Loyalty

(January 15, 2002)

Written by: Mere Smith

 

Teaser



Teaser
BIG FAT PREVIOUSLY ON... all about Angel, the baby, Cor/Groo (and going on vacation), Fred/Gunn, and ending with Wes at his desk, finding the terrible prophecy.

FADE IN:

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - WESLEY'S OFFICE - DAY

ANGLE ON WESLEY, head on his desk, eyes closed. He's surrounded by books, notepads, a pen still clutched between his fingers, his glasses askew on his nose. Stubbled cheeks. Over this:

GUNN (O.S.)
You gotta admire the loyalty.

REVERSE TO REVEAL GUNN and FRED standing in the doorway, looking in on Wes.

GUNN
All night here, hittin' the books.
Loggin' serious alone-time delvin'
into the secret mysteries of... man,
Wesley needs a life.

FRED
Do we have to wake him up? He's just
so cute and rumpled and puppy-like.
(off Gunn's look)
Of course, I prefer big dogs.

GUNN
You shouldn't call a guy those
things. It's like neutering him.

Fred enters, reaches for one of the pages on W çes's desk. Under this:

FRED
I wonder if he found anything new
about Connor --

WESLEY
Don't touch that.

Fred yelps, jumps back, dropping the paper. Wes sits up. He's been awake the whole time.

WESLEY (cont'd)
(covering)
They're just... in a specific order.
I'll be lost if I -- what time is it?

ANGEL (O.S.)
Time for Wesley to wakey-wakey.

ANGEL enters from the reception area, holding CONNOR wrapped in a BABY BLANKET. The blankey is sky-blue, with puffy white clouds on it.

ANGEL
Isn't that right, Connor?

Wes starts tidying things up, putting things out of sight. His interaction with Angel is subtly strained -- as it will be throughout the episode. Just the faintest edge.

WESLEY
Must have lost track of time. I'd
intended to go home, but --

ANGEL
-- the road to hell, right?

Wes looks up at Angel, searching his face.

GUNN
So, Wes -- find any answers in all
those stuffy books?

ANGEL
He already knows the answer. He's
just looking for the question.

FRED
Ooh, it's like J îeopardy -- but
without the big board.

Wes looks at Fred, tries to change the subject --

WESLEY
So, have we heard anything from
Cordelia recentl--

ANGEL (O.S.)
(interrupting)
Hey, wanna see Connor do something
cool?

As Wes looks over at Angel we REVEAL that Angel is in VAMPFACE, still holding Connor. As we PUSH IN on him --

ANGEL
I'm teaching him how to die.

And with that, Angel leans forward and BITES his son (the baby blanket obscuring the actual bite, but sound effects telling us what we need to know). BACK ON WES, staring, horrified, as Angel drains the blood from Connor's body. Wes tries to get up, but can't move.

WESLEY
No... don't...

He looks over at Fred and Gunn, who are watching Angel kill his son without even raising an eyebrow. Wes looks down at his hands resting on an open book --

WES'S POV: BLOOD starts seeping up through the pages.

GUNN (O.S.)
Tick tock, Wes. Runnin' out of time.

BACK ON WES, as he looks from his hands to Angel.

WES'S POV: CLOSE ON ANGEL, in òSLO-MO, as he rears his head back, blood dripping from his mouth.

INSERT: the bloodstained BABY BLANKET Connor was wrapped in begins a SLO-MO, floating descent to the floor.

FRED
Oh, don't be silly, Charles. He's
always too late.

Wes looks down, lifts his hands: they're stained with blood. As the blanket touches the floor --

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - WESLEY'S OFFICE - DAY

Wes jolts awake, alone in his office. Exactly as he was before, stubbled and unkempt, only there's no Angel, Fred, or Gunn, no blood -- everything's completely normal. Just then Angel enters with Connor, almost exactly like in his dream (except Connor is in a different baby blanket) --

ANGEL
Morning, Wes. You been here all
night?

Off Wes, looking at Angel...

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER

Act One



Act One
INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - WAITING ROOM - DAY

CLOSE ON a squalling INFANT, his face red and shiny with tears. We might think it's Connor --

MOTHER #1 (O.S.)
You'd think somebody was killing him.

We POP WIDE to reve âal two MOTHERS sitting in a doctor's office waiting room. Both hold babies in their laps.

MOTHER #1
All night long, the screaming and
crying...

MOTHER #2
(agreeing)
Colic is the worst.

MOTHER #1
It didn't happen with my other kid,
but this one... I hold him, I walk
him -- nothing seems to work.

ANGEL (O.S.)
Have you tried the vacuum?

REVEAL ANGEL sitting across from the mothers, holding Connor on his lap. Wes sits next to him, an unofficial watchdog.

ANGEL
Sometimes the white noise from the
motor'll put a colicky baby right to
sleep.

MOTHER #2
Y'know, I read about that --

MOTHER #1
Problem is, my older one -- I can't
run the vacuum while he's sleeping.

ANGEL
You could try taping it -- the sound?
Leave it playing by the crib kinda
low -- should work just as well.

MOTHER #1
(of course)
Taping it -- I should've thought of
that.
(then, smiling)
Mr. Dad to the rescue.

NURSE (O.S.)
Mrs. Ferguson?

A NURSE waits at the door with a chart in hand.

MOTHER #1
(to Ange îl)
Excuse me.

She stands and exits with her baby. Angel turns to Wes, a little gleeful.

ANGEL
"Mr. Dad". Check me out: I'm "Mr.
Dad".

Wes manages a small smile. Angel eyes him.

ANGEL (cont'd)
You feeling okay, Wes?

WESLEY
Just a bit tired, is all.

ANGEL
You know, you didn't have to come
with me.

WESLEY
No, it's fine -- I just want to make
sure Connor is...
("safe")
...perfectly healthy.

ANGEL
Probably good to get out of the
office, huh? We haven't seen much of
you the last couple days, all holed
up with your prophecies and books.

WESLEY
Yes, I've been working on a...
particularly difficult translation.

Angel leans in, lowers his voice.

ANGEL
Is it about Connor?
(beat)
Anything to worry about?

Wes looks at Angel. Suddenly he has a FLASHBACK from his dream: Angel biting Connor, his head rearing back, blood on his mouth. BACK IN -- Wes looks him dead in the eye. A beat.

WESLEY
No.

NURSE (O.S.)
Mr. Angel?

The Nurse waits at the door. Angel looks from her to Connor.

AN ÕGEL
We're up, kiddo.

Angel stands. Wes follows suit. To Wes, a little confused:

ANGEL (cont'd)
You comin' in?

WESLEY
Just in case you... forget to ask
something. Always better to have an
extra pair of ears, right?

Off Wes, we PRE-LAP:

ANGEL (O.S.)
You hear that?

INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - EXAM ROOM - LATER

POP WIDE to see the DOCTOR leaning over, listening to Connor's heart, Angel hovering. Wes stands apart, watching.

ANGEL
It's like a, like a... soft gurgle,
or a wheeze -- it might be a wheeze.
I heard it last night when I was
feeding him. You hear it?

DOCTOR
(beat, listening)
All I hear is a normal, healthy
little heart.

ANGEL
You don't understand -- I've got
really good hearing. Like... really
good.

The Doc stands up, puts his stethoscope around his neck.

DOCTOR
Most first-time parents do. Now, you
said this wheeze or gurgle happened
while you were feeding him?

ANGEL
Is that bad? What is it?

DOCTOR
In my professional opinion?
(beat)
It's called digestion.

ANGEL
Oh.

Angel slumps with relief, looks at Wes, a little abashed. The Doc makes a note on Connor's CHART.

