-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
Buffy washes dishes and Giles does something with a dish that doesn't appear to be washing or drying... well, maybe drying. Apparently, the Summers sisters just finished a motherless dinner with Giles. The girls speak to each other in somber tones. Giles asks how they are holding up. Buffy admits that some minutes are harder than others, but they are getting by. Giles thinks it is a good idea to keep busy and try to immerse themselves in everyday activities. In fact, Giles thinks it's a good time to resume Buffy's training regime. Buffy is hesitant. She feels that slaying is making her hard - hard for her to love and be loved. Giles tries to assure her that it is completely natural for someone to feel numb under the circumstances (sure people have lost parents and boyfriends and in some cases both at the same time, but there's nothing natural about having key for a sister that's being hunted by a hell god with fashion issues). Buffy disagrees, and says she felt emotionally shut down before her mom died, that's why Riley left, and to top that off she's been horrible to Dawn. Then Buffy begins to wonder if maybe she was too stand-offish with her mother. Maybe her mother didn't know how much Buffy loved her. Giles is sure that Joyce knew, but Buffy isn't. Buffy thinks she can't even say the words, then she gives it a try by telling Giles that she loves him. Giles begins to understand that Buffy won't feel comfortable with her role as a slayer until she has assurance that it's not ruining her ability to love. Giles suggests Buffy go on a quest to a sacred place in the desert, where slayers can go to get answers for questions pertaining only to slayers. It's like customer service for slaying, except it's in the desert, it takes two days, and there's undoubtedly a ritual involved.
Buffy doesn't want to leave Dawn with Glory lurking about. Dawn tells Buffy that she'll be fine; she thinks Buffy should do it if Buffy needs to learn, and that she'll hang with the gang. With that ringing endorsement, Buffy decides that she will go on the quest. In the meantime, she looks Dawn in the eyes and unflinchingly expresses love for Dawn. Dawn responds lovingly until Buffy repeats her, "I love you" and adds a really. The second "I love you" makes Dawn feel weird, mushy even, but Buffy tells her that weird love is better than no love. Dawn agrees.
Over at Warren's (that creepy guy who made April, his robot girlfriend in I Was Made To Love You) house, Spike inspects his order. You got it folks! Spike has ordered up a Buffybot to play with and yes, she looks just like Buffy except that she smiles a lot, likes to state the obvious, and really, really digs Spike. Warren assures Spike that the bot is state of the art, he even programmed in all kinds of stuff about Buffy's family, friends and her powers (I guess Spike gave him a biography). Warren laughs at Spike for having him program Buffybot to slay vampires (he doesn't know Buffy's the slayer yet). At first glance, Spike isn't sure the Buffybot is up to par - he's afraid she may be a touch too "plasticine". When she runs over to him and plants a big juicy one on his lips Spike tells Warren that she'll do.
Meanwhile at Glory's suite, Glory discusses with one of her minions, Jinx (the one Ben stabbed in Forever) her loss of control over Ben. Jinx is too much of kiss-up to be worried about the man who stabbed him; instead he thinks that Glory should be delighted with their new clue: the key is an "innocent" i.e. a human. This news should narrow down their search significantly. Glory isn't much more delighted than usual. In fact, she's frustrated. She knows the key is somehow connected to the slayer. She feels like she should have had her key by now, and she's upset that she's wasted all this time playing games with a mere slayer. Glory commands Jinx and company to follow Buffy and her friends around, find out who is new to that circle, and bring her the one most likely to be the key. Finally, she tells them, if they love her then they will get the key for her. To that statement, they scurry like cockroaches when you turn a light on.
Later that day, Buffy and Giles take the little red beamer out to the desert. Giles retrieves some supplies from the trunk - a book, a bunch of twigs, and a gourd. Buffy wonders why he didn't throw some "useful" supplies in that mix such as, food and water. Giles ignores her and takes her out to place where he begins the ritual of transferring his guardianship of her over to a guide. Buffy notices the ritual resembles the hokey pokey and facetiously remarks about it.
