. The beds are all empty.

Buffy: The kids. They're gone.

She and Willow exchange a surprised and very worried look.

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

The basement tunnels under the Hospital. Ryan leads the kids from the children's ward as they try to run away from the Kindestod.

Ryan: Come on!

Girl: Hold me!

Ryan: Keep quiet!

Cut to the hall outside the children's ward.

Willow: What could have happened?

Buffy: I don't know. (faces her) Maybe we're too late. Maybe they moved. (feels her forehead) Maybe I don't... I'm burning up!

She looks back into the room and starts to see something.

Buffy: Will?

Willow: What?

Buffy: I think it's in there.

A form begins to take shape as though unfolding. It steps over to a bed, and suddenly the Kindestod is clearly visible to Buffy. It looks into a bed and finds it empty. She stares at it through the door's window. The monster looks over at another bed and notices her staring. It straightens itself up and looks at her. Buffy's eyes go wide with fear. It just giggles maniacally and takes off its hat to her. It keeps an eye on her for another moment as it turns toward the other door to the ward, then puts the hat back on and walks to the other door. The Kindestod opens it and goes through, and as it closes the camera cuts to a close-
up shot of the sign on the door: basement access.

Cut to the hall. Buffy frantically tries to follow, but the door to the ward is locked, and the virus has weakened her enough so that she can't break it open.

Buffy: It's going after them! (turns to Willow) We gotta get 'em.

Dr. Wilkinson: (coming around the corner) Buffy?

Buffy: (to Willow) Okay, we'll get 'em in a second.

Dr. Wilkinson: (quickly approaches) What's wrong?

Willow: I, uh, she's not feeling well again.

Dr. Wilkinson: You should be in bed. (puts her arm around Buffy)

Buffy: No, no, it's not that bad.

Dr. Wilkinson: No, you're coming with me. (starts to pull her away)

Buffy: No!

She pushes the doctor away and starts to run down the hall. Willow quickly follows.

Willow: (back to the doctor) She's sorry!

Dr. Wilkinson: (grabs a phone and dials) Security, come to the children's ward. We have a situation.

She hangs up and runs after the girls.

Cut to an intersection in the halls. Buffy and Willow come through a pair of doors. The camera pans around down the adjacent hallway where the security guards are coming. They head the girls off at the intersection.

Guard: Okay, come on now. (holds his baton threateningly) We can do this the easy way.

The two girls give each other worried looks, then Willow has an idea and starts to swat at herself with her hands.

Willow: (frantically) Frogs! Frogs! Get 'em off of me!

The two guards make for her, assuming she's the reason they were called.

Willow: Oh, my God, frogs! Get them off of me! Please, help!

Buffy edges around the corner and quickly goes down the other hall.

Willow: Get 'em off! FROGS! Frogs! Oh, my God, horrible frogs!

Dr. Wilkinson comes through the doors.

Willow: (squeals) Get 'em...

Dr. Wilkinson: Not her, the other one!

Willow: (looks up, calm again) No more frogs!

Guard: C'mon!

They start to run after Buffy.

Cut to Xander sitting at his post in the hall across from the nurse's station. Buffy comes into view and bumps into the wall, unsteady from her fever. Xander looks up, sees her, jumps to his feet and runs to her.

Xander: Buffy, are you okay? Did Angel...

Buffy: (shakes her head) No. We need to get to the basement.

Cut to the basement tunnels. The Kindestod is looking around for signs of the children's passing.

Cut to the children weaving their way through the hospital's boiler room.

Ryan: Shh!

They find a secluded corner and all crouch and huddle together.

Girl: I'm cold.

Ryan: Here.

He takes off his robe and drapes it around the girl.

Ryan: Here. We're gonna be safe in here.

Boy: Look!

The Kindestod appears behind Ryan. The other kids all scream.

Ryan: What?

It grabs Ryan from behind and lifts him up and away.

Ryan: Whoa!

Cut to the stairs to the basement tunnels. Xander supports Buffy as they hurry down.

Xander: You don't know how to kill this thing.

Buffy: I thought I might try violence.

Xander: Solid call.

They head down the tunnel.

Cut to the Kindestod holding Ryan up to look at him. He and the other kids are all screaming. Cut to Xander and Buffy running down the tunnel. Cut to the Kindestod, still holding up Ryan. It throws him aside, and he hits the concrete floor hard.

Ryan: Oof!

