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-- Quotes --

Written by Zinna

A young girl gets off a bus at the Sunnydale bus depot. She is alone and doesn't seem to know where she's supposed to go. She quickly seizes a nearby phone book and begins to look up a number or maybe an address. Suddenly three menacing bringers are upon her. She looks scared and desperate. She really doesn't know what to do especially when one of the Bringers takes out a sharp dagger. Luckily, the welcome wagon comes complimentary with a slayer. Before the woman can yell for help, Buffy kills all three.

At the house, Kennedy (one of the SITs) tries to convince Willow to sleep in Willow's bed with her. Hey, curb your dirty thoughts! Kennedy just noticed that Willow looked awfully uncomfortable in a sleeping bag on the floor (OK, maybe Kennedy was flirting a little). Willow explains that she's perfectly comfy, she is just a little on edge because Buffy's still out. Besides, she might as well get used to sleeping on the floor because there's bound to be more potentials on the way. Giles has the coven (the same coven that alerted him that Willow was all veiny) searching for other potential slayers.

Downstairs in the living room, Molly (another SIT) tells three newly arrived SITs about Annabelle and how stoic she was until she ran off and got herself killed (Bring on the Night). Other girls start to speculate about Uberugly being basically unstoppable since he (or it) kicked the slayer's ass last time they danced. Another SIT recalls how Buffy looked like one big bruise when she arrived and that was like a whole day after the fight. Finally, Xander can't take anymore (he's lying on the couch listening to them) and tells to shut it so he can get some shut-eye. Andrew, who is tied to a chair, seconds Xander's motion and if they're not going to shut up then he asks that speak up so he can hear. He's bored, "Episode I bored."

Seconds later, Buffy returns with the new girl, Rona. Molly takes Rona to get something to eat while Buffy, Giles, and Xander talk strategy. Buffy tells them Rona had a welcoming committee of the killing kind so it's safe to assume the First is always going to be one step ahead of them. They need to find a way to stop it or hurt it. Buffy wants it to hurt real bad. Giles is at a loss, he's exhausted all his resources with little result. Anya, who has been working the demon crowd for info, admits she's come up with squat. Since they can't dig up anything on the First then maybe they should be focusing on finding a way to kill Uberugly. It's obvious that stakes aren't going to do the job. Andrew thinks this is an intriguing angle since they have to get to Uber out of the way before there's any hope of retrieving Spike. Buffy hates to agree but when Andrew's right, he's right. Eve (a recently arrived SIT) doesn't think they should be worrying about getting some vampire that's been killing people. Buffy can't really explain and hopes the SITs will just accept that her need to help Spike is complicated and for the better. That's all fine and dandy, but what the SITs (namely Eve) really want to know is if Buffy has a plan for keeping them alive. Buffy tells them they (meaning the Scoobs) are working on it. Giles chimes in, saying there is one avenue they have yet to go down. Anya jumps up and attempts to quiet the charming Englishman, but of course Giles ignores her. He explains there's something called the Beljoxa's Eye, an oracle type creature that exists in a dark dimension or rather internal vortex. Problem is, only demons can open the vortex. Anya says she's an ex-demon, implying she can no longer open the vortex. Giles points out that Anya still has friends in the fold. Buffy pleads that Anya use whatever influence she can to find out whatever she can because Buffy fears they are running out of time, more importantly, Spike is running out of time.

Over at Evilikins' cave, Spike dreams of rescuing himself and reuniting with Buffy. When he goes to touch Buffy, he realizes he hasn't escaped. He's stilled tied to the wall and Buffy is there, but when she speaks he knows it's not the real Buffy. This Buffy tells him that she doesn't believe in him (not the song the real Buffy was singing back when the real Buffy had Spike shackled to a wall) because she doesn't even believe in herself or at least not enough to face Uberugly. Spike begins to mumble something, a chant to himself. EvilBuffy shuts her trap to listen. Spike is saying, "She will come for me" over and over. EvilBuffy gets really close to his face and says, "No, I won't."

Meanwhile, Giles waits while Anya tries to persuade an old demon flame to open the vortex for her. He won't do it. He says she broke his heart. She says he doesn't have a heart. He says the night they spent together was important to him and blah blah blah. Anya cuts to chase and offers him sex in exchange for opening the vortex. All the kittens in Korea (don't ask), couldn't get this guy to sleep with Anya in her human form. So, Giles steps in and makes another offer - open the vortex and the slayer won't burn down his demon establishment and kill all his clientele. The demon takes this offer without pause.