WESLEY
Doctor, during your exam, you didn't
happen to notice anything... abnormal
about him, did you?

ANGEL
Wes! What kinda question is that?
(immediately, to Doc)
Did you?

DOCTOR
No. Your son is just fine.

ANGEL
When'll we get the results of the
blood tests?

DOCTOR
precaution, really.

ANGEL
But he's okay? Connor's healthy?

The Doctor flips the chart closed.

DOCTOR
Mr. Angel, your son is 100%, without
a doubt, as healthy as a human being
can possibly be.

A beat, as Angel takes that in. Then a grin breaks over his face, and he grabs the Doc's hand, pumps it up and down.

ANGEL
Thanks so much. Thank you.

DOCTOR
No problem.

He continues shaking the Doc's hand. Beat.

WESLEY
Angel, you can let go of the doctor
now.

ANGEL
Oh. Right. On our way.

Finally Angel lets go, picks up Connor and leaves, Wes behind him. The Doc looks at his hand.

DOCTOR ë
Jeez, and they bitch about my cold
hands...

He puts the chart down on the counter, leaves. As we PUSH IN on the chart, we see that it's sitting next to a small VIAL OF BLOOD, marked "ANGEL, CONNOR".

Just then the door opens again, and MOTHER #2, carrying her INFANT CHILD, enters, talking to her kid:

MOTHER #2
Don't you worry, Gracie. The
doctor's a very nice man, and as soon
as he looks you over, we'll be outta
here.

She looks around the room, spots the blood vial. She looks out into the hallway, closes the door quickly.

She reaches into her coat pocket, pulls out another small VIAL OF BLOOD (it is also marked "ANGEL, CONNOR"). She switches her vial for Connor's real one, pockets Connor's, when suddenly the NURSE enters --

NURSE
There you are. Did you get turned
around? You're supposed to be over
in Exam 3.

The Mother smiles.

MOTHER #2
My mistake.

As she leaves with the nurse, we PUSH IN on the fake vial --

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - ANGEL'S ROOM - DAY

CLOSE ON BLUE FLAMES, j îetting out from a gas stove. We ARM UP to see a POT sitting on the burner, heating up a bottle of baby formula. WIDEN as Angel enters frame, lifts the bottle out of the water, and turns off the stove.

ANGEL
Lunchtime, Connor. You want some
lunch?

We see Connor in his crib, cooing. Angel approaches with the bottle and a GLASS OF BLOOD as Wes enters. (Angel's back is to him, as Wes can't see what he's carrying.)

ANGEL (cont'd)
Yes. Daddy wants some lunch, too.

WESLEY
Angel!

Angel spins to face him, startled.

ANGEL
What?

WESLEY
(seeing the glass,
I'm so stupid)
Oh. Lunch. Of course.

ANGEL
Jeez, Wes. What's up?

WESLEY
There's a United Express man
downstairs with another package for
you.

ANGEL
I'll be down in a minute.
(to Connor)
Hey there, little guy.

Angel picks up Connor. Wes just stands by the door, watching.

ANGEL (cont'd)
(to Connor)
You're hungry, aren'tcha?

WESLEY
(beat)
He needs your signature before he can
leave.

Angel looks up at Wes hovering by the door, sighs ï.

ANGEL
Fine. Just... grab this, would you?

He shoves the glass of blood into Wes's hands, takes Connor, the bottle, and exits. Wes looks down at the blood in his hands, remembers his dream. We PRE-LAP:

GUNN (O.S.)
I wanna know how he does it.

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - LOBBY - MOMENTS LATER

Angel turns around from the weapons cabinet holding a nasty looking DAGGER. He goes to a medium-sized BOX on the reception desk, slices it open. FRED holds Connor, giving him his bottle, as GUNN watches. Wes is in his office. (Throughout the scene, Angel will be sipping from his glass of blood.)

GUNN
No last name, no bank account --
(to Angel)
How you orderin' stuff off the web?

FRED
It's not that hard, really. All you
gotta do is hack into the shipping
database, find somebody who's
ordering what you want, then
substitute your information --
(off Gunn's look,
meekly)
-- except that would just be high-
tech robbery.

ANGEL
I memorized Cordelia's credit card
number.

FRED
Oh. Low-tech robbery.

Ange öl pulls out TWO WOODEN STICKS, each about a yard long, that curve at the bottom.

GUNN
Some kind of boomerang vamp stake?

ANGEL
No.
(how cool)
They're itty-bitty hockey sticks.
(grins)
And check this out.

He reaches back into the box, pulls out a tiny HOCKEY JERSEY. Holds it up. It has "CONNOR" spelled out on the back.

ANGEL (cont'd)
How cute is this? Seriously?

GUNN
seriously? I'd say you've got way
too much time on your hands.

FRED
Oh, come on -- you think it's adorable.

GUNN
(fessin' up)
Well, yeah... but at least I'm manly
enough to deny it.

ANGEL
Okay, okay, I'll admit: things have
been a little slow since Cordy and
the Groosalugg went on vacation.

GUNN
A little slow? I can't believe I'm
sayin' this, but I'm actually
jonesin' for a throwdown with
somethin' mean and nasty.

FRED
Cordelia hasn't called once with a
vision.
(a beat)
Do they even have a phone there?

GUNN
If you went all the way to the
Yucatan so you could chill at some
mango-eatin', skinny-dippin', hammock
sleepin õ' resort, would you want there
to be a phone?

Fred's sly look to Gunn answers that question. Angel offers his own explanation.

ANGEL
Or maybe they're not near a phone.
It's a vacation -- they're not gonna
waste it all in a dark room...
together... where the food's
delivered and there's no reason to go
outside... y'know, hockey's a fun
game.

Gunn has moved to the counter, picks up one of the sticks. He starts shuffling around with it, moving a HOCKEY PUCK that was in the box.

GUNN
You realize this is the whitest sport
known to man?

ANGEL
True, but they only play indoors, and
the games are usually at night.

GUNN
Gotcha. Nothin' says "Go Connor"
like Pops burstin' into flames on the
sidelines.

ANGEL
I realize it's a little early to be
thinking about stuff like this,
but... I don't know. I just can't
wait to watch him grow up.

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - WESLEY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Wes at his desk, hears this last part, looks up.

ANGEL (O.S.)
For him to lose his first tooth.
Learn to ride a ú bike. I wanna help
him pick out a tux when he goes to
his senior prom. I can't wait to
find out who he's gonna be.

Wes rubs at his eyes, weary and torn.

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - LOBBY - CONTINUOUS

As we were.

ANGEL
I know it's mushy but... he just
makes me so happy.

Gunn smacks the puck across the floor, where it thuds into the weapons cabinet.

GUNN
He shoots, he scores!

ANGEL
Sure, with no defender.

Angel takes the other stick off the desk, faces off with Gunn.

ANGEL (cont'd)
I think Connor's gonna be a center,
you know? Controllin' the puck --

He jukes around Gunn --

ANGEL (cont'd)
-- ditchin' the left wing -- takin'
it all the way to the crease --

He slaps the puck -- and it goes FLYING across the lobby, BREAKING A WINDOW to the garden. A beat. Angel holds out the stick.

ANGEL (cont'd)
Y'know, this isn't regulation size.

AUBREY (O.S.)
Excuse me --

The gang looks up to see AUBREY JENKINS standing at the front door. Aubrey is an attractive soccer mom. She carries a small black PURS âE.

AUBREY
Is this Angel Investigations? I need
help.

The gang drops what they're doing, move to her --

SLIGHT TIME CUT TO:

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY

Aubrey is seated on one of the red couches, the gang around her. Wes stands in the doorway of his office. Aubrey clutches a crumpled Kleenex.