The kids keep screaming. Ryan tries to get up. The monster growls as it slowly comes for him. Ryan turns around and looks up at the Kindestod. He can't scream for fear. It kneels and leans over him, and now Ryan starts to scream again. It takes his head to hold him steady. The boy watches as the monster's eyes bug out and split open. They extend from their sockets down toward his forehead. The monster drools heavily and licks its lips. Its eyes make contact with Ryan's forehead. He screams
as he feels his energy being drained. Suddenly the Kindestod gets hit in the head with a large section of pipe, and its eyes snap back into their sockets. Buffy stands over it with the pipe held ready.

Buffy: You make me sick.

The Kindestod stands up and faces her. She swings the pipe at it again, but the monster blocks it and knocks it from her grip. Although Xander can't see it, he sees that Buffy is fighting something and takes the opportunity to go to Ryan and lift him up from the floor.

Xander: Up.

He carries the boy over to the other kids. Buffy is not in top form as she fights the Kindestod, and it gains the upper hand and punches her twice in the face, then throws her against a pipe. Xander finds the other children and starts to herd them away.

Xander: C'mon, c'mon, c'mon! Hurry!

He follows them, throwing a few glances over at Buffy along the way. She swings twice at the monster, but it just leans back and avoids the blows. It grabs her again and throws her into another pipe. She recovers quickly, spots a raised grating and hops up onto it. She takes a good look at the Kindestod, and then jumps from the grate and lands a hard kick on its face. It stumbles back and to its knee as she lands on her feet. She kicks it three more times while it tries to get back up. Xander comes back after leading the kids away and watches her fight. He sees her kick, but to him it looks like she's fighting thin air. He hears her get hit, and she spins around and lets out a grunt of pain. The monster takes her by the shoulder and backhand punches her in the face again. He takes her by the throat, lifts her up and throws her into some sections of large duct tube. Buffy is dazed and just lies there on the pipe. The Kindestod reaches down for its hat, brushes it off and puts it back on. Buffy recovers from her daze, but not in time to get away as it kneels and reaches for her head. It holds her steady with both hands. Its eyes bug out and split open again. She reaches up for its head with both hands and gives it a good quick twist. The monster's neck snaps loudly, and it falls over dead next to her. Buffy stands up and looks down at the Kindestod's prone body. Xander finally dares to come closer.

Xander: (concerned) Are you okay?

Buffy: Actually, (looks up at him) I think I'm starting to feel better. Let's...

She takes a step, but loses her balance and falls into Xander.

Buffy: Oh!

He puts his arm around her to support her, and they go.

Xander: He's dead right? I mean, I heard something snap.

Buffy: That would be his neck.

Xander: You're not gonna yak on me, are ya?

Cut to the Summers house. Cut to Buffy's room. Joyce walks in with a sandwich on a plate and a glass of juice.

Joyce: Here you go, honey. Peanut butter and jelly, without the crust, just the way you like it.

She sits on the bed next to Buffy and puts the glass on the nightstand. Buffy is lying back comfortably.

Buffy: And the juice?

Joyce: (hands Buffy the plate) Two parts orange, one part grapefruit.

Buffy: That's my drink.

Joyce: I measured it exactly. (gets up to go)

The camera pulls away from Buffy to show Xander lounging on the bed next to her, munching away on cheesy chips and watching TV.

Buffy: (looks at the sandwich) Oh, mom?

Joyce: Mm-hm?

Buffy: I wanted crunchy peanut butter.

Joyce: Oh, sorry. (comes back)

The camera pulls back even further to show Willow on the floor next to the bed surrounded with pillows.

Buffy: A-and I said extra jelly. (hands up the plate)

Joyce: (smiles) Anything to help my daughter get well. (starts to go again)

Willow: Oh, and while you're up, could I get a refill? (holds out her glass) It's just I'm so comfortable.

Joyce: (steps over) Of course. (takes the glass)

Willow: Thanks.

Xander: Oh, oh, oh, (holds up an empty bag) and another bag of cheesy chips. (tosses the bag away)

Joyce: (raises her eyebrows at him) Uh, you ate the last one.

Xander: No, there's another bag hidden behind the raisins.

Joyce: (sighs) I'm on it. (leaves)

Xander: (to Buffy) Your mom's tryin' to Bogart the cheesy chips. What's that all about?

Joyce comes back into the room holding an envelope.

Joyce: Oh, Buffy, here. Um, this came in the mail. (hands it to Buffy)

Buffy: (reads the return address and smiles) It's from Ryan. (opens it)

Joyce: The boy from the hospital?

Buffy takes out the paper inside and unfolds it. Joyce looks down at it.

Joyce: (smiles) Oh, he drew you a picture.

Cut to a shot of the picture. It's of Buffy standing over the Kindestod with her foot up on its chest. The monster's neck is split open and blood is gushing out.

Joyce: How... nice.

Unnamed Characters:

Willie Garson as Security guard