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-- Quotes --

Written by Zinna

Following her conversation with Holden "Webs" Webster (Conversations with Dead People), Buffy runs over to Xander's to find out if Spike has anything to say for himself. Even though it is 4 AM, Spike is not home. Xander asks her if Spike is in trouble. Buffy hopes not…

At 4 AM, Spike is digging a grave for that attractive woman he was feeding on when we saw him last (Conversations with Dead People).

London, England
A watcher returns to his home, presumably, and finds his slayer (or slayer-in-training - SIT), Nora, dead on the floor. Before he can process the murder, one of those hooded dudes is on him. The watcher does a nice job fending off his attacker, but forgets to watch his back. Of course the hooded dudes travel in packs, so there is another one to take the watcher out from behind. And another one bites the dust.

Meanwhile, Willow runs home to tell Buffy about her run-in with the Cassie-look-alike only to find Dawn sitting in their wrecked living room. Dawn, still a bit shell-shocked, tells Willow that her mom was there. Right away, Willow assumes (because of her Cassie experience) whatever appeared before Dawn was not Joyce Summers but rather the "Big Bad". She tells Dawn that it wasn't Ms. Summers and that she knows this because she saw someone too - someone who turned out to not be who they claimed they were (yeah, Willow was just this vague). Dawn explains that her mother warned her of the Big Bad so, maybe in Dawn's case it really was her mother.

Back at Xander's, Xander and Buffy try to go over the facts rationally in order to determine if Spike could be one who sired Webs. Buffy wants to consider that maybe Webs was lying and Xander points out that there seems to be no apparent motive for Webs to be lie. Buffy concedes that's a valid point but she just can't wrap her mind around the idea that Spike is to blame. It doesn't seem to make sense; he can't hurt people, he has a chip… Xander has a point for this rationale too - Spike's chip didn't stop him from trying to rape Buffy (Seeing Red). Buffy's like, "Yeah but that was before… you know… he got the soul" Buffy is sure that Spike has changed. She feels that he is different. At this point their speculation is interrupted by Spike's return. Spike is surprised to see Buffy and wonders if she brought news of trouble. Buffy acts casually, as if she always talks to Xander at 4 in the morning. They exchange "How was you night?" and when it's Buffy's turn she explains that she dusted a vamp that turned out to be someone she knew from high school. Spike is instantly sympathetic, imagining it must have been hard for her to dust an old school chum. Then he excuses himself to bed, citing exhaustion. Xander and Buffy note that Spike's reaction to the Webs' name was inconclusive. So, Buffy decides that she's going to have to investigate the matter further, but first she has to go home and check on Dawn. Before she leaves, she tells Xander to keep an eye on Spike.

Xander can't keep an eye on Spike, he has big client meeting (he has a lot of those lately - all these excuses to put him in a suit), so he calls Anya. Anya is happy to play watchdog (what else has she got to do?) until she finds out that they (Buffy and Xander) suspect Spike's been feeding again. Once she hears that, Anya doesn't want to be left alone and wonders if they've bothered to search Spike room for clues - a necklace of human teeth or something like that. Xander ignores her protests and even grumbles a joke about her not having a problem being with Spike in the past (Entropy), then he opens the curtains and tells Anya she'll have the daylight to protect her... she doesn't have to confront Spike or even let on that they suspect Spike, all she has to do is call Buffy when Spike's on the move. Anya shouts at Xander's back as he leaves that if Spike ends up hurting or killing her, she'll bite Xander's ass. Xander isn't afraid since he's experienced Anya's ass-biting before and for the most part it was pleasurable experience.

Meanwhile Buffy rushes home to see if Dawn is ok. Judging from the shambles that was once their living room Buffy knows that Dawn's not (okay). Buffy runs up the stairs calling out to Dawn until she is hushed by Willow, who explains that Dawn has just fallen asleep. Then Willow goes on to explain that the "Beneath You" creature is starting to chomp! Buffy isn't surprised after her long night of surprises, she finally thinks something makes sense. If the "Beneath You" creature is messing with the Scoobies, maybe it's behind the whole Spike siring people thing… at least Buffy hopes there's an alternate explanation (other than Spike just decided bloody was the way to be). Regardless, Buffy decides they need to find out what's going on so that she can stop it.