AUBREY
I used to believe the police were the
good guys, but they won't even listen
to me.

ANGEL
They're still the good guys. They
just don't know what's out there.

AUBREY
What, vampires?
(half-laugh)
Maybe I am nuts.

FRED
You're not. Believe me, we know.

WESLEY
I know this is difficult, but if you
could tell us exactly what happened.

Aubrey struggles to hold it together.

AUBREY
Last Monday night my son, Timothy,
snuck out of the house -- he does
that sometimes, he is one fearless
little...
(catches herself)
I keep saying is. He was a fearless
boy. Loved to go out to the pier. Loved
the lights on that ferris wheel there.
(takes a deep breath)
I went out after him, sea ñrched the
pier, the arcade, nothing. Sat up
all night waiting from him to come
home.

ANGEL
When did he return? Right before
dawn?

AUBREY
(surprised he knew)
Yeah. -- But his face was... there
was something wrong with his face.
(she touches her brow
to indicate)
And he was so angry. Calling me
names, pounding on the door,
screaming at me to let him in. It
scared me.
(looks Wes in the eye)
I was afraid of my own son. -- And
then he went up in flames.

She doesn't cry, but her eyes are wet.

WESLEY
If you'd let him in, he would have
killed you.

AUBREY
At least he'd still be alive.

GUNN
No. What came to your door -- that
wasn't your son. It looked like your
son, but it wasn't him.

AUBREY
But maybe I could've found a way to
turn him back --

ANGEL
Once someone becomes a vampire,
there's no turning back. No matter
how much you want to believe that
some part of them can still be saved,
all that's left is an evil thing.

Wes shifts, uncomfortable.

WESLEY
(changing the subject)
You say yo ÷ur son went to the pier
that night?

Aubrey nods, certain.

WESLEY (cont'd)
Gunn, why don't you do a little recon
while it's still light out?

GUNN
(offering)
I could just gear up and take care of
it.

WESLEY
No. If there's a nest at the pier,
we'll need to go as a group. Recon
only.

We can tell Gunn's disappointed, but he covers:

GUNN
Okay. Me and Fred'll check it out.

That wasn't exactly what Wes had in mind, but he nods. Aubrey looks up at them.

AUBREY
I want you to know: if I could've
found that thing myself -- the
monster who took my son -- I'd have
killed it with my bare hands.
(beat)
It made me afraid of my little boy.

Aubrey finally lets go. Starts to cry. After a moment.

AUBREY (cont'd)
(shakes her head no)
I don't understand any of this, I
mean...
(looks into Wes' eyes)
What am I supposed to do with his
room? With all his things? I can't
just throw them away. I can't.

Off Wesley, watching Aubrey grieve:

HARD CUT TO:

OMITTED

INT. HOLTZ'S LOFT - DAY - AUBREY

Strong and poi Ùsed; 180 degrees from her demeanor in the previous scene.

AUBREY
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

She points at a SURVEILLANCE PHOTO of Wesley tacked on an easel. "WESLEY WYNDAM-PRYCE" written below it.

AUBREY (cont'd)
Heads the staff at Angel
Investigations.
Doles out assignments, specializes in
references and research.

WIDEN TO REVEAL: Aubrey standing in front of a group of nine or ten people, including HOLTZ and JUSTINE.

This is Holtz's loft. Imagine a large Victorian attic, all crossbeams and eaves. There are THREE VAMPS chained in a corner, the rest of the space occupied by WEAPONS, BOOKS, COMPUTERS, TRAINING EQUIPMENT, and some OLD FURNITURE, including a heavy wooden ARMOIRE.

The easel Aubrey's pointing to has GRAINY SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS (as though taken from a hidden camera in her purse) tacked up on it. Angel's blurry pic at the top ("ANGELUS" written under in); beneath that are Wesley's, Gunn's ("CHARLES GUNN"), and Fred's ("FRED [NICKNAME?]").

She points to Fred ë's picture.

AUBREY (cont'd)
Nickname, Fred. This woman seems to
be their resident science expert.
It's unclear whether she's a fighter.

Points at Gunn's photo.

AUBREY (cont'd)
Finally, Charles Gunn. Big and very
strong. Could be a formidable
opponent, thought he seems a bit on
the impulsive side. We may be able
to use that in the future.

JUSTINE
What about the other woman? The one
with the visions?

AUBREY
Cordelia Chase. From what I could
gather she was vacationing with her
boyfriend. I couldn't get the
location without raising suspicion.

HOLTZ
Nevertheless -- good work, Aubrey.

As we PUSH IN on Aubrey --

AUBREY
Thanks, boss.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE

Act Two



Act Two
INT. HOLTZ'S LOFT - DAY

CLOSE ON THE SURVEILLANCE PHOTO OF ANGEL --

JUSTINE (O.S.)
I don't understand.

POP WIDE TO REVEAL -- Justine looking at the photos on the wall, Holtz beside her, looking at BLUEPRINTS on the table.

JUSTINE
How can these people work for a
vampire?

HOLTZ
I once made a pact with a demon ï.

JUSTINE
So you could get to Angelus. So you
could kill a vampire.

HOLTZ
I'm sure they believe their reasons
are good, however misguided. Things
aren't always black and white,
Justine, good and evil.

JUSTINE
What about Angelus?

HOLTZ
(beat, simply)
He's evil.

Over in the center of the room, two people in BODY ARMOR are training with a Vamp (not one of the three in the corner). It has a collar around its neck, a chain stretching to the floor, preventing it from moving very far in any direction.

Just then the Vamp snaps his chain and begins beating the hell out of the Body Armor folks. Justine darts over, starts to throw down with the Vamp. Her fighting has improved -- not so much rough-and-tumble now as measured, calculating.

Eventually Justine kicks it in the knee, dropping it. She grabs a SWORD and plunges it through the Vamp's midsection, pinning it to the ground as she turns to the Body Armor folks --

JUSTINE
Chains would be good now.

The Body Armor people rush over and re ó-chain it. Justine yanks her sword out of the Vamp, comes back over to Holtz.

HOLTZ
They get more violent when they're
kept hungry.

JUSTINE
Too bad, then. 'Cause they're not
feeding on my watch.

Holtz looks at Justine, what she's become.

HOLTZ
(very simply)
I knew you were meant for this.

If it were possible for Justine to glow, she would. Holtz turns back to the blueprints on the table.

HOLTZ (cont'd)
We need to get moving. Events are
happening even quicker than I could
have hoped.

SAHJHAN (O.S.)
Thank god. I was starting to get
bored.

REVEAL SAHJHAN MATERIALIZING a few feet away (CGI). Holtz keeps his poker face, but Justine pulls her sword and SLICES Sahjan's neck (CGI). It passes clean through without hurting him.

SAHJHAN
(a beat)
Y'know, my barber has the same
problem with his scissors, hence the
bad hairdo.

Justine keeps her sword up. Stands close to Holtz. SahJhan glances around.

SAHJHAN (cont'd)
Love the whole chained-undead look
you got goin' on. Really sets off
your fe ôrn.

HOLTZ
You can stand down, Justine. It's
only Sahjhan.

Justine lowers her sword.

SAHJHAN
"Only" Sahjhan? See, that's the
trouble with you, Holtz. No respect.
If you'd only done what you --
(stops, eyes Justine,
to Holtz)
Can we get a little privacy here?

HOLTZ
(beat)
No.

Smacked down. Sahjhan regroups --

SAHJHAN
Fine. 'Cause unlike your
(air quotes)
"master plan", this'll be short and
sweet.
(beat)
You owe me a dead vampire.