Back at Spike's crypt, Spike and Buffybot role-play. Buffybot pretends to be the mean nasty slayer and tries to slay Spike. Spike gets to play the deliciously evil and deliriously sexy vampire. The two fight and Spike eventually gets Buffybot in his arms and is ready to feed. He knows that she let him win, and asks if she gave it her all. Buffybot confesses that she's no match for his wily charms. She's helpless to her sinister attraction to him. In fact, she wants him to bite her, devour her, until there's no more.
In the desert, Buffy greets her guide, a mountain lion, by saying, "Hello kitty." The mountain lion walks past her and she follows for what seems like miles and miles. Eventually they come to a rock. Buffy sits down and realizes the area is familiar. She says, "I know this place." (Tara led her there during her Restless dream).
Elsewhere in Sunnydale, Tara casts a "Glory" warning spell at Xander and Anya's apartment, since Dawn will be spending the night. Xander says he and Anya will do a quick a patrol. As Anya whines about not wanting to patrol, Dawn swipes some earrings from a table (the little klepto). Outside one of the Glory's cockroaches is watching.
Another of Glory's cockroaches follows Willow as she walks home from class.
Buffybot and Spike make with the bed rumbles until Spike is worn out. As Spike drifts off to sleep, Buffybot gets ready to slay. She puts on her clothes, grabs her stake and tells vampires to beware, even though the only vamp present is asleep and is in no danger of harm from the pretty little slayerbot. Buffybot goes out into the cemetery.
Guess who else is in the cemetery? Xander and Anya are also out patrolling. It's only a matter of seconds before the two cross paths with the slayerbot. Buffybot recognizes them and asks Anya, "how's your money?" Anya is grateful for the considerate gesture, since no one seems to care about her money and that's all Anya cares about. Buffybot tells Xander that he's her friend and a carpenter. Oddly enough, neither pick-up on the fact that they are talking to robot (though everyone knew right away that April was robot). Spike comes running out to try to keep the couple from figuring out his dirty little sexbot secret. Once Spike's on the scene Buffybot can't help but be enamored. Immediately she tries to take Spike's hand (Spike pretends Buffybot is hurting him) and she keeps making mooneyes at him. Xander spots the odd behavior right away, but doesn't have time to ask what's the what as three vampies round the corner, looking to party. Buffybot takes one, Spike takes another, which leaves one for the couple to play with. Each dust their respective vamps making Buffybot's behavior less suspicious. So, Xander and Anya heed Buffybot's advice when she tells them that she and Spike can handle patrolling the rest of night alone.
Once Xander and Anya are gone, Buffybot turns to Spike and tells him that her skin feels all hot and she doesn't feel as satisfied with the slaying as she thought she would. Spike asks if she's all worked up and maybe needs to work out some of her energy. Buffybot is always down for a little Spike action.
A few steps outside the cemetery, Xander realizes that something must be up with Buffy because she didn't ask about Dawn. Xander tells Anya they have to go back and confront her, but instead they are confronted with the sight of Buffybot straddling Spike in a playful, but unmistakably sex-related series of embraces otherwise known as foreplay and in some circles known as duringplay. Needless to say, Xander is totally grossed out.
Xander goes back to the apartment and tells them that Buffy's lost it. They decide that grief has finally gotten to her and Buffy's totally flipped her wig. Xander decides to pay Spike a visit. Glory's minions see and hear Xander's announcement and decide they've gathered enough evidence and they regroup.
Spike hears Xander coming and tells Buffybot to hide in his hidden underground lair. Xander bursts in with his macho face on and tells Spike that he's taking advantage of Buffy's vulnerability. Spike doesn't see why he should have to turn a grieving Buffy away if she came to him for comfort. Xander becomes threatening and tells Spike that they don't have any problem killing Spike in an effort to protect Buffy from him (who needs protection from a vampire with an evil-debilitating chip in his head?). Spike's like, "Whatever." All of a sudden, Glory's cockroaches burst in. Xander and Spike give fight but there are so many of them that they are overpowered. The roaches seemed to be after Spike. They tie Spike up and gag him. They think he's the key.
