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Part 1 of 4

Written by: Maverick
Directed by: Maverick
Transcribed by: Maverick

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They were created by Joss Whedon (from whom all blessings flow) and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB television network. That is also their three sentence Prologue that appears below in quotes.

This is, practically speaking, a fictional transcript of an episode that has never been, nor will ever be, filmed. It is, perhaps, a new, hybrid fictional form, and, as such, it contains anything the author thinks necessary to tell the story. Everything that does not belong to others, per the above, such as the the story and plotline, are 1999 Michael J. Vavrek.

~~~~~~~~~~ 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."

Narrator: "Previously on Buffy."

Scene from Part 1: The Count de la Salle addressing a group including Baron Franck and Spike.

Count: When normal humans view a vampire's demon, their minds reject the reality of our existence and they immediately go stark raving mad. (As the cackling woman is wheeled away) She will never have a sane thought with that mind again.

The ballroom of the new Sunnydale Inn.

Angel and Buffy are tied to scaffolding while Dru sits on a chair. There a quick shot of the demon inhabiting Angel. Dru gets up and goes over to Buffy and takes the suitcoat from Buffy's head. Buffy looks straight ahead, while Angel who is in the same shot hangs his head in shame. Buffy begins laughing. Then she begins laughing uncontrollably, almost hysterically.

The current episode.

In the mirror we see the demon inhabiting Angel; he is truly a repulsive creature, and he is as confrontational as he is ugly, almost seeming to growl at the camera; however, upon closer inspection we also see, a very light-bluish cloud surrounding and floating somewhat behind the demon. As we get a chance to examine it, the cloud begins to take shape. It sharpens in focus, becoming more defined, and before long it takes on the aspect of a small ghost, looking somewhat Casper-ish; the ghost's pleasantly rounded head is off to the left side of the demon, so the ghost kind of looks around it as it looks back at us.

Certainly the eyes of the cloud's head are its most distinctive feature; they are crystal blue, soft and intelligent. And the expression on the face of this small, ghost-like apparition can only be described as a sheepish grin, while behind the demon's head the ghost sticks up two white appendages, like fingers, much as any prankster would do. Buffy laughs because she is pleasantly surprised and charmed by the antics of this "soul," and she is, in fact, relieved by its obvious attempt at silliness.

Encouraged by Buffy's laugh, the ghost, then rises up and, forming hands out of its cloud, sticks the thumbs in the demon's ears and waggles the rest of the fingers at Buffy. The contrast between the agressive ugliness of the demon and the gently mocking playfulness of the soul strikes Buffy as hilarious.

(The musical selection you are hearing, BTW, is "Looking Through the Eyes of Love," which was originally sung by the lovely Melissa Manchester; it is the theme from the movie, IceCastles.)

That's Buff's reaction. Druscilla, on the other hand, is the one wailing hysterically; she has faced her demon and is truly in distress at the sudden realization of her true nature. She stands looking at herself, a gargantuan repellent creature holding a small flimsy doll. Almost a sad picture.

Cut to Spike's reaction to all this.

Spike holds his head with both hands and covers his ears, not able to believe the disaster he has presided over. Druscilla's agony is his. He grabs the water pitcher and throws it at the mirror.

Cut to Willow watching all this from inside the mirror.

Willow is confused but thoroughly engrossed by the goings-on. Then, out of nowhere she sees Spike pick up the water pitcher and hurl it towards her. She turns to the side, seemingly to protec herself, but it is not necessary, as the pitcher is stopped by the glass. It shatters the glass, however, and sadly for Willow, both the window to the world and the light suddenly go out. She is left in total darkness. She cries out in fear.

* * * * * * Buffy theme (Microsoft? A midi--Click on the HyperText.) (Netscape? Try the symbol.)

- - - - - - - - - - Commercial

Back to the ballroom.

Spike is helping Druscilla back to her chair. He has her doll and he hands it to her. She is unable to mouth words, she is so upset and panic-stricken.

Buffy stops laughing but she is still clearly amused. Angel looks relieved. He winks at Buffy, who smiles. He indicates Spike.

Angel (whispering to Buffy): He loves her. Play along or we may not get out of here. (At full volume) Boy, Spike-me-boy, THAT certainly didn't go very well.

Spike: No, it didn't, did it? Hey, maybe next time. Well, you know, they say if you don't make big mistakes, you're not trying to accomplish big things. Slayer, are you okay? (Buffy Shrugs) (To Dru) Are you okay, my Pet?

Druscilla (finally) (she's in great distress): I'm horrid. I'm ugly. How could anyone love such a creature? (She trembles. Spike is suddenly beside himself with worry. He become very attentive.)

Spike: What? What? Oh, no. No, Dru, no. Did you think that was you? Oh, no, Pet. That was . . .