HOLTZ
Yes, well... how should I put this...
(beat)
What are you going to do about it?

Sahjhan just stares at him, can't believe what he's hearing.

HOLTZ (cont'd)
Nothing. That's what you'll do.
It's all you can do, or else you
wouldn't have brought me here in the
first place.
(then)
You've done your part, Sahjhan. Now
let me do mine.

SAHJHAN
What is your part? Recruiting a
bunch of paramilitary Moonie freaks
to run around playing Candid Camera
with Angel's buddies? That's crap.
(beat)
Admit it. You're a coward.
(then)
And I bet Caroline would agree.

Holtz ö betrays no emotion.

SAHJHAN (cont'd)
You remember her, don't you? Your
dead wife, mother of your dead kids.
How'd they die? Who swore revenge?
Any of this ringing a bell?

HOLTZ
(calmly)
Get out.

Sahjhan smirks.

SAHJHAN
Or what? You can't kill me.

HOLTZ
No. But I can trap your dimensional
essence in an Resikhian urn.
(off Sahjhan's look)
Wonderful devices, the urns -- they
last a lifetime... that is, if you
life forever.

Holtz deadeyes Sahjhan. A beat.

SAHJHAN
This isn't over, Holtz.

He DISAPPEARS (CGI). Off Holtz, we PRE-LAP:

WESLEY (O.S.)
I know it's dangerous.

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - WESLEY'S OFFICE - DAY

Wesley is on the phone, angry --

WESLEY
I don't care. You're a wizard.
(beat)
Because it's the right thing to do.
(beat, gritted teeth)
Then because I'm paying you an
obscene amount of money. Just do it.
And call me back.

He slams the phone down as Fred enters, bouncy as per the norm.

FRED
Hey, Wes?

WESLEY
(slightly snapping)
What is it?

Fred loses some of the bouncy.

FR öED
I'm sorry, you're busy. I'll come
back.

WESLEY
What can I do for you?

The tone in his voice makes her regret coming in.

FRED
(reluctant)
Nothing. I wanted to complement you.
That's all.

Not what he was expecting to hear.

FRED (cont'd)
You were really there for that woman,
Aubrey.

WESLEY
(a bit softer)
Thank you.

Fred ventures a step closer. Looks around his office.

FRED
You've been working so hard, staring
at all these books. And as a book-
starer myself, I know how crazy-
making that can be.
(a beat)
You should get out of here for a
while. Go for a walk or see a movie
with somebody.

WESLEY
I don't know. There's so much...

FRED
You deserve it. It might be a little
too soon, but I thought maybe you
could call Aubrey. She's real
attractive, and her paperwork says
she's single -- she probably needs a
friend.

Wes didn't see that curveball coming; the girl he's in love with is trying to set him up with someone else. He tries to speak kindly, but the angry edge glints through:

WES ûLEY
Fred, we're not here to "date".
We're here to do a job.

Fred is almost ashen. She nods.

WESLEY (cont'd)
Now go to the pier and do your job,
please.

Wes doesn't seem to have anything to add to that, so she stands and leaves. Beat. As Wes reaches for the phone again, we PUSH IN on it --

INT. WOLFRAM AND HART - LILAH'S OFFICE - DAY

-- PULLING BACK from Lilah's phone to see her on it, sitting alone at her desk.

LILAH
Is everything alright? Are they
taking care of you?
(listens)
No, Mom, this is Lilah. You called
Li-lah. Do you need anything? Do
you need money?
(listens)
I can't come over, I'm in Los
Angeles, you know that.
(listens)
Don't cry. Mom stop it, please.

Just then Sahjhan MATERIALIZES (CGI) right in front of Lilah's desk. She doesn't blink.

LILAH
I'm gonna have to call you back.

She hangs up. Looks at Sahjhan. Beat.

LILAH (cont'd)
You don't have an appointment.

SAHJHAN
That's it? No, "wow, how'd he do
that?" No screaming in terror?
You 21st century-types are so jaded.

LILAH
óYou're Sahjhan, aren't you?

Now Sahjhan actually does look surprised.

LILAH (cont'd)
I may be jaded, but I do my homework.
And there's a girl downstairs -- weird
eyes -- she's got records on just about
everything that's ever happened ever.
(beat)
My company rocks.

SAHJHAN
Yes, I'm familiar with your firm --
in this and... other dimensions.

LILAH
Great. Then let's shorthand. You're
Sahjhan, a time-shifter. You
recruited Holtz in the eighteenth
century and put him on ice for a
couple hundred years so he could pop
up and stake Angel when he's least
expecting it, yes?

SAHJHAN
More or less.

LILAH
But considering I have yet to put on
my boogie shoes and dance on Angel's
pile of dust, I'm imagining Holtz
isn't working fast enough for you.
Which leads me to believe you think
my firm could expedite the process.

SAHJHAN
Again, more or less.

Lilah grabs a PAD of paper and a SHARPIE. Scribbles furiously under:

LILAH
I hate to disappoint you, but Wolfram
and Hart's official policy is to let
An ùgel live until he becomes useful.
I'm sworn to obey that policy.

Lilah holds up the pad, which says in GREAT, BIG, CAP LETTERS, "COUNT ME IN". Sahjhan suddenly gets it: the room is bugged. He looks around the room.

LILAH (cont'd)
Is there some other way we can help
you?

SahJhan plays along, steps closer to Lilah. A DRAMATIC PUSH-IN on Sahjhan as he says slowly, ominously --

SAHJHAN
I have a plan, but for it to work, I
require a very rare and valuable
ingredient. Getting it will be
difficult, if not impossible.

THE PUSH-IN CONTINUES --

SAHJHAN (cont'd)
I need the blood of Angel's son--

LILAH (O.S.)
(immediately)
Got it.

The PUSH-IN abruptly stops. Maybe even backs up a bit. A beat on Sahjhan.

SAHJHAN
Got it? What do you mean "got it"?
How'd you get it?

LILAH
Swiped it from his doctor's office.
Don't know what good it'll do you,
though -- boys in the lab looked it
over, say it's utterly run-of-the-
mill. Completely normal.

Sahjhan smiles.

SAHJHAN
That's because they're looking for
the úwrong thing.

EXT. LOS ANGELES SKYLINE - DAY

Let's open it up, shall we? Shots of outdoors daytime L.A. (and let's put some in the post-library while we're at it).

EXT. SANTA MONICA PIER - DAY

Gunn and Fred wind their way through the afternoon crowd.

FRED
So I'm lookin' for anything
suspicious. Like small, dark places
where somebody could get grabbed. Or
blacked-out cars or vans. Or pale,
bumpy people with sharp teeth.

GUNN
I don't think we gotta worry about
seein' any actual vamps, Fred. The
sun's still kinda up in the sky.

FRED
Even so, as professionals, shouldn't
we always be aware of the surround--

GUNN
--Hey! Ring toss!

Gunn steps over to a midway-style ring toss game.

GUNN (cont'd)
Want me to be all macho and win you
a prize?

FRED
Charles...?

GUNN
All right. You be the macho one.
(looks at prizes)
Aww, look at that stuffed little
bunny up there. Think you could win
it for me?

FRED
This is so wrong.

GUNN
(a beat)
You're right. I don't want a bunny.

FRED
Not the bunny -- w üe're supposed to be
workin'.

Gunn turns, looks at her.

GUNN
No. We're supposed to be doin' some
bogus half-assed recon. That's
different than workin'.

FRED
Still, it's our job.

GUNN
Actually, it was my job. Wes never
said to bring you along. Probably
wanted me out and about so he could
chat up my girl.