Playing watchdog for Spike begins to make Anya very antsy. To calm her nerves and pass the time, Anya goes into Spike's room, obviously looking for evidence of his possible bloodlust. She searches his pants and such but comes up with nothing. When she reaches for his jacket (which is right next to the bed where Spike is sleeping) Spike wakes and says to Anya "Do be specific and tell a fella what you are doing." When forced to lie, Anya uses sex (as she did when lying about why she was at the frat house in Selfless). This time she pretends that she came to seduce Spike. Spike is uncomfortable with this idea and tries to let her down gently. Even though Anya's seduction play was all a big rouse, she still manages to take offense to Spike's rejection. She even goes so far to say that she liked him better when he was soulless because Soulless Spike would've had her upside down and half-way to happyland by the time it took Soulful Spike to reject her. Spike just asks for his pants. Seconds later he's dressed and out of there. Anya calls Buffy to alert her that the chicken has flown the coop.

As night falls, Spike moseys about a crowded shopping center until setting his sights upon a PYT (pretty young thing). Among the hordes of holiday shoppers, Buffy lurks from an inconspicuous following distance, spying Spike's every move. Spike and his PYT go off to an alley for some privacy. Somehow, some way Buffy's safe following distance becomes a not following at all distance. Buffy frantically searches the crowd to no avail.

In the alley, Spike and the young woman nuzzle their faces together. Suddenly Buffy walks up on them and says, "You know you want it. You I want you to." Spike's face goes all bumpy and the young woman is instantly vamp food. As Spike feeds, Buffy says, " That's my guy." (You know this isn't really Buffy, right? It's clearly the shape-shifter, Evilkins). Once Spike is done he looks at Buffy in complete horror and runs off. Buffy shifts into Spike and sings a pretty little diddy with a chorus that goes, "How you could you use a poor maiden so?"

Later on, once Spike is back in bed, Buffy bursts into his room, wakes him up, and demands to know if Spike killed the girl Buffy saw him with. Spike is confused, but he explains that all he did was talk to said girl. He wonders why she's so suspicious of him all of a sudden, especially when she knows he can't hurt anyone. Buffy's all "Right, the chip." Of course, Spike takes offense. When he said he can't, he wasn't talking about the chip. He was talking about his soul. He can barely (just barely) stand all the people he killed when he was without a soul. He's a changed man. Killing isn't as easy for him as it once was. He goes on to say that Buffy's suspicions must stem from jealousy. Buffy is jealous because Spike's making time with the ladies, but Spike explains that he's only making time with these ladies because he can't make time with Buffy. So, even though he's talking to all these other women all he ever thinks about is Buffy. God help him, it's still all about Buffy. Buffy isn't at all comforted by this moving soliloquy and tells him what Webs told her (Spike sired him - Conversations). Besides, when Buffy saw him in the shopping center, it didn't look like he was making time, but rather it looked like he was on the prowl. Spike yells back that that her accusations are unwarranted as her only proof is the word of a demon. Buffy's all like, "Fine you want proof, I'll give you proof!"

The next morning, Buffy gathers the Scoobs in the living room to find her some proof (Well, Xander is already there trying to reconstruct the windows and walls that were obliterated in Dawn's fight with her Evilkins). Dawn wonders if Webs' word could be any good since that night they were all told things that weren't true. And Willow chimes in saying that just because they were talking with Evil doesn't mean that what Evil said wasn't true. Anya confirms this by saying that she told the truth all the time when she was evil. Buffy tells them they can't assume anything at this point; they have to deal with good hard facts i.e. quit your yapping and find me some facts. So, Willow hacks around in her computer and finds that even though there hasn't been a major increase of bite-related death, there has been a increase of missing people - around ten people are missing and most of them are attractive women (uh-oh). Dawn takes this to mean that Spike's fallen off the wagon (the not-killing wagon). Buffy says that they can't be sure. Spike is the only one that knows for sure.

Back at the Xander's, Spike grabs a pack of cigarettes and it triggers a flash of memories - memories of murdering a young woman. Spike decides he needs to get to the bottom of things, so he heads out. Xander stands between Spike and door, saying he's under strict orders from the boss (Buffy) to not let Spike leave. Spike knocks him one (despite the pain from his chip) and Xander goes down for the count.