Angel: Just a nasty trick that I concocted when I was Angelus. Dru, you know how much fun I am when I'm Angelus? I left my trick mirror lying around and our that little Spike, here, thought he'd be funny and turn the tables on me.

Spike: I didn't mean any harm, Pet. See, we, you and I, were supposed to end up laughing at that goofy guy, Angel, over there, but then you, you impulsive ninny, had to move up here and then, don't you see, YOU became the brunt of the joke. It's a trick mirror and YOU got tricked.

Angel (laughing): And she fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Since, she's so easy to fool, Spike, I know where a few of Angelus's other old jokes are. Maybe you should trot them out.

Spike (laughing): Yeah? Do you still have those giant whoopee cushions?

Angel: Sure. And the joy buzzers, and the chattering teeth.

Buffy is confused but manages a smile.

Slow motion, of Spike and Angel talking back and forth and laughing. It seems to be very natural for them.

Spike's voice can be heard singing in the background:
"I started a joke and started the whole world crying. Oh, I couldn't see that the joke was on me, Oh, no."

Dru looks up at Spike and then over at Angel, and back up again at Spike. She follows their conversation for a while like someone at a tennis match. She is eventually engaged by their banter and finally her lip begins to curl in a wry smile.

Cut to the obligatory scene in Giles Library.

Oz: We're running out of places to look. And Spike again denied knowing anything about Willow's disappearance?

Buffy: Yes, before he let us escape, he made it a point to mention it again.

Xander: He doth protesteth too mucheth. He lieth.

Buffy (looking at him oddly): I don't think so. He's too expressive to be a good liar.

Oz: Giles, if Spike has no demon and has no soul, what animates him?

Giles (leafing through a book): God only knows. I wish I did. Ah, here (he stabs his finger at a page and pushes it toward Buffy). Is this your mirror?

Buffy looks at a picture of the mirror and nods.

Buffy: That's it. But what is it?

Giles: Well, I don't know anything about being able to see reflections of vampire demons in it, but THAT is the famed Mirror of Merlin. It supposedly was presented by the magician Merlin to King Arthur and Queen Guinevere as a wedding present. As the legend goes its magic lay in its ability to provide an emergency excape portal into another land, like a trapdoor to safety. The fanciful tale of "Alice Through the Looking Glass" was largely based on fables that used to be told about this Mirror. The catch about this particular device, however, if I remember correctly, and there's always a catch with these things, was either that you could get trapped inside it or maybe it was that only so many people could enter the mirror, something like that. I'll look it up.

Oz: If people can somehow enter into this mirror, then that's where Willow must be. Perhaps Spike doesn't know how she got into it, but since he smashed it, I'm going to hold him responsible for her safety. (He gets up to leave.) I've got to do something, find my own avenue of research on this matter. See you guys later.

Cut to Buffy's house.

Buffy enters the front door. Her mom is sitting on the sofa reading the paper.

Buffy: What? You're not soused on your wine yet?

Joyce looks up from the paper. Buffy runs upstairs. Joyce goes back to reading.

Cut to Buffy bouncing down the stairs the next morning.

She sees Joyce walking by and Buffy stops, suddenly remembering to be somber.

Joyce: Sorry, no breakfast. I figured you are probably going to try to punish me some more, so I didn't want to waste any food. If you want something to eat, have some granola bars and orange juice.

Buffy turns away and goes into the kitchen.

Buffy (to herself): Who's zooming who? I love granola bars and orange juice.

Cut to the Sunnydale High School Library. Buffy enters carrying two schoolbooks. She immediately encounters a somber atmosphere. Oz and Cordy and Xander are seated around the table. The only activity in the room is Giles who seems to be bouncing off the walls like a pinball, but who, upon closer inspection, seems to be gathering things from far-flung parts of the room.

Buffy: Any news about Willow? (Oz shakes his head) What's wrong with the Beastmaster? (indicating Giles)

Cordelia: I think it's better if Giles tells you. Okay, since you forced it out of me, he's in Watcher trouble.

Giles (stopping in his tracks): Yes, Buffy. (He looks around at the others. He says to the table.) Please excuse us.

Xander: At least we're being excluded politely.

Giles comes up behind Buffy and puts his arm lightly behind her back and propels her out into the hallway.

Buffy: What is it?

Giles: Perhaps we can go to the cafeteria.

Buffy: No, it's off limits right now. But come over here.

She goes over next to the staircase where she throws her books on the steps and sits on one.

Buffy: Here is fine. What's up?

Giles (sitting): I've been . . . recalled by the Watcher's Council. I have been ordered to report for a disciplinary hearing in Salisbury, England, five days from now.

Buffy: Hmmm. I warned you about drinking Cool-Aid instead of tea? There are spies everywhere.