FRED
Wesley wouldn't do that.
(immediately)
I'm your girl?
(immediately)
Wes knows about us and you knew he
knew and you didn't let me know?

GUNN
C'mon, you knew he was interested in
you. And now he knows we're seein'
each other. So what?

FRED
He's our boss. -- And I don't
think he likes the idea of us dating
while we're working together.

GUNN
I'll be he doesn't.
(realizing)
He said something to you, didn't he?

Fred looks away, somewhat ashamed.

GUNN (cont'd)
But you got my back, right? You
stood up to him and said we're two
adults and what we do with our
personal lives is none of his
business, right?

FRED
(nodding emphatically)
Oh, you bet I--
(shaking her head)
--didn't. No. I didn't. ù
(beat)
Charles, I like you. And I wanna
keep liking you...

GUNN
Then do.

FRED
But when we're working together, it
gets complicated. Maybe when we're
out like this, we should just... work.

GUNN
(shakes his head)
Can't do it that way. Maybe I'm
greedy, but I want it all -- the
great girl and the great job. I
don't care what Wes says, I'm not
givin' up either one without a
fight. -- How 'bout you?

Fred holds his gaze for a beat, shakes her head no. Gunn leans down and kisses her.

GUNN (cont'd)
Good. Now how 'bout we go lookin'
for some vampires?

They move off into the crowd.

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - RECEPTION AREA - NIGHT

Angel sits in Cordelia's chair, feeding Connor, another glass of blood nearby. Wes enters from his office, quiet, subdued.

WESLEY
I have to leave the office for a
little while.

He looks like he wants to say more, but he doesn't. Beat.

WESLEY (cont'd)
Need my coat.

He crosses to the coat rack behind Angel, grabs his coat.

ANGEL
Wes, what's goin' on? You've been on
edge Ú for days. Talk to me.

Oh God, does Wesley want to talk about this. But he can't.

WESLEY
I just... want to make sure
everything's okay.

ANGEL
You mean with Connor?

Wes nods. Angel looks down at his son in his lap.

ANGEL (cont'd)
Poor little guy. You didn't mean to
give Uncle Wesley such a big
headache, did you?

Wes watches Angel with his son, a loving tableau. Beat.

WESLEY
Will you two be all right while I'm
away?

ANGEL
(puzzled)
Why wouldn't we be?

Wes shakes his head wearily: "I don't know what I was thinking." He puts on his coat, takes one last look -- just as Angel is sipping his glass of blood. Something in him hardens, resolves.

WESLEY
I won't be long.

Wes moves to leave --

ANGEL
Hey, Wes?
(Wes turns, beat)
Thanks. You're a good friend.

How Wes puts the smile on, we may never know. He leaves.

EXT. SANTA MONICA PIER - CAROUSEL - NIGHT

Fred and Gunn make their way along the nearly deserted boardwalk. Gunn stops several yards away from the caro Üusel. Fred looks at her watch.

FRED
We should be getting back.

GUNN
Hang on. I'm getting a tingle.

FRED
(looks around shyly)
I thought we were gonna try to keep
that out of the work place.

GUNN
Not that kinda tingle.

FRED
Oh...

Gunn's scanning the pier. Fred does the same.

Fred (cont'd)
I don't see anything suspicious.
(a beat)
Except that guy tryin' to break into
that building over there.

She points -- a dark FIGURE (which we find out later is HOLTZIAN MAN) is jimmying the door of the carousel building.

GUNN
Carousel closed hours ago.

The Figure slips inside. Gunn gestures for Fred to follow him. They sneak over to the door, push it open --

INT. SANTA MONICA PIER - CAROUSEL - CONTINUOUS

-- to see that FIGURE climbing up a ladder built on the wall. They speak in hushed tones --

FRED
Is it a vampire?

GUNN
Only one way to find out.

He pulls out a stake, starts to walk in. Fred grabs his arm.

FRED
Charles -- what are you doin'?

GUNN
My job. I didn ¬'t spend all day
walkin' the pier just to go home and
file a report with Wesley. Let's
finish this now.

He sneaks off, crouches behind the carousel. Fred follows.

FRED
We're not supposed to be doin' this.

GUNN
So it'll be our little secret.

Suddenly the carousel starts up.

FRED
Not much of a secret.

FRED'S POV - A VAMP

Shoved out of a small room in the center of the carousel.

VAMP #2 drops from the top of the ride.

VAMP #3 plummets from the darkness above the ladder. Hits hard. Stands. They're the vamps we saw chained up in Holtz's loft. They look dazed, disoriented -- until they see Gunn and Fred. They leer hungrily, start to advance. Off our two heroes, overmatched and outnumbered.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO

Act Three



Act Three
INT. SANTA MONICA PIER - CAROUSEL - NIGHT

Right where we left off. The carousel spinning. Gunn grabs Fred --

GUNN
Run!

They take off for the door, but Vamp #1 gets there first, blocking t Õhe exit.

They take off in another direction, but Vamp #2 blocks the way. We pop to a HIGH-WIDE POV: Fred and Gunn in the middle, all three vamps approaching from different directions.

REVERSE TO REVEAL: Justine videotaping the fight from above through a small window. HOLTZIAN MAN joins her, peers down on the action.

HOLTZIAN MAN
Vamps're set free.

JUSTINE
I noticed.

BACK ON GUNN -- Eyes on the vamps. He speaks urgently, low:

GUNN
(to Fred)
Do you have a stake?

She shakes her head no.

GUNN (cont'd)
Then we have a total of one. When I
say "go", run.

FRED
I'm not leavin' you here.

The vamps CHARGE. Gunn hooks Fred behind him, manages to fight the Vamps off for a minute. He SIDEKICKS Vamps #2 and #3, sends them flying. Turns to Fred:

GUNN
Get outta here! Now!

FRED
But --

Gunn all but shoves her.

GUNN
GO!

His power and urgency startles her. Fearful, she turns and runs AWAY from the carousel just as Vamp #1 tackles Gunn around the knees.

ANGLE ON × JUSTINE AND HOLTZIAN MAN -- taping away.

HOLTZIAN MAN
They're gonna kill him.

Justine doesn't like it any better than he does, but she has a job to do, too.

JUSTINE
Maybe.

BACK ON THE GROUND -- Gunn is on the floor. (Just to clarify -- this is an ugly fight, no fancy stuff. Just balls-to-the-wall survival instinct.)

He KICKS Vamp #1 in the face, knocks it back through the RAILING. It splinters and breaks. Gunn scrambles after Vamp #1, climbs atop and STAKES IT (O.S.).

No time to enjoy it, though, as Vamp #2 kicks Gunn in the head, causing him to DROP HIS STAKE as it skitters under the carousel.

Gunn rolls with the blow, comes up under Vamp #3. He's into the fight. Sweeps Vamp #3's leg, dropping it to the ground, is turning to find Vamp #2, but it's already behind him. It grabs his throat, face-to-face, starts to squeeze.

ANGLE ON JUSTINE AND HOLTZIAN MAN --

HOLTZIAN MAN
Shouldn't we --

JUSTINE
No. That's not why we're here.

BACK ON THE GROUND -- Gun ãn scrabbles at Vamp #2's hands, desperate for air. It looks like the end for ol' Charlie Gunn, as Vamp #3 rises up behind him, when suddenly --

FRED (O.S.)
Behind you!