Meanwhile, Buffy and Xander decide to untie Andrew (they're not into watching out for a hostage) under the condition that if he tries anything, Buffy will beat him into the next week. Then Willow comes out to tell Buffy that she just got a call from the coven. A seer sees that a potential arrived to Sunnydale a few days ago and is staying at the Sunspot Motel near the highway. Buffy wonders why they haven't heard about this girl before. Willow explains that the Bringers killed the potential's watcher before he could tell anyone he sent her. Since there are few hours of sunlight left in the day (meaning the house will be safe from Uberugly), Buffy takes Xander to get the girl.

Dawn wanders in just in time to ask Willow if Buffy is going to get another SIT. Willow explains and Dawn gets a worried look. Willow wonders why, seeing as how they could probably use all the help they can get. Dawn doesn't disagree, she just isn't sure that more scared slayer wannabes translates into help.

Downstairs in the basement, some of the wannabes take a stab at training while others wonder how they could possibly train for such an impossible fight. For example, Eve wants to know why they are bothering to train when it's obvious they'll be no match for Uberugly. Rona didn't even have a watcher and Eve, well, she's never even seen a vampire. In fact, none of them have and it's obvious to Eve that they are not prepared. Eve thinks it's important they realize that soon one of them is going to be the next slayer with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Some the other girls share reluctant responses to this idea thinking that they are too young to take on such an awesome responsibility, except for Kennedy. Kennedy seems to be willing and ready to be called if the time comes. In fact, she welcomes it. Eve brings the conversation back to fear by telling the girls it doesn't matter who is ready. The First is going to run through each one of them until they are all dead.

At the Sunspot, Buffy and Xander have to kick down the door. Inside they find one cold and dead potential and it's EVE! So, the Eve back at the house is really The First playing more games. At that same moment, Eve is telling her fellow potentials that she doesn't think the slayer can protect them.

In the living room, Andrew asks Dawn (whose tidying up) why all the slayers are female. Andrew can't help but think that a male slayer would be cooler because he would be all ninja-like and say cool ninja-like things. Dawn retorts that Buffy can stomp ninja ass and Andrew wonders how true this statement can be since she can't even slay Uber and furthermore, why are they all gung-ho about trying to save Spike? Spike was way more evil than Andrew ever was. Dawn explains that Spike was being controlled by the First and furthermore he can help. Andrew wants to know why no one has ever stopped to think that maybe Andrew could help; he was an evil genius. Dawn wants to know what genius thing he ever did. Andrew can't come up with anything impressive. So he retreats into nerd-speak. Dawn doesn't understand. Andrew says he feels so alone. Dawn tells him he shouldn't have killed his only friend. Andrew says he's more sorry about that then she could ever know.

Just then Buffy runs in and down to the basement to tell Eve to get away from the other girls. Eve, who is really the First, turns around to taunt the girls, telling them she's had a good time and learned a lot. Buffy continues to command her to get out. Eve wonders what Buffy's going to do if she doesn't leave. Doesn't matter, Eve just wants to tell them that she's sending a guest over at sundown, a guest that will rip them all to pieces. Then Eve disappears, leaving the other SITs in complete horror that evil was among them for so long without them ever knowing.

Over in a dark dimension vortexy type place, the Beljoxa's Eye tells Anya and Giles that the First cannot be fought or killed. It has always been and always will be. Giles asks if this means that the First will defeat them. The eye says it cannot see the future just the truth of now and past. Anya wonders what help that can be. Then they ask if there's a reason the First is striking now, after all this time. The eye tells them the First is seizing an opportunity brought about because the mystical forces that protect the slayer are unusually unstable. The First is just taking advantage of this to end the slayer line forever.

Meanwhile, the wannabes sit around the table panicking. They all start to talk about how hopeless everything is and how the First is everywhere and unstoppable. Buffy tells them to chill on the doubting-thomas talk because the only way they are going to stay strong is if they stay together. The wannabes or rather the don't wannabes don't see how staying together is going help if they don't have a plan. Buffy says Giles and Anya will be back soon with news. Xander points out that the sun is going down soon and they'd better come up a plan B. Buffy reluctantly asks Willow if she can make a protective barrier. Willow says she'll try and this set the doubting Thomases off again. They're all like, "Try?! And what are we going to do if the barrier fails???" Buffy tells them that they'll deal. The Doubting Thomases demand to know how they can be expected to deal. If that Uber thing gets in they're done. What chance could they possibly have being untrained potential slayers and all against such an advanced killing machine, especially when the real slayer went up against it and it nearly killed her. They wonder if maybe Uber can't be killed. Some then wonder if they can just give up and throw themselves at the First's mercy. By this time Buffy is done trying to talk some sense into them. She gives Willow a look and then leaves the room. Willow and Xander soon follow.

In the cave, Eve commands Uber to take them all (the potentials and whoever else with them), but leave the slayer.

At nightfall, the Bringers surround the house in holding pattern to make sure no one can leave. Buffy hands weapons out to the potentials. Rona wants to know what Buffy think she can do with a sword. Kennedy tells Rona to stick the pointy end in the bad guys. For that, Buffy gives Kennedy a crossbow.