Giles (distracted, but he smiles): Yes, quite. No, it seems to be serious, or at least THEY think so. Some breech of ethics, or a conflict of interest. I can't imagine . . .

Buffy: Wait, let me get this straight? They are demanding that you immediately fly back to England to answer for something, and you don't actually know what that something is?

Giles: Well, yes.

Buffy: Let's go back to your office and get them on the phone.

Giles: What good will that do?

Buffy: Well, I'm THEE slayer, right?

Giles: Right?

Buffy: And even though I don't know these people I, as the Chosen Slayer, must carry SOME weight with them, right? I mean, when we're talking the means to an end, here, I'm THE END, right? I mean Watcher (points at him) Watching what? (points at herself) Slayer. Right? They Watchers (points at him), Me Slayer (points at herself), Tarzan (points at him), Jane (points at herself), right?

Giles: Well, yes, but maybe Cheeta (points at himself and shrugs.)

Buffy: Look, I don't care what these people think they can get away with back in jolly olde England, but here in the Colonies we tell people what they're being charged with. Let's go.

Giles: Are you sure?

Buffy (clearly upset): Damned straight.

Cut to Giles's office.

The others have left the library, so they are alone. Giles has the phone up to his ear.

Buffy (to Giles): Take my wordfor it--sometimes the direct approach is the best. And sometimes you just can't do these things for yourself--sometimes you're just too close to the situation. Are they on the phone yet?

Giles is listening on the phone and he holds up a finger. He listens some more and nods and hands the phone to Buffy.

Buffy (acting confident; suddenly, however, she totally loses her composure, but then just as quickly she turns away from Giles, screws up her face, crosses her eyes, and sticks out her tongue; having done that, she relaxes and talks with authority): Hello. This is Cordelia Chase from American Fast Finance Company with a credit check on a Mr. Rupert Giles, Sunnydale, California. (Giles looks stunned then he shakes his hand from side to side to say no.) (Buffy pauses) He has made a formal application to finance a car. (pause) Are you kidding? American, of course. A Corvette. (Giles rolls his eyes to the ceiling and shakes his hand again from side to side) (Buffy pauses) Candyapple Red. (Even Giles smiles) (pause) Well, would you at least say he is a member in good standing? (pause) I don't care whether or not he is compensated by you, you are listed not as an employer, you are a PERSONAL reference. If you'd like I can fax you a copy of his application where he authorizes you in writing to release this kind of credit information to us; this is all by the book, I assure you. So, but are you then, in fact, saying you can't give him a good personal reference? (pause) Well, yes. There is a morals clause in our contract, you know. (pause) You don't know? If we find out that there's been a serious breach of . . . morality, we'll have to repossess his car. Do you want to be responsible for that happening? Better to inform us right now, wouldn't you agree? If it's as inconsequential as you say, our underwriters will certainly waive it. (pause) (Giles quits trying to get Buffy's attention and instead sits down watching her intently) Disciplinary hearing? Anything serious? (Buffy suddenly looks embarrassed and turns away.) Well, that doesn't sound so bad. Happens all the time here in America . . . (Buffy's words trail off as she listens further. Then she fixes a smile on her face and turns back towards Giles.) You're certain about that last part? I'd heard she'd terminated it. (pause) Okay, good, thanks for the reference. (pause) No, I don't think you've told me anything that would cause our underwriters to reject his loan. I think, in fact, that he'll be terrorizing our freeways in his little red Corvette this very next week. Cheerio. (She hangs up and looks up at Giles.)

Giles: I thought you said the direct approach was best.

Buffy: So, I lied. Sorry, I may never be able to actually throw any of my Slayer weight around. Anyway, my father once told me: when dealing with people, you have to outthink 'em, but when you're dealing with skunks, sometimes you just have to outSTINK 'em.

Giles: Well, for the record, there was no contest. So, what's the story?

Buffy: They somehow found out you've had sex with my mom. And they think that since you're my Watcher that such behavior is inappropriate.

Giles (taking off his glasses and cleaning them, stalling for time): Oops. Sorry you had to find that out.

Buffy: Well, Watcher to Slayer, how was it?

Giles (surprised, looking up, then averting his eyes): Whatever do you mean?

Buffy: Good lord, Giles, I was only kidding. I just wanted to see you squirm.

Giles: Squirm, eh? Why, you little snip. How was it? Well, you know how us guys are. We always brag about our conquests. The best I ever had was excellent, yuk, yuk. So was the worst I ever had, so, of course, it was excellent.

Buffy: So, then, why did you two quit going out?

Giles: Seriously? (She nods. He points to the phone.) For just that reason. I think your mother is just the most wonderful, charming person, and I think we were doing vry well together, but there are just too many other considerations.