At that moment, several things happen in rapid succession:

ANGLE ON FRED, grabbing a long splinter of the broken rail --

CLOSE ON VAMP #2 as he sees Vamp #3 closing in --

CLOSE ON GUNN as he looks into Vamp #2's eyes, judges where his buddy's coming from --

ANGLE ON FRED, as she LOBS the make-shift stake to Gunn --

ANGLE ON GUNN, as he takes his hands away from the Vamp's on his throat, catches the stake --

Then we POP WIDE as Gunn thrusts his stake behind him blindly and NAILS Vamp #3 in the heart. At the same moment, Fred takes another rail shard and SHOVES it into Vamp#2's back. Both vamps DUST SIMULTANEOUSLY (CGI).

ANGLE ON JUSTINE -- as she looks up from the camera's clam shell, surprised, and not a little impressed.

JUSTINE
Whatta ya know?

She gives a small, relieved half-laugh. Then silent ëly steals away as --

BACK ON THE GROUND -- Gunn and Fred look at each other, spent.

GUNN
Fred... why are you still here?

FRED
'Cause.
(beat)
I got your back.

They look at each other. Beat.

FRED (cont'd)
Well, actually I got his back.

Gunn moves to her, takes her chin in his hand.

GUNN
Thanks.

As they kiss --

EXT. LOS ANGELES SKYLINE - NIGHT

Flash cut flash cut...

EXT. JOLLYBURGER - NIGHT

We're CLOSE ON WES, MOVING WITH HIM as he emerges from some shrubs, staring at the GPS HANDHELD he carries. We might think he's in a forest somewhere --

WESLEY
34 degrees, 12 minutes north. One-
eighteen twenty-one west... this must
be... it?

He stops, looks up as we POP WIDE TO REVEAL: he's standing in front of a BIG ANTHROPOMORPHIC HAMBURGER. Well, actually it's the speaker-device for a fast food restaurant called JOLLYBURGER. Wes stands in the drive-thru lane, dumbfounded.

WESLEY (cont'd)
You're supposed to be a statue.
Guess you are... sort of...

Just then two TEENAGED KIDS Ùin Jollyburger uniforms exit the darkened building, locking the door. They spot Wes talking to Jollyburger. They laugh, making fun of the weirdo, then turn and walk off. Wes takes out a small cloth BAG and unties the drawstring, revealing an ORANGE POWDER. He sprinkles it over the Jollyburger, mutters --

WESLEY (cont'd)
If this doesn't work, I'm going to
kill that wizard so hard...

He drops the bag, holds his hands out, intones by rote (like he's embarrassed to be saying this to a Jollyburger -- and frankly, who wouldn't be?)

WESLEY (cont'd)
Mange sec loa, Alegba. Accept this
offering and open the gates of truth.
Loa Kalfu, make your crossroads here.

A YELLOWISH-ORANGE LIGHT (CGI) swirls around the Jollyburger, which suddenly animates, becoming a talking hamburger. Its voice is deep, ominous. Wes is a little surprised.

JOLLYBURGER
How dare you call on the loa?

WESLEY
I come in supplication, o great one,
begging answers to questions only
your power can reveal.
æ
JOLLYBURGER
You have answers, human. You search
now only for the question.

Wes hears the disturbing echo of his dream.

WESLEY
Is it true? Will Angel really kill
his son as it says in the prophecies?

JOLLYBURGER
That the vampire will devour his
child is certain. The dark question
you harbor is only when?

WESLEY
No, the dark question I harbor is how
do I stop it?

JOLLYBURGER
It cannot be stopped.

WESLEY
It has to be stopped. There must be
a way too--

Suddenly a BOLT of yellow-orange light (CGI) shoots out of the Jollyburger and ZAPS Wesley to the ground. He cries out, in obvious pain.

JOLLYBURGER
Your insolence is displeasing.

As Wes gets to his feet, under his breath:

WESLEY
Try chatting with a pissy hamburger.

JOLLYBURGER
You risk your life, human, calling on
the loa. Perhaps what you truly seek
is death. The pain in your heart
beg for it.

Wes knows it's true. But he only says, coolly:

WESLEY
Then do it and be done. Nothing else
will stop me.

JOLLYBURGER
Simp Ûle mortal. Your pain is just
beginning. Betrayal and agony lie in
wait, and time is running out. Yet
you still ignore the question...

WESLEY
Then when? When will this happen?

JOLLYBURGER
The first portent will shake the
earth. The second will burn the air.
The last will turn the sky to blood.

WESLEY
An earthquake? That's the first
portent? We live in California!

JOLLYBURGER
Earthquake. Fire. Blood. Be
heedful of the signs, human, and
trouble the loa no more.

With a flash of light, the Jollyburger reverts back to a speaker-device, leaving Wes standing there in front of a plastic hamburger. We PRE-LAP:

LILAH (O.S.)
I need a drink.

INT. BAR - NIGHT

Lilah sits at an upscale bar, having just addressed this last to the BARTENDER.

LILAH
Scotch, 30-year-old, two ice cubes.

The Bartender moves off, as a HANDSOME INVESTMENT BANKER takes the stool next to Lilah. He flashes his toothy grin, opens his mouth to say something, but --

LILAH (cont'd)
Not on your best day é. Bye.

A beat, he closes his mouth, slouches away, as the Bartender returns with Lilah's drink.

CLOSE - LILAH

As she savors her velvety scotch. She senses someone slipping onto the barstool again. Swivels to face SahJhan sitting next to her.

SAHJHAN
Sorry I'm late.
(a beat)
Kinda ironic, my being a time-shifter
and all.

Nothing from Lilah. She sips her drink. Then,

LILAH
It's on.

SAHJHAN
It's on?

LILAH
Our plan. The Angel plan. On. I
out-sourced the labor, buried the
costs. We shouldn't have a problem
with the firm. -- Good seeyin' ya.

She drains her drink, stands to leave.

SAHJHAN
Okay, but let's skip the small talk
and get right to business.

Lilah stops. Looks at him.

SAHJHAN (cont'd)
What? I just time-skipped a hundred
and thirty three years for this
meeting. Would a little conversation
kill you?

LILAH
(beat)
Right. 'Cause we're on a date.
(then)
The only reason I met you here is so
we could talk freely.

SAHJHAN
So let's talk freely.
(leans close)
Would it impr òess you if I said I
invented Daylight Savings Time?

LILAH
(leans closer)
Why do you want Angel dead?
(then)
It's the only thing I couldn't find
in the archives.

This seems to amuse Sahjhan in some small way.

SAHJHAN
Boy. All work and no play...
(shrugs)
I have my reasons. How 'bout you? --
Dyed-in-the-wool company gal. Why
risk it all to kill Angel?

LILAH
We have a... history.

SAHJHAN
Well, same here.

Lilah realizes she's not gonna get anything else out of him.

LILAH
Are you afraid of him?

SAHJHAN
(honestly)
Nah.

LILAH
Then what are you afraid of?
(off his look)
You may be insubstantial, but I can
still smell the fear.

Sahjhan looks at her. She's getting too close.

SAHJHAN
Wow, look at the time.

He stands.

SAHJHAN (cont'd)
When's this little plan go into effect?

LILAH
It's already started.

Off Lilah, self-satisfied.

EXT. LOS ANGELES SKYLINE - NIGHT TO DAY

FLASH! Ahh-AHHH!

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - RECEPTION AREA - DAY

Wes sits in Cordy's chair, staring at something o. ùs. He's still in the same clothes he wore last night; it's obvious he hasn't slept. We PULL BACK to find that it is Connor he's staring at, the baby asleep in his bassinet. A long moment.

Suddenly a knock on the desk. Wes looks up --

AUBREY
Hi. Sorry to interrupt your staring.
You looked really into it.

WESLEY
Aubrey. I didn't hear you come in.
Please --

He gestures for her to move into his office. She goes around one way, Wes moves through the double doors, meeting in --

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - WESLEY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Wes moves behind his desk, sits.

