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fonnor

Blood Magic, Part 1 (airdate Feb. 23, 2005)

Posted by masqthephlsphr on 2005.06.29 at 16:05
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Blood Magic

Part 1

(June 29, 2005)

Written by: Masquerade

Teaser

EXT. LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

OPENING SHOT - an ALLEY bathed in the soft glow of distant traffic lights. We PAN DOWN the alley slowly. On the brick wall to the right we see an advertisement written in Chinese. Coming up on the left is the mouth of another ALLEY, intersecting the first. REVERSE ANGLE - A BOY in TANNED ANIMAL HIDES skulks down the alley clutching a SINGLE-BLADE AX. He slows as he approaches the intersecting alley, his eyes wary and alert. In the distance, we can hear the wail of a siren, the barking of a dog.

CLOSE-UP - his HAND tightens on the handle of the ax.

He rounds the corner into the BACK ALLEY. His POV - STEEPED IN SHADOWS - barrels and crates are piled against a brick wall. A MAN steps out of the shadows. It's AIDEN. He frowns with exasperation.

AIDEN
What are you doing here?

REVERSE ANGLE - the boy gazes around the back alley with an UNSETTLED EXPRESSION.

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Oh my God.
Connor.

The boy pivots around to see CORDELIA, staring down at the pavement, eyes wide. She has short brown hair, a black jacket, and a purple blouse. She looks up at him.

CORDELIA
This is where you were born.

The boy turns back around. Aiden is GONE. The shadows where he stood SHIFT and SPLIT. Out of the darkness steps DRUSILLA, wearing a beautiful old-fashioned red lace gown. She slinks sideways into the center of the alley beckoning the boy with slender, curling fingers.

DRUSILLA
(murmuring)
Connor.

With a snarl, the boy RAISES HIS AX and LUNGES at her. He SWINGS. CLOSE-UP, SLOW MOTION - the edge of the blade STRIKES the side of Drusilla's neck. It SHATTERS.

END SLO-MO - Drusilla steps away from him, LAUGHING. The boy gapes at her, eyes wide with panic.


FADE TO A BLACK SCREEN. We hear a FEMININE GASP.


INT. NAVE - CHURCH OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY - EARLY EVENING

ANGLE ON DRUSILLA. Her hand is gripping the edge of a small round table that stands in the middle of the candle-lit nave. Around her, we see vampires in game-face--three men and two women--bustling about, setting up two rows of wooden pews in a TRIANGLE around her. Drusilla sways, fingertips to her forehead. Spike appears behind her and steadies her shoulders with his hands.

SPIKE
What is it, luv?

DRUSILLA
(eyes wide)
He's bound in steel.

SPIKE