Buffy: I seem to always ruin things for my mother. I seem to continually come between her and men. She and my father squabbled over me. And then, of course, there was Ted. And now this, too, has my earmarks.

Giles: Hey, that's only three. Your mom could have had many more suitors. So don't be so tough on yourself. And this time it WAS mostly my fault. MY JOB got in the way. It wasn't you.

Buffy: I thought I WAS your job.

Giles: Oh, good god, no, Buffy, you're just part of my job--the good part, by the way.

Buffy: Seriously?

Giles: You bet.

Buffy: And so you're not worried about the Watcher's Council?

Giles: Not a bit.

Buffy: And what if they kick you out?

Giles: I can't see them doing that. After all, Joyce and I, as you said, terminated our relationship around two months ago. Now, if there was any other complication, perhaps then I'd have something to worry about. But there's not.

Buffy: How about that Band Candy incident?

Giles: Oh, yeah. Well, if anything happened then, I can plead temporary insanity. McNaughton. I'm covered, as I've already sent in a report covering that little episode.

Buffy: So you're not worried?

Giles: Why should I be?

Cut to Buffy's Home.

Buffy comes through the front door. Joyce is sitting on the sofa reading the paper.

Buffy; Hi, Mom.

Joyce (sarcastically): Oh, we're on speaking terms again?

Buffy: We learned in Civics, it's against the law to stay mad at a pregnant lady.

Joyce (aghast, putting down the paper): How did you know?

Buffy: It seems everyone knows but Giles and me.

Joyce: What?

Buffy: Giles is being recalled to the Watcher's Council in England to be reprimanded--at least I hope that's all it is--about his and your little sexcapade.

Joyce: Oh? Oh, no. And they know about the . . . me?

Buffy: Yes, and they already know you didn't abort it. Why didn't you abort it and why did you go through this charade with me?

Joyce: I don't know. I guess if it were just me I'd actually love to have his . . . this baby, no matter how it was conceived. Rupert is very nice and I love being a mother. But I DO have other more pressing responsibilites which, I think, should take precedence. So, I meant to abort it, but, then, when I was at the clinic, I happened to see you crying in the waiting room so I decided I'd wait a while to see how well YOU ultimately were able to accept my decision. If you got over it, I'd retroactively do it again. Does that sound insane? I'd still like to be admired by my daughter, you know.

Buffy goes over and sits next to Joyce and grabs her and hugs her.

Buffy: Yes, mom, it does sound insane. But, then, most of what you say sounds insane to me. But this current onset of insanity is your best ever. Keep it, mom. Keep the baby. Even though it will probably get Giles in deeper trouble, keep it. It's yours. And I'll bet he wants it too.

Cut to Giles's office at the Library.

Giles (shouting): She wants to do what?

Buffy: My mom and I want to come to England with you and testify on your behalf to the Council.

Giles: Sorry, I know you have all the best intentions and . . . was this Joyce's idea? (Buffy nods) but it's just not done.

Buffy: So, what? We'll make it done. Is it the Council's practice to say, "Don't confuse us with the facts, our minds are made up?"

Giles: No, it's not like that. I'll take along my reports for the period, read them the pertinent passages, and explain what happened. It's not like they don't know about Children-eating Demons, for goodness sake. They'll understand.

Buffy: We already have our plane tickets.

Giles (shrugs): Fine. You may as well see the Council for yourself and they might as well meet you. I just have a feeling the whole staid tradition of vampire slaying is in for a shock.

Buffy: Are you trying to say I'm a non-traditional girl? (He raises his eyebrows) Yeah, well, then, if we have to, we'll drag those dusty Brits kicking and screaming into the Twentieth Century.

Giles: And not a year too soon.

Cut to an airplane in flight over the ocean. Buffy is on the aisle, then Joyce, then Giles at the window.

Joyce: It certainly was nice of your organization to pay for our trip.

Giles: I insisted. Ah, here comes the Liquor Lady. Can I get you a drink, Joyce?

Joyce (opens her mouth looking incredulous, then she looks over at Buffy): Buffy, you didn't? I thought you said you told him.

Buffy looks sheepishly at Joyce.

Buffy: Ooops. . Oh, excuse me, I've got to go powder my nose. You're on your own, girlfriend.

Joyce (in exasperation): Buffy!

Giles (looking perplexed as Buffy heads back the aisle): Now, what are you two conspiring about?

Joyce: Oh? (Joyce turns away from Giles and screws up her face, crosses her eyes, and sticks out her tongue--a little girl across the aisle laughs. Joyce turns back toward Giles. Giles watches as the little girl across the aisle pulls her mouth, crosses her eyes, and sticks out her tongue--back.) Buffy seems to think that we, you and I--we, made a nice couple, when we were dating.