AUBREY
I got your message, that everything
was taken care of? I can't tell you
how grateful I am.

She pulls out a check, hands it to him. Wes looks at it without really seeing it.

AUBREY (cont'd)
It might've been too late for
Timothy, but at least those monsters
will never take someone else's son.

Suddenly Wes looks up, seems to focus in on Aubrey.

WESLEY
"Monsters"? I don't recall
mentioning there were more than one...

AUBREY
(back ûpedaling)
Well... you did say before that it
could be a nest.

WESLEY
Oh.
(beat, slumps back)
Well, thanks for the check. We'll
mail you a receipt.

Aubrey stands there for a moment, looking him over.

AUBREY
Look, I know it's none of my
business, but -- are you okay? No
offense, but you look a little rough
around the edges.

WESLEY
I'm... not sleeping very well. Or,
rather, at all.
(weak smile, soft)
Sometimes I take the job a little too
personally.

AUBREY
Yeah. I get that.

They share a moment, two people struggling in their grief.

AUBREY (cont'd)
Would you...
(beat)
Ugh, this is so stupid, but... would
you like to go out, maybe get a cup
of coffee or something?

WESLEY
You mean... with you?

AUBREY
To be perfectly honest, I could use
a friend right now. Ever since my
(then)
It gets lonely.

WESLEY
You're good. I liked the "lonely"
thing.

AUBREY
(beat, confused)
What?

ANGEL (O.S.)
Yeah, lonely -- that was a nice
touch.

Aubrey gasps, whirls around to find Angel RIGHT BEHIND HER.

She's b Öusted and she knows it. Trapped between Angel and Wesley. She digs for a STAKE from her bag. She lunges, but he disarms her, shoves her against the wall by the throat. Her choking bravado masking fear.

ANGEL
(aside to Wesley)
Moves more like a fighter than a
victim, wouldn't you say?

WESLEY
Yes. I would.

ANGEL
(in Aubrey's face)
You set up my friends. Let them walk
into an ambush. They could have been
killed.

AUBREY
(drops pretense)
Yeah, but they weren't. Your friends
are still alive -- and my little boy
isn't.

A beat. Angel releases his grip on her. She's still wary.

ANGEL
I'm sorry about your son.

WESLEY
Is that how Holtz found you? Because
of what happened to your son?

Aubrey doesn't respond. Tight mouthed. She's not about to offer anything.

ANGEL
You're right to protect him. Holtz
is one of the good guys. He's got
every right to hate me. And if he
ever goes near any of my people ever
again, or tries to touch a hair on my
son's head -- I will kill èhim and
anyone who gets in the way.
(then)
You might wanna mention that.

Just then a TREMOR shakes the building. Not a gigantic one, but things definitely move, rattling pens, vibrating books. Aubrey takes off. The tremor continues as Angel moves to Connor, picks him up.

ANGEL (cont'd)
Slept right through it --
(moving off with
Connor)
That's my little guy.

Off Wes --

INT. HOLTZ'S LOFT - DAY

CLOSE ON A MONITOR, showing Gunn and Fred's fight with the vamps. It's playing the part where Fred is about to shove the wood shard into the Vamp's back. Suddenly it FREEZE-FRAMES, and a FINGER comes into view, poking at Fred's image.

HOLTZ
This tiny girl. Outsized,
outmatched, outnumbered.

POP OUT WIDE to see Holtz, Justine and a number of HOLTZIANS watching the tape.

HOLTZ (cont'd)
And she survived. Why? Because she
was willing not to. She was prepared
to die for the cause, rather than
abandon her comrade. We too must be
willing to die -- but more so.
(beat)
Study this carefully. You ò'll be
fighting these two very soon.
(sensing something)
Perhaps sooner than I expected...

He turns and now WE REVEAL --

AUBREY there. Out of breath, looking shook up. Holtz reads her, puts it together.

HOLTZ (cont'd)
They found you out.

AUBREY
I'm sorry.

HOLTZ
It's not important. Of course, I am
rather annoyed that you allowed
yourself to be followed...

A VOICE (O.S.)
Don't blame her.

REVEAL: Wesley steps through the door. We do a big PUSH-IN:

WESLEY
I would've found you eventually.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE

Act Four



Act Four

INT. HOLTZ'S LOFT - RIGHT WHERE WE LEFT OFF

The Holtzians rush forward, crowding Wesley, whose eyes never waver from Holtz. Holtzian Man #2 gets closest --

HOLTZIAN MAN #2
Maybe we should cut out his tongue
and send a message to Angelus.

WESLEY
Maybe.

Without even looking, Wes KARATE-CHOPS Holtzian Man #2 in the throat. HM2 drops to the ground in front of Wes, gagging.

WESLEY (cont'd)
Or perhaps you could lie on the floor
and gag for a while.

The Holtz øians look to Holtz for guidance. A beat, then Holtz waves his hand: let him through. Wes, never taking his eyes off Holtz, steps over the writhing body of HM2, crosses the room. Comes face to face with Holtz. A beat.

WESLEY (cont'd)
I didn't come here to fight. I'm not
your enemy. But then I've noticed
you do have trouble making the
distinction.
(then)
You're fighting the wrong man.

HOLTZ
Angelus.

WESLEY
No. Angel. He's not Angelus
anymore. He's a good man.

HOLTZ
(a derisive snort)
He's not even a man.

WESLEY
(not wavering)
Nevertheless -- he has a soul now.

HOLTZ
Yes. That he might know the pain he
inflicted on his countless victims.
A brilliant curse. I must admit.
Gypsies do have a knack for creative
vengeance. Where they fail, however,
is in the execution of justice. And
that I will have.

WESLEY
If you require a sacrifice -- take
me. Angel's no more responsible for
the crimes of Angelus than I am.

HOLTZ
Really?

WESLEY
Yes.

HOLTZ
(evenly, a simmer,
not with the yelling)
And Was ÷it your hands that held down
my beloved Caroline as she was
violated and murdered? That wrapped
themselves around my son's neck and
snapped it like kindling? Were yours
the hands that clutched at my
daughter as she was turned into a
creature damned for all eternity?

WESLEY
No.

HOLTZ
(flatly)
No.
(then)
A thing is what it is. Angelus is in
his nature. The beast will re-
emerge. You've seen it, you know
it -- and that is why you are here.

Wesley reacts, a little caught off guard. This isn't lost on Holtz.

HOLTZ (cont'd)
You're afraid he's going to kill the
child.
(then)
And you're right.

Wesley glances at Aubrey who can't hold his gaze, then he looks back to Holtz.

WESLEY
Your infiltration was more successful
than I'd realized.

HOLTZ
I don't need prophecies to tell me
what is plain. And neither do you.
So long as the child remains with the
demon, it's not safe.

WESLEY
(sarcastic)
Well. I must have misunderstood.
Here I thought this was a simple
blood vendetta, when what you really
want ôis to protect Angel's son.

HOLTZ
You don't believe me?

WESLEY
Hmm. Not sure, really. Could be
the low scary voice that's giving me
the trouble.

HOLTZ
It's time to make a decision, Mr.
Wyndam-Pryce. My army is strong, and
will only grow in number. You and
your friends know what Angelus is.
If you continue to ignore it, your
innocence is forfeit. Fight against
us, and this war will become a
bloodbath.

WESLEY
This isn't war, it's revenge.

JUSTINE
And what's wrong with revenge? It's
all some of us have left.

Wesley looks to Justine, sees her pain.

WESLEY
I'm sorry you feel that way.

JUSTINE
I'm sorry it's true.

A beat. Stand off. Wesley ditches the sarcasm and anger, tries to connect...