Moments later, Dawn warns everyone that Uber has arrived. He comes in the house without an invitation and Willow puts up a strong barrier. After a while Willow weakens and tells them she's not going to be able to hold Uber back much longer. Buffy tells them to run out the back.

They all run out back. Kennedy heads the pack and takes out a Bringer with her crossbow. Xander lags behind to fight the remaining Bringers so that the others can get away. A Bringer just about has Xander beat but Buffy comes from behind to take the Bringer out. Buffy tells Xander to take everyone some place safe and she will stay behind and try to distract Uber for awhile. Dawn doesn't want Buffy to take Uber on alone. Xander grabs Dawn and follows orders.

Buffy and Uber face off in the street. He throws Buffy around, but she manages to smash a bottle of holy water on his head. It does burn him a little but not enough to slow him down. Buffy runs in the opposite direction of the way Xander took everyone else. Uber starts to go after Buffy because he's still a little ticked about the holy water, but then he realizes his orders are to get the potentials so he turns around and follows them.

In an alley, Anya and Giles emerge from the vortex. Anya is still baffled because Buffy's died before and the First didn't strike then. Giles points out that the eye didn't say that things were unstable because Buffy died, but rather because she lives, which is of course not Buffy's fault. Anya realizes that while it wasn't Buffy fault that Buffy is still alive, it is her, Xander, Willow and Tara's fault. It's their fault all those poor potentials were murdered and that everything is going down like it is now. Finally, Anya tells Giles that the world would be better off if Buffy had just stayed dead.

Xander takes everyone to a construction site, the future site of the new public library to be exact. They climb down into a lower level. Then Xander tells everyone to spread out and take their positions. Of course the girls all protest and aren't following orders until they realize Uber is upon them. Then they just become all scared (except Kennedy who looks like she's going to fight). Suddenly the lights turn on and they see Buffy atop a structure.

Willow gets the cue and gathers the girls. She tells them to climb onto the scaffolding and watch. It's showtime!

Buffy does some super slick sommersault flip off of the structure to be on level with Uber. Then she explains to Uber that they say there may be no way to kill him, but Buffy doesn't believe that. She always finds a way and while the potentials may have been having nightmares about monsters that can't be killed, Buffy is what monsters have nightmares about and she (with his help of course) is going to show the potentials why.

Andrew says it Thunderdome because two men go in, but only one comes out. Dawn suddenly understands that Willow and Buffy planned this. We flashback to when the scare-dy cats were panicking like crazy around the table. As soon as Buffy sees she can't win in the discussion she telepathically talks to Willlow. She tells Willow that they are losing the potentials (morale-wise) and she has an idea to get them back on track. Then Buffy tells Willow to grab Xander and they all go in the kitchen, which explains why they all followed Buffy into the kitchen and stood around looking at each other and nodding their heads without talking.

In the kitchen, Buffy telepathically tells them (through Willow) that she needs to slay Uber in front of the girls. Willow says the house isn't exactly the place for such a showdown. Xander says he knows the perfect place.

In the present, Buffy and Uber face off. They go blow for blow for a while, then Uber starts to get in more hits and Buffy begins to get in less. Soon Uber is handing Buffy's ass to her. He corners her and grabs her by the neck. She tries to fight him by pulling at his hand but he's too strong. One of the girls shouts that he is going to kill Buffy. Willow tells them to sit tight. Buffy grabs hold of an arrow sticking out of his chest (she shot him earlier) and shoves it in his eye. This distracts him and Buffy is able to get out of his grip. Before he can react she's on him, hitting and punching hard and fast. The tables have turned - Buffy's doing all the hitting and Uber's doing all the wobbling. He goes down and she grabs some barbwire, which she uses to wrap around his neck. Then Buffy squeezes his head off. Without his head Uber turns to dust (so much for being unstoppable). Buffy turns to her adoring the fans, i.e. the potentials and tells them that she doesn't know what's coming next but they will defeat it, it will be painful but if they all do their parts, in the end they'll be the ones left standing, not Evilikins. The girls who were once so chatty all of sudden have nothing to say. They go home. In the shadows Evilikins in the Eve suits fumes, obviously upset her ubervamp didn't do the job.

Later in the cave, Spike sees Buffy come to him with a knife. He laughs at her knowing that a knife isn't going to break him - he thinks she's Evilikins in a Buffy suit. Buffy uses the knife to cut him out of his restraints. At first Spike thinks it is another dream, but this time when he goes to touch Buffy. She's there. She's really there. A look of enormous relief passes over Spike's face and he gladly accepts Buffy's shoulder to lean on. Together they walk out.

The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

Vampires are creeps.
Yes, that's why one slays them.
-Buffy and Giles (Ted)

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