Giles (looking over at the little girl): I thought so too. Say, that little girl is making faces at us.

Joyce: She'll be okay. Wait (she turns to the girl and whispers) God will make your face stay that way forever if you don't quit it. (the girl stops. Joyce turns back to Giles) So, why exactly did we break up again?

Giles (suddenly realizing he's in some sort of trouble, he begins to choose his words carefully): Let me see. I think we agreed that our relationship made the rest of our lives untenable. I.E., case in point, this trip.

Joyce: Yes, I remember, now, THAT was why YOU wanted out. I just can't remember why I wanted out?

Giles (looking over at the little girl who makes another face at him): I thought you agreed. Remember I explained to you that it suddenly hit home for me when I had to send Buffy out that night against Mr. Trick and his gang. I thought once again that I could be sending her to her death, but I had an even harder time concentrating on her preparations because I kept imagining how badly YOU would take it if anything happened to her. I thought my emotional equivocations might get her hurt. (Giles makes a face at the little girl and she gets scared and hides.)

Joyce: Well, then, okay, if that's what you thought, then I lied. I agreed to break up because I didn't want to be the only one in a relationship which you were abandoning. Personally I found our relationship very emotionally satisfying.

Giles (tersely): I see.

Joyce does not respond. Giles waits for her to say something else. (Editor's note. This is a negotiating ploy. First one who speaks loses the argument. They both instinctively know that.)

Giles: So is that what this trip is all about?

Joyce: No. You're going to need some heavy-duty defending. That's what this trip is all about.

Giles (smiling): Really? And what did I do now?

Joyce (flinching): I'm afraid I'm a little bit pregnant.

Giles (clearly stunned, sits back in his seat, grips the armrests, and sighs out loud): Oh? (pause) The candy?

Joyce: Had to be. Are you mad?

Giles (closes his eyes): Am I mad?

Joyce: Yes? Are you mad?

Giles: No, but give me a minute to determine exactly how I am.

Joyce (suddenly angry): No. I want to know how you are without all the determining.

Giles (smiling): Of course you do. But, tough luck. You're not going to get what you think you want. You're going to get a male answer to your question.

Joyce: I don't want a male answer.

Giles: Then go ask a female. Now please shut up and let me think.

Joyce: What do you have to think about?

Giles: Male things. Light years beyond the scope of female comprehension. You wouldn't understand. Now hush.

Joyce: Why are you being so anal-lytical?

Giles: Oh, so now you're trying to insult me? Keep it up and I'll defer this determination.

Joyce: Okay, I'll shut up.

Giles: Good. (He closes his eyes. A full minute goes by. Giles eyes are still closed but then he smiles.)

Joyce (annoyed but also smiling): What?

Giles (eyes still closed, smiling): I didn't really think you could keep quiet that long, and, shush, you'll wake our baby.

Joyce leans over and kisses him on the cheek.

Joyce: Awake sleeping beasty. Now I have a confession.

Giles (opening his eyes, looking over at her): You thought about aborting it?

Joyce: Yeah. Actually I did more than just think about it.

Giles: Of course you did. Understandable. But, what changed your mind?

Joyce: I don't know. I think I really want it.

Giles: Well, now that I've thought about it, so do I.

Joyce: What about your Watcher duties?

Giles: What Watcher duties? The Council will probably give me the old heave-ho when they hear this.

Joyce: Oh, but surely there's something that can be said or done.

Giles: I don't think so. And quit calling me Shirley.

Joyce looks back around and between the seats and sees that Buffy is slowly returning. Joyce (turning): Kiss me quick. Buffy's coming back.

Giles leans forward and kisses her; his hand comes to her cheek. The little girl across the aisle hides her eyes. They end a tender kiss.

Buffy reappears above the aisle seat cushion. She hesitates and looks across the aisle. The little girl is looking at her and crosses her eyes, and Buffy makes a face at the girl and the girl smiles.

Buffy (to Joyce): So, what's up?

Joyce: Shirley, here, thinks he may no longer be a Watcher.

Buffy: Oh?

Cut to a massive hall with a slate floor.

In the middle of the hall is a large semi-circular table with people seated around the outside edge. A single chair is placed slightly back from the inside center of the semi-circle. The people talk amongst themselves and then a heavy-set man with a bushy head of black hair and dressed in a grey pinstriped suit, seated at the center of the table, rings a small bell. The sound dwindles and then cuts off.

Galsworthy: Okay, we are here to take up the matter of Rupert Giles, Watcher assigned to the Incumbent Slayer at the Primary Hellmouth in Sunnydale, California.

Cut to the hallway outside. It is better lit and there is a long desk behind which two twentysome-year old girls, a blonde and a brunette, are seated. The phones ring and they handle the calls.

