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-- Quotes --

Written by Zinna
* Ending written by Trixie

Remember the days of old when people feared muggers and domestic violence as opposed to blood sucking demons and apocalypse? No? Neither does Buffy when she happens upon two thugs trying to shake down some helpless middle-aged couple in a back alley. She has to give them the old one-two kick before she realizes their just sleazy humans. Spike encounters the same problem as he tries to aid the slayer in pacifying them. Unfortunately, Spike's got that damn chip. You'd think they would have designed it so he could fight muggers and the such, or at least you'd think that if you took Spike's point of view. If you relate more with the Buffster then you wouldn't think muggers deserve to be eaten by a chipped vampire, but that's beside the point.

Spike is really trying to initiate another lust fest with his favorite slayer. Can you blame him? They seemed to have so much fun that last time. If you follow Buffy's recent behavioral pattern, you'd know that Spike hasn't got a chance. Buffy like to initiate contact and that happens usually after she can't restrain herself anymore. This time, when Buffy says she will never kiss him again, Spike retorts, "When are you going to learn, I'm the only one here for you pet?"

Willow, on the other hand, mopes around her room mourning the loss of her relationship with Tara, her love. Amidst the moping, Willow figures out that she knows a way to transform her pet rat Amy back to her human self (Gingerbread). Though she was a great source of comfort as a pet, Amy proves to be even more fun for Willow as a human.

Let us not forget the super villain trio. Apparently they've cooked up some scheme that involves several phases. Phase one: break into the museum and steal the large diamond that is on exhibit there. Andrew seems to think this mission requires hi-tech spy equipment that will suspend him in mid air so that he won't activate the security system. Turns out, the security system is a guy named Rusty. Good thing they have Warren to bring up these important factors and he's pretty good with a torch. Warren uses the torch to cut a hole in the glass case where the diamond is kept. When the guard catches them in the act, Jonathan freezes him with a freeze ray gun. They haven't completely worked all the kinks out of it yet; Jonathan freezes his hand in the process. Despite the freeze ray's glitch, they make a clean getaway. Phase one complete.

Back in the Summers house, Willow tries to ease Amy through her status transition. Amy hasn't been a human for the past three years and a lot of things have changed. For instance, high school is over and Amy's high school crush, Larry, is dead. Amy seems to be handling this all in stride. She also hasn't lost her magic touch and she demonstrates when she zaps the windows closed and the curtain shut with a simple point of her finger.

Buffy returns home from her confrontation with Spike and needs to talk to someone. She is obviously worried about her recent decisions to entangle herself with Spike. Buffy heads straight to Willow for guidance, but is surprised by Amy's appearance. Buffy bites her tongue about the goings-ons with Spike, claiming that her news couldn't possibly top the news of Amy's return.

Downstairs Amy watches the news and finds that a museum guard has been frozen during what looks like a regular jewel heist. This, of course, smacks of supernatural evil, so Buffy goes down to the crime scene to check things out.

At the crime scene she finds little in the way of evidence and a whole lot in the way of pissed-off vampire. Spike, tired of the mixed messages, wants Buffy to face the truth. There is definitely something between them. Buffy, who is not really up for truth, tries to dismiss her behavior as grief and vulnerability due to Giles' sudden departure. Spike's not buying it. He tries to convince her that he's changed and could be someone worth Buffy's attention. Buffy goes for the low blow and tells him that he cannot be someone worthy of anything because he's an evil disgusting thing. When she attempts to walk away from him, he grabs hers and punches are exchanged. When Spike, however, hits Buffy he notices that he doesn't get a stabbing headache (he pretends to have pain for Buffy's sake). Is something wrong with his chip?

The possibility of his chip being deactivated delights Spike to no end. He rushes out to prey on the innocent. Near a bus stop, he spies a girl alone. She becomes his victim as he chases her in the alley so that he can feed. When the time comes to do the deed, Spike has to work himself up to be able to kill. He get his juices stewing by declaring his evilness, but it ends up sounding like he's a confused little kid trying to convince himself he is badder than he is. Eventually, he gets the balls to bite her, but the searing pain in his head makes it impossible for him to eat. Maybe there is nothing wrong with his chip after all.

The next day finds Tara and Dawn having a movie-and-milkshake-fun day. After the movie, the girls sit and talk over one huge milkshake. Tara wants to establish that her decision to move out had nothing to do with Dawn. In fact, Tara plans to be there for Dawn whenever Dawn says the word. Dawn understands, but she can't help but hope that one day Tara and Willow will get back together. Tara admits that she still loves Willow very much, but she fears that her love isn't enough to keep them together.