In the desert, Buffy awakes from a peaceful nap on a rock to find a glowing campfire. Soon the first slayer appears, to answer Buffy's question. Buffy wonders why the first slayer is there and the slayer says that she is merely using the body as form for Buffy's reference. Buffy asks about love and the first slayer tells Buffy that she is afraid that she is losing her humanity, but in actuality Buffy is full of love. Buffy's love is brighter than a fire - it's blinding. That's why at times Buffy tries to pull away from it. In an elusive voice, the first slayer explains that love is pain and a slayer forges strength from pain. Love will bring Buffy to her gift. She tells Buffy to listen to the pain and it will lead Buffy to her gift. Buffy is like, "Hold up, am I getting a gift or giving one?" The first slayer ignores Buffy's second question and says that death is Buffy's gift (ooh foreshadowing). Buffy takes this to mean that her gift is that she is a giver of death. Buffy is unwilling to accept this. She tells the first slayer that her mother just died, so Buffy knows better than anyone that death is no one's gift. The first slayer repeats, "Death is your gift." Then the first slayer says that Buffy's questions have been answered. In an instant, the first slayer and the fire disappear. Buffy is perturbed and dumbfounded.
Back at Spike's crypt, Buffybot comes out of hiding to find Spike is gone. Buffybot goes to Willow's house to find out where he might be.
Willow is happy to see Buffy. She wants to hear Buffy's side of the story. Willow takes Buffybot out to the balcony to talk, so they won't disturb Dawn (who is sleeping in another room). Buffybot tells Willow that Spike is missing. She also says, that Willow is her best friend and recently gay. Willow thinks that Buffy's saying this to remind her not to judge (because she's her best friend) and to be open minded about Buffy's sexual preference (being recently gay she should understand what it's like to want to be with someone even if that relationship is not socially acceptable). When in actuality Buffybot's just trying to make conversation in the way that she is programmed. So Willow feels the need to explain gently the wrongness of sleeping with Spike. She tells Buffybot that she understands Buffy may have been feeling weak lately because all her friends have been very sympathetic and treating like she's fragile lately (because of her mother's death) and maybe her attraction to the Spike stems from him being the only one not to treat her this way. So, it would make sense that Buffy slipped up the one time and had sex with Spike. Buffybot corrects Willow in telling her that she's had sex with Spike more than once and in lots of different positions. Buffybot offers to draw Willow some sketches. Willow is slightly taken aback. Willow becomes sterner and explains that having sex with Spike is seriously wrong. Willow goes on to say that she understands Buffy has a thing for vampires, but Angel was differ___. Buffybot cuts Willow off and tells her, "Angel's lame. His hair goes straight up and he's bloody stupid." If you don't see the humor of this conversation keep in mind that Willow looks utterly disturbed while the whole time Buffybot has a big fat grin on her face, except for the parts when she is worried about Spike (then she furrows her brow a little bit). Willow is convinced her friend has gone off the deep end.
Luckily, Xander bursts in with news that should distract them from Buffy's issues for a while. Xander tells Willow that some hobbits with leprosy came in and took Spike (Buffy described Glory's minions as hobbits with leprosy previously). The gang realizes the severity of the sitch since they know Spike knows that Dawn is the key, but they aren't sure what they should do. They look to Buffybot because Buffy would usually take charge with plan of action by now. Buffybot says that she fights with weapons. They think this is brilliant and go off to Buffy's house to get weapons.
Meanwhile, Glory tells her minions that Spike couldn't possibly be the key. The key is pure and Spike is a vampire, not exactly pure. Glory is even more perturbed because she can't brain-suck a vampire, so Spike is completely useless. The minions quickly explain that they've seen the slayer with the vampire. The slayer holds him in high regard and treats him as if he were precious. Glory decides that maybe Precious, I mean Spike, might be of use after all. She stabs her finger deep into his chest to see if she can torture some information out of him.