Across from them are a row of padded institutional chairs upon which Giles and Joyce and Buffy are seated. The receptionists look over at Giles and then at each other and then titter.

Giles looks at his watch and continues conversing with Joyce and Buffy.

Melinda (whispers to Belinda): And I always thought Mr. Giles didn't like the ladies. Which one let him in her knickers?

Belinda: I'm sure it's the more mature one. The younger one is a Slayer, I think. Anyway, he's way too old for the younger one.

Melinda: I don't know. Those Corvettes can start those young hearts a thumping. It's the whole gear box thing, and those phallic shifting levers. I once knew a girl . . .

Giles looks at his watch and gets up and goes over to the desk.

The girls notice him headed their way and they smirk at each other.

Giles (to the brunette): I'm sorry--Melinda,isn't it--but we had a nine o'clock appointment and it's already nearly eleven.

Melinda: Yes, Melinda it is. Nice of you to remember, Mr. Giles. We're sorry, but the Council got a late start. You'll have to be patient, sir. I'm certain it won't be much longer.

Giles nods and hesitates, then returns.

Melinda to Belinda: He does seem a bit more testosteronish than I recall. I thought I'd die when he looked at me with those eyes.

Belinda: I think he's a bit more bow-legged than I remember. Maybe he's been taking hormone shots or maybe he's been straddling his own gearbox.

The door opens and a man comes partway out.

Melinda (in a loud voice to Giles): They're ready for you now, Mr. Giles.

Giles: Thank you. (He rises. To Joyce and Buffy he says) Now you two just stay right here and I'll let you know . . . (Buffy stands up and then Joyce does also. Buffy walks forward and then Joyce does. Giles shrugs and follows. They enter the door.)

Belinda: Now, tell me what happened with that gearbox?

Cut to inside the room. Giles follows Buffy and Joyce into the room.

Galsworthy (his voice echoing in the hall): Welcome, people. Carstairs, could you bring in two more seats? We're happy to finally meet you, Buffy Summers, our Slayer. And this must be your mother, Mrs. Summers.

Giles indicates that Joyce should sit in the one chair.

Buffy: Joyce.

Galsworthy: Ah, yes, Joyce. Welcome, Joyce.

Carstairs starts to brings another chair and Giles goes back and brings the third one. Buffy sits. Giles sits.

The people in the Watcher's Council are an odd mix: two elderly ladies, one with blue hair, one wearing a dark wig, two older men, one bald, one with grey hair, one boy of about twenty, one attractive lady in her thirties, two very distinguished-looking gentlemen in their forties, three middle-aged women, well preserved, and Galsworthy.

Buffy: So what's so important it needed to interrupt my Slaying?

Galsworthy (his voice ringing off the walls): You needn't have come, Miss Summers. But since you are here, it does behoove us to dispense with this matter as expeditiously as possible and, as you say, let you get back to what you do best. We sit in judgement of your Watcher who has breeched one of the most basic tenets of his office. A relationship between a Watcher and a family member of the Slayer is expressly forbidden by our charter which we follow to the letter. So, Mr. Giles, what have you to say for yourself?

Giles: It's all in my report. The local high school sold candy that had been doctored so as to render all adults irresponsible so they would neglect the babies which would then be fed to the demon.

Galsworthy: So, then, that's when this impregnation occurred?

Giles: Yes.

Galsworthy: And there was no relationship otherwise?

Giles: No, there had been a relationship prior to this incident but it was discontinued.

Galsworthy: Discontinued because it was wrong?

Giles: Discontinued because in my judgement I was distracted, and my mental impairment represented a potential source of danger to the Slayer.

Galsworthy: And, so there is no relationship now?

Giles: Well, now that I have found out that Joyce is carrying my child, I WANT a relationship. I want to be a father to the child.

Galsworthy: And does that mean being a husband to the mother?

Giles looks stunned at the question.

Galsworthy: Come, now, man. You must answer this question. I know it's uncomfortable but no one asked you to bring the parties in question along for the ride.

Joyce: I don't need Mr. Giles to be my husband. He likes the idea of being the father of this child and I like the idea of being a mother again. We don't have to have a live-in family relationship.

Galsworthy: Well, thank you, Joyce, but we think this question is crucial. Let us hear from you, Mr. Giles, on this very same subject. Let me just say, first, that we would prefer that this child be terminated. Save that, the only normally-acceptable altenative would be that you, Mr. Giles, maintain an arm's length relationship with it. Can you do that? If so, you can resume your duties as our pre-eminent Watcher.