Spike goes straight to the Bronze, where Spike asks the bartender if he's seen the young woman Spike was with the other night. The bartender hasn't seen her. Feeling perturbed, Spike wanders up to the mezzanine to sort things out in his head. Nothing doing. Soon as Spike sits down another young woman (excuse me but can I digress for a bit… the actress who plays this random woman was in one of my favorite romantic comedies - a independent film called Hav Plenty - playing the sister of lead role. I thought she was great in the movie and am glad to see she hasn't fallen off the face of the earth. YAH!) approaches him, looking to party. Spike says he's not interested and the girl's face turns bumpy (so it's that kind of party). Spike is still not interested until the vamptress indicates they aren't strangers. In fact, Spike sired this particular vamp and she's a bit unnerved that he's trying to treat her like a one bite stand (Get it? Bite stand instead of night stand! Hey, it was vamp girl's joke not mine). Anyways the two begin to fight and eventually Spike gets the upper hand or rather gets a bamboo table ornament and stakes his vamp daughter as she's just about the fall on the crowd below. The crowds stops to watch the vampie turn to dust, but since it's Aimee Mann playing, as soon as Aimee resumes singing the crowd resumes listening.

Meanwhile when Xander comes to, he calls Buffy. Buffy goes looking for Spike at a bar that Spike might frequent to make time with the ladies (I never tire of saying that). She talks to the doorman to find out if a Billy Idol wannabe has been around and more importantly if he's been leaving with some ladies. The doorman pretty much confirms that said Billy Idol wannabe is a real ladies man.

Just as Buffy feels she has enough proof, Spike calls her cell to tell her that he remembers killing people. Then he tells Buffy to meet him at 634 Hoffman Terrace. As Spike hangs up, his evil twin the shape-shifter tells him that he shouldn't have spilled the beans just yet. It's not time and this is all against the plan, but somehow Evil Twin will make it work.

At 634 Hoffman Terrace, Spike takes Buffy down to the basement and explains that he thinks he's killed some people, some ladies in fact. He may have even killed the old lady that lived at 634 Hoffman Terrace. Buffy gives him the same kind of look she gave him when he told her about his soul - like she was torn between running away, smacking him about, and kissing him on lips… with tongue (that Buffy, she's complex). Then Evil Twin, who can't be seen by Buffikins, begins to sing that "poor man" song and Spike's face goes bumpy! Buffy doesn't believe he'll hurt or attack her so she just stands there as he goes for her neck. She pushes him off and asks him what he's doing. He is too busy trying to kill her that he doesn't answer. He cuts her with a broken bottle (broken from when she threw him into a shelf of bottles). In the midst of their little scuffle, vampies start rising out of the basement floor, lots of vampies…Buffy's like "Oh God!" and next thing you know she's doing a group fight. The group grabs her and holds her for Spike to take that bite he was looking for earlier. Spike is hesitant and decides to lick her open wound (from the broken bottle) for an appetizer. The whole time, Buffy's like, "Spike! Somewhere inside you, you don't want to do this!" Well, I guess Buffy had some memory serum for lunch (or ginseng-man, that stuff can do wonders!) because Spike's appetizer floods his memory with the deaths all the people, he's been killing at his Evil shape-shifting twin's request. He freaks out and retreats to a corner to hate himself some more. Buffy finds a wooden tool (shovel, hoe, rake, or broom?) handle and uses it to dust all the new vampies. Then she goes over to Spike. Spike opens his jacket so she'll have a good clean shot to his heart. He tells Buffy to, "Do it fast." Then he starts talking about his evil twin having said that Buffy would surely stake him. Buffy throws down her wood and asks him, for umpteenth time, "What are you talking about?" Spike yells at his twin to make it so he forgets again, so he won't have to feel so bad about all those people he's been killing. Buffy tells Spike that something's been playing with them, all of them. Spike wants to know why this something is after him. Buffy doesn't know. Spike asks if she will help him and Buffy assures him that she will.

Later at the Summers home for wayward youths (and ex-demons) aka the Scoobs, Anya asks Buffy if she believes Spike's evil twin story. Buffy tries to explain that she believes Spike because she saw how Spike was affected. How obvious it was that there was something else there controlling him, playing with his emotions. The other Scoobs are not convinced and don't think it was good idea to bring an homicidal vampire amnesiac with a soul back to the house for a slumber party. Buffy then explains that she had another reason for keeping Spike alive. Evilkins (the Beneath You shape shifter) has really got it bad for old Spike. Spike seems to be Evilkins' favorite toy, which means that Spike could prove to be valuable source of information. The Scoobs seem to be all right with this explanation.

Back in London, Giles enters the watcher's house and finds the watcher, Robson bleeding to death on the floor. In his last breaths, Robson tells Giles to gather them because it's starting… Giles begins to say that he's taking care of it, but before he finishes his sentense a hooded dude approaches Giles from behind and takes aim for Giles' head with a large axe. Fade to black…

The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

We saved the world. I say we party!
-Buffy (Prophecy Girl)

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