While Dawn hangs out with Tara, the other Scoobies sit around the magic shop trying to gather as much information as they can about the mysterious jewel heist. Getting nowhere fast, Buffy suggests they call Giles. Willow has a better solution: she will just hack into the files and read the police report. The gang is happy to see that she isn't resorting to her powers to do this... or so that they think. Once the computerís out, Willow magically hacks through computer files so that images display in her head as opposed to the computer screen. This freaks the Scoobies out, so much so that when Willow returns from her magic hacking adventure, she notices their apparent discomfort. She asks them what's going on and no one can answer; that is until Anya says what everyone's thinking. They are afraid Willow's going to wig out because Tara has up and left her. Willow says that she's coping and there's no need to worry. Then Willow suggests that she go home so that Amy isn't left alone for too long.

Spike crashes the trio's headquarters (Warren's basement) to demand Warren examine his chip. They become more receptive to his demands once Spike threatens to behead their precious limited edition 1979 mint condition Boba Fett action figure. Warren also believes that it will be in their best interests to help Spike out, because he may prove useful as an ally. Warren thinks that if they help Spike, Spike might then return favor and help them keep Buffy out of "phase two". Jonathan and Andrew agree this is wise. Andrew is also very worried about his action figure.

Willow meets up with Amy at home. Amy wants to go out and have some fun. Amy isn't ready to deal with how her father will react to her transformation. Willow thinks she's deserving of some fun, so off they go to the Bronze.

Warren thoroughly examines Spike's chip and finds it to be in perfect running order. Spike realizes that if there's nothing wrong with his chip, then there must be something wrong with Buffy.

Amy and Willow are having fun at the Bronze, playing a rousing game of magic pool. Some young men approach them and Amy wants to hit the dance floor. Willow prefers to sit this dance out. Later when Amy is tired of dancing, she leaves to hang with Willow at the bar. The men become rude and indignant demanding that Amy continue to show them a good time. Amy shows them a thing or two. With the help of Willow, Amy zaps the guys into cages, where they are involuntarily forced to dance in their underwear. Apparently, Amy has no problem flexing her magic powers, which is nice for Willow. Willow now has someone she can really relate to.

Back at the magic shop Buffy, Xander, and Anya continue to search for a demon that can freeze things and eat diamonds. The only problem is that there is no such demon. The three decide to talk about Willow instead. Tara is not the only one worried about Willow's excessive use of her powers. Xander and Anya seem to think that Willow is spinning out of control with her magic. Buffy isn't too worried because she knows Willow to be responsible and wise. Anya points out that the responsible ones are the kind of people you need to watch out for, because they are more likely to be seduced by the power (having never allowed themselves to indulge before). Willow has definitely had a taste of power and it seems like the hunger for more is overcoming her Willow nature. The gang decides that they will all keep a close eye on Willow from now on.

In the midst of their discussion, Spike calls Buffy on the phone. He demands that she meet him at the cemetery in 20 minutes. Buffy doesn't want Xander and Anya to suspect anything, so she pretty much tells Spike to buzz off. Once she's off the phone she makes it clear that she has no intentions of going anywhere to meet up with Spike. Anya and Xander don't seem to notice her strange behavior.

Later when Buffy, Xander, and Anya call it night, Spike catches up with Buffy on her way home. He picks a fight with her, so that she will hit him. She does and he returns the punch. Then he tells her point blank that she must not be as human as she was before because he feels no pain when he hits her.

Amy and Willow continue to zap things for their amusement. They turn the band of boys into girls. They zap flying Elvis impersonators to roam above the partiers. They change people into sheep. They continue to alter the natural order of things until they are bored with the scene. Amy suggests they go somewhere else. Before they leave they reverse their spells.

* Pushing Spike through the door of an abandoned house, Buffy taunts him as they exchange blows. The verbal sparring reaches a turning point when Spike smiles as he tells her, "he wasn't planning on hurting (her)... much". This is intolerable to Buffy as she retorts, "You haven't even come close to hurting me". She pushes him against a pillar, cutting off his mocking words with her lips as she kisses him passionately, punching the wall behind her in a frenzy.

They fall past a crashing beam, their kisses intensifying as Buffy reaches down below the screen and we hear the slide of a zipper and the rustle of her skirt. As she moves on top of him, her legs wrapped around his waist, they stare with shocked expressions into each other's eyes. Moving slowly forward, they kiss again, until it spirals out of control and Spike whips her around, holding her against the wall as he buries his face against her chest. The house begins to crumble around them as they move, blind to their surroundings, blind to everything but this moment. They fall through the floor beneath them and stare at each other disbelievingly. As the dust settles, and Buffy begins to move once more, we fade to black.

The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

We like to talk big. Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Picadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?
-Spike (Becoming (Part 2))

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