Giles (clearing his throat): I suppose I feel that a child should live in a loving home with both parents; therefore I intend to try to reestablish a relationship with Joyce, as much as one can plan these things. I believe we have feelings for each other and as long as I don't get too manipulative and stay suitably sensitive to her feelings, I think we may have a chance, if I haven't just killed it off by describing it so clinically.

Galsworthy: Well, I think you may have just talked yourself out of a job.

Buffy: Hold it, Buster. You're going to have to hear from me on this subject before you pass judgement.

Buffy stands, picks up her chair and throws it toward Galsworthy until it skitters across the floor and gently comes in contact with the table in front of him. He does not flinch, but he watches her closely, warily.

Buffy: Now, did you happen to notice how that chair obeyed the law of gravity? How it was solid and made a noise and landed pretty-much right where I threw it? Notice that? You? (she asks one of the little, blue-haired old ladies) Notice that? (the woman nods) How about you, sir? (she asks one of the distinguished gentlemen) Notice? (he nods) Okay, let's have a show of hands. Eveyone who notices we are not in hell or the demon dimension, raise your hand. (Buffy raises her hand and the others do likewise. One of the old men does not and Buffy goes over to him and says very loudly) Hell-lo-ow? If you're not in hell, raise your hand. (He raises his hand. Then he winks at her. She gives him a wary look.) Okay, I think we've established we're not in hell. Is everyone clear on that point? (She pauses) I CAN go through it again. Clear? (pause) Good. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the fact that we are not in hell or the demon dimension is no coincidence. We would be, you know, if it were not for our Mr. Giles here. I had a little to do with it--(she curtsies) you're welcome--but, to my way of thinking, we avoided the anhililation of the world and the end of life as we know it, largely through Giles' coaching and guidance, so I say let the man have a child and let's leave him alone. My mother seems perfectly willing to have this child and the two of them make a nice couple, don't you think?

Galsworthy: Yes, very nice. But the rules say he's out.

Buffy: I hate to admit this but sometimes I actually watch political shows on TV. The only useful thing I've ever picked up from them, however, is the wonderful idea that reasonable people of good will can sometimes disagree. I believe that. So, keeping that in mind, how can you people be so stupid?

Galsworthy: The rules were meant to prevent a Watcher from getting too close to a Slayer. Now, we can't control who the Slayer is, but we can choose her Watcher. And, for your safety--and Mr. Giles has already admitted how his relationship with your mother has the possibility of compromising your safety--we will replace him.

Buffy: No, you won't. I won't Slay for another Watcher. I trust only Giles.

Giles: No, Buffy. Don't say that. We'll talk about this later. (to Galsworthy) She doesn't mean that. I'll talk to her later.

Galsworthy: Now, don't be hasty, Miss Summers. We'll assign Mr. Giles to another slayer in training. His experience will not be wasted.

Buffy: But I do mean it. And we were just talking last night that there's bound to be a sudden increase in vampire activity in Sunnydale. We believe there's going to be a vampire turf war there, Spike against Mr. Trick.

Giles (under his breath): Buffy, shut up. Don't threaten them. If they can't control you, they'll have you killed, and then they'll wait around for another slayer-in-training to be elevated. You are quite replaceable.

Joyce (hearing Giles): Buffy, tell them you'll work with them.

Buffy (sighing), (to the Council): Okay, where did I lose you? These rules you keep referring to, that Mr. Giles has supposedly broken, are contained in a book, right? And this book and your stuffy British asses would be in the demon dimension right now if it weren't for the--allow me to take SOME pride in what we have accomplished--the Slayer/Watcher tag team of Buffy and Giles and, now, you want to break up that team? Because of some obscure rule that, as far as I can see, has no relevance to the current situation?

Galsworthy: Precisely. Okay, Sunnydale, you've had your say. And now you may repair to our waiting room while I and the rest of us stuffy British asses determine the fate of Mr. Giles.

Cut to the waiting room.

Giles (to Buffy): Thanks for reciting all that gross hyperbole on my behalf--I could see what you were trying to do, but you must accept their discipline. It's hard to explain, but these people are ruthless and will replace you like lipstick.

Buffy: Giles, who ARE those people?

Giles: They ARE an odd assortment, aren't they? Some of them have other jobs and sit on the Council much as people in America sit on the Board of Directors of an American corporation. But for some, this is their entire functionality. Each of them serves for life and their position is passed down through their families in much the same way as a royal title. I'm told that at one point in the Middle Ages it was a purchased position, like being a Bishop. Occasionally one of the twelve dies without an heir and there is an election, but that is rare indeed. But the point I want to make is that THEY will continue impassively while Slayers and Watchers can be shuffled by them like cards in a deck. The rumor has always lurked in the shadows of the Council that they CAN AND HAVE ordered Slayers killed that they find deficient in some way. While this does seem extreme, it does not seem impossible to me. The Slayer farm system, to use a baseball metaphor, is an extremely well-oiled machine and it provides a functioning replacement Slayer almost immediately, so they risk little when they lose a Slayer for whatever reason. So, too, if you expect them to shower you with gratitude for saving the world, you will wait a long time--they will not be impressed.