WESLEY
Look, I can't know what it's been
like for any of you. I understand
that...

HOLTZ
You might soon enough.

This stops Wesley, he looks at Holtz.

HOLTZ (cont'd)
When I put my son's body in the
ground, I had to open the coffin.
Just to see if it was true -- to know
that he was really in there. ù
(then)
A child's coffin, Mister Wyndam-
Pryce... it's weights nothing.

Off Wesley, absorbing the meaning of that...

OMITTED

EXT. LOS ANGELES SKYLINE - DAY

Flash flash flash...

INT. DINER - DAY - FRED

As she pops a french fry into her mouth.

FRED
Barely touched your food. You
feelin' okay?

WIDEN TO REVEAL Gunn and Fred sitting in a booth in their favorite diner (see ep 14). In front of Gunn: pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs. In front of Fred: a plate with a couple crusts, a stray scrambled egg piece and some fries.

GUNN
Yeah.
(a beat)
Look, I've been thinkin' about
yesterday. I'm not mad at Wes.

FRED
You were right, though. I should've
stood up to him.

GUNN
But I understand his position. He's
the boss and we need to respect that.
His job is to keep things tight.
That's a lot of pressure.

FRED
(suddenly nervous)
You're not changing your mind are
you? -- I mean, about the wanting it
all? -- As long as we're not
smoochin' on the job or, you know,
gettin' sucked into the ground by a
õplant-demon, I say why not go for it?

Gunn shifts uncomfortably.

GUNN
Fred... what if we can't manage it
all -- the job, the romance --
emotions are tricky. Can cloud our
judgement, like they did at the
carousel last night. What if it
doesn't work?

Fred sees where this is going.

FRED
So... we're back to that.
(a beat)
What if Wesley makes us choose?

Gunn sits back in his booth. A heavy decision.

GUNN
I've been fightin' vamps and demons
since I was a kid.
That sense of doin' good, of gettin'
up in the morning and makin' the
world safer, better -- I've always
had that...

Fred looks glumly down at her food.

GUNN (cont'd)
...But I never had a Fred before.

Her eyes dart back up. Beat.

GUNN (cont'd)
If we have to... I choose you.
(long beat)
I came on too strong, didn't I? I'm
scarin' you.

Fred looks at him, reaches for his hand, smiles.

FRED
No. You came on just right.
(beat)
But what about the job? I know how
important it is to you.

GUNN
All I need, is to know you're with
me -- that æ you've got my back.

FRED
(beat)
Consider it gotten.

They take a moment, the two of them. Gunn grabs one of her fries. Eats it.

GUNN
Let's try and not worry too much.
Wesley's a good man.

Off the pair of them:

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - HALLWAY - DAY

GUNN (V.O.)
He'll do the right thing. Always does.

Wes moves down the hall toward Angel's door. Stops. Braces himself. He's going to tell Angel everything.

Wes knocks.

ANGEL (O.S.)
Come in!

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - ANGEL'S ROOM - DAY

Wes opens the door to find Angel putting Connor in his crib. Angel looks up --

ANGEL
Hey, Wes.

WESLEY
Hey.

ANGEL
Have a nice walk?

Wes nods. Angel moves to the stove, turns it on, puts Connor's bottle in the pot of water to heat it up. Beat.

ANGEL (cont'd)
How you doin'?
(looks at him)
Really?

WESLEY
I've had better days.

ANGEL
Know the feeling.

Angel finishes putting the bottle on, moves to Wes. Beat.

ANGEL (cont'd)
I figured it out.

Wes glances at him sharply -- he couldn't possibl èy know.

ANGEL (cont'd)
How I really knew about Aubrey.
(beat)
That story about her son was true.
All the pain, the rage -- the only
way she could deal was to join Holtz
and take her revenge. You know how
I knew that?

WESLEY
Because you would've done the same
thing.

Angel looks at Wes. He understands. Beat.

ANGEL
It scares me, y'know? If anything
like that ever happened to Connor, I
don't know what I'd...
(beat)
I love my son.

WESLEY
Love can be a terrible thing.

ANGEL
I used to think that. I thought love
was something that ripped you up
inside, that swallowed you whole.
But what I feel for Connor -- even
the fear -- it's not terrible, Wes.
(beat)
It's beautiful.

Wes looks at Angel. Really looks at him. How could he ever think that this man would harm his child? For the first time in the show, Wes smiles for real. Even laughs.

ANGEL (cont'd)
What's so funny?

Angel moves back to the stove to get Connor's bottle --

WESLEY
Life. Life is funny. Listening to
stupid people an ßd talking hamburgers
is funny. Worrying over things that
will never --
(beat)
It's just incredibly funny... and
beautiful.

Just then a TREMENDOUS EARTHQUAKE rattles the walls. Wesley's face falls -- as suddenly --

INSERT: The GAS PIPE behind the stove gets dislodged --

-- spraying gas on the lit burner and the stove EXPLODES, coming out of the wall. It throws Angel towards the nursery, Wesley towards the door, and creates a WALL OF FIRE separating the two.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - DAY

Gunn and Fred huddle in a doorway, his arms around her. They cling tight together, riding it out.

CUT TO:

INT. HOLTZ'S LOFT - CONTINUOUS

The Holtzians clutch on to crossbeams, trying to stay upright. Suddenly the ARMOIRE we mentioned earlier topples over -- right at Justine. We think she's toast when Holtz suddenly TACKLES her out of the way.

As she looks up at Holtz on top of her, an intense moment between them --

CUT TO:

INT. WOLFRAM AND HART - LILAH'S OFFICE - DAY

Lilah sits Û at her desk, three PEOPLE IN SUITS sitting in front of her. The Suit People are grabbing on to their chairs, spilling papers and briefcases, looking around the room, frightened. Lilah merely sits there, a small smile playing on her lips: it's begun.

CUT TO:

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - ANGEL'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Paintings are falling off the walls, furniture is moving. This is a big fucking earthquake. Chunks of the ceiling start raining down. And oh yeah, there's also that MASSIVE WALL OF FIRE dividing Angel and Wesley.

ON WES'S SIDE OF THE FIRE -- Wes sits up after having been thrown into the entryway wall. Suddenly a BEAM crashes in from the ceiling, catching fire.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLAMES -- Angel stands up from where he was thrown, a large GASH on his head already dripping blood. Angel gathers Connor up in a baby blanket (the one was saw in the Teaser), wrapping him up completely.

ON WES'S SIDE OF THE FIRE -- Wes gets to his feet, holding on to the wall, sta Úring at the fire --

WES'S POV: Angel suddenly LEAPS (wouldn't hate it if we got it SLO-MO) OVER the firewall with Connor in his arms. He looks like a cross between Satan and an avenging angel.

ANGEL
Wesley! Out!

Wes doesn't move, so Angel grabs him by the shirt and THROWS him into --

INT. ANGEL'S HOTEL - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

-- where he CRASHES into the wall and drops to the floor just as the earthquake stops. He looks up at Angel, dazed --

-- as Angel unwraps Connor's blanket to find his son crying his lungs out.

ANGEL
It's okay. You're okay.

WES'S POV FROM THE GROUND: The blood from Angel's head wound drops onto the sky-blue blanket, turning the puffy white clouds crimson. In Wesley's head:

WESLEY
(to himself)
Sky to blood...

ON WES -- his terror growing and growing...

ANGEL
Whew! I thought we were gonna be
trapped in there.

ANGLE: ON CONNOR

ANGEL (cont'd)
(teasing)
'Least I woulda had somethin' to
snack on.

As Wes reacts:

BLACK OUT.

THE END