At the Summers' house, the gang goes through a chest of weapons. Xander asks where they should look for Glory. Buffybot says, "I dunno." Everyone stares at her. Soon it becomes evident that Buffy isn't going to be of much help so they send her upstairs to change and get more weapons. Buffybot happily obliges. While Buffybot is upstairs, the real Buffy comes home. She asks why everyone's hanging out. They decide this is perfect time to have an intervention. Xander and Willow begin to say that they are worried about Buffy. Buffy immediately asks if Dawn is all right. Anya gets fed up with all the beating around the bush and just tells Buffy that they are having trouble understanding why Buffy is having sex with Spike. Buffy, looks at them like they are crazy, and denies it. Anya says that denial is natural reaction in such circumstances; it's the stage before anger. Xander says he understands how Buffy would be attracted to Spike - Spike's strong, mysterious, compact with muscles, but it's still wrong. Buffy vehemently states that she is not having sex with Spike but she is beginning to think that Xander is. Anya points out this must be Buffy's anger stage. Then Buffybot returns to the room with no weapons and in the same clothes (she must have forgotten what she went upstairs to do). Everyone including Buffy gasps. Buffybot looks at Buffy and says, "We're pretty." Xander thinks that they must both be Buffy (like when there were 2 Xanders in The Replacement), but Buffy tells him NO, the other Buffy is clearly a robot - this Buffy acts just like that April-chick (I Was Made to Love You). Then Buffy yells at her friends for not being able tell Buffy apart from a robot. They have nothing to say for themselves, so Buffybot asks the group to refocus on the issue at hand-Glory has Spike and Glory's going to harm him. Buffy takes charge, telling them they need to kill Spike before he has a chance to tell Glory about Dawn. Buffy splits the group into pairs and sends them to different places to look for Glory.
Meanwhile, Glory is thoroughly kicking Spike's ass, torture-style. Spike refuses to tell Glory anything, except that the key is Bob Barker and that she's an idiot with a bad home perm and fashion victim whose gonna get her ass kicked by the slayer. This infuriates Glory and she kicks him out of the room, and apparently this is what Spike had hoped for. He staggers to elevators, opens the shaft doors and falls onto a descending elevator car. The minions go after him via the stairs. Spike falls though the trapped door in the elevator car roof and lays on the elevator floor in pain (Glory really worked him over), while the minions are coming for him. Right on time, Buffy, Giles, Xander and the bot come and wreck havoc on minion behind. In an attempt to save Giles, Buffybot gets shoved into a wall by a minion and her circuits overload. Luckily the real Buffy is there to finish the minion off and keep Giles safe. Eventually the minions are left standing retreat. Xander and Giles help Spike to his crypt while Buffy takes the broken bot to the magic shop.
At the magic shop, Buffy discusses with Willow, Tara, Anya and Dawn (well Dawn is present), how they are going to figure out if Spike gave them up to Glory. Willow doesn't have any suggestions because she's trying to figure out how to fix the bot. Xander and Giles return. Buffy begs them to tell her that they dusted him. They didn't. To the contrary, Xander feels a little sorry for old Spikey - Xander says Spike looked super wrecked and to top that off Spike's new toy (Buffybot) was taken away. Buffy could care less about how trashed Spike is, she wants to know if Spike spilled the beans. Anya points out that even if Spike told Glory, he would lie to the Scoobies about it anyway so there's no use asking him, which means Buffy is going to have to find out a different way.
Buffybot returns to Spike, explaining that Willow fixed her and asks why he let Glory hurt him. Spike says that Glory wanted him to reveal the identity of the key. Buffybot offers to tell Glory so that Glory won't bother Spike anymore, but Spike stops her, saying that she can never tell Glory about Dawn. Buffybot doesn't understand. Spike explains that the other not so pleasant Buffy, the real Buffy would be destroyed if something happened to Dawn. Spike couldn't bear to have that happen. Buffybot is so touched she kisses Spike tenderly on his bruised lips. During the kiss, Spike realizes that it is the real Buffy before him. He asks Buffy about his bot. She breaks her disguise and tells him the bot is out of commission, it was sick, gross, and it wasn't real. What he did for her and Dawn, that was real and she won't forget it.