Buffy: I was just thinking of something Spike said. Did you say THEY killed their own Slayer?

Giles: That's the rumor. There's much I am not at liberty to reveal to you about the lore of the Slayer. Sufficeth to say, vampires are not going to be your only source of danger. You may from time to time be mortally tested by the Watcher's Council as well. I just will never let them test you unfairly, I swear that much to you.

Cut to inside the chamber.

Blue-haired lady: I say we replace this impertinent wretch.

Galsworthy: Now, really, Millicent, I don't think that will be necessary. After all, if I remember correctly, loyalty is a GOOD quality. Millicent: Perhaps, but this whelp has a terminal case of sarcasm. I think we should refuse to be addressed by her in this manner.

Galsworthy (looking down at the chair which still lies on its side on the floor in front of his table): Well, I for one can overlook it as quote-unquote youthful high spirits. And, it does not, by the way, have anything to do with our deliberations on the Giles matter. Any other opinions?

Attractive lady (American accent): I say we allow Mr. Giles to have whatever relationship he CAN have with Joyce, the Slayer's mother. Now that it's out in the open, the parties know they HAVE to compensate for it. If we lose this Slayer, we lose her. No need to premptively intercede.

Distinguished man: That seems to be a reasonable approach, Elizabeth. However, the rules clearly forbid the relationship. I wonder. Any rationale for the rule, other than the obvious, Mortimer?

Mortimer (the older man that Buffy had earlier gotten to raise his hand): I've gone back and read the records of the deliberations when they were considering the adoption of this particular rule, and I can find no one specifically arguing that it must be followed to the letter. I believe everyone at the time merely felt it was a wise precautionary measure, and it still is, except when it isn't. I was particularly impressed by the young lady's spirit and the strength of her belief in her Watcher. She will be tested soon enough. I agree with Elizabeth. Why intercede? If Giles fails to put her through her paces, we can always reevaluate at a later date.

Young man: On another note, I, for one, am extremely suspicious of our source for the original information that precipitated this hearing. It would seem to me that someone wants to destroy this particular teaming of Watcher and Slayer. And that someone MUST be on the other side of the field, wouldn't you agree?

Galsworthy: I do agree, Crimmins. Why should we let them use our own rules against us? Being sticklers seems self-defeating on our part. Any other discussion?

Millicent: I still say we should abide by our rules and if that means going back to square one with a new Slayer, well, we certainly have been there before, haven't we? At the very least we should reassign Mr. Giles to someone else, a slayer-in-training.

Galsworthy: Any other discussion? (silence) Then let's go for a secret ballot and then there's several other matters we should take up.

Cut to the outside waiting area.

Belinda (to Melinda): Well, yes, but, you see, Americans shift gears with their RIGHT hands, whereas we Brits do it with our left. And since most people are right handed, this extra hand and wrist exercise is bound to make them better lovers.

She sees the door open. A person appears and waves.

Belinda: Mr. Giles, they are ready for you.

Giles rises, as do Buffy and Joyce. He moves forward and they follow. They pass through the door and retake their seats.

Galsworthy: You must be doing something right, Mr. Giles, to have such strident advocates. We have voted to allow you to continue as before, however you will be watched most closely, especially as to your duties in the next several months (He looks directly, knowingly at Giles, and Giles's eyebrows involuntarily rise). Right now, we are concerned with the internecine vampire war that may be developing in Sunnydale between our old friend Spike and this new vamp, Mr. Trick. We feel this may offer opportunities for some intensive training for our younger Slayers, so we are going to assign you, temporarily, mind you, three trainees so they may get some actual first-hand slaying experience. How does that sound?

Giles: Well, of course, I will do as you say, but I don't know that I think this will be necessary.

Galsworthy: Consider it a condition of your probation. And one other matter, and we must really insist on this. (he hesitates)

Giles: Yes?

Galsworthy: We don't feel that a Corvette is a suitable conveyance for a Watcher--too flashy and doesn't allow for the proper logistical capabilities, you see?--so we must forbid it.

Giles (momentarily confused, then he looks over at Buffy, who smiles wanly and shrugs): Oh, yes, yes I do see. Yes, yes, I quite agree. I'll probably look for a station wagon--now that I may be a family man.

The camera leaves the front of the room and circles around the table. It comes up behind Millicent. On the pad in front of her is written the name Buffy Summers, and she has placed an "X" over the name and written the words "Impertinent Girl, Soap Opera Home Life, Far Too Busy to Slay, Judgement: Totally Unsuitable--Time to Call Another" next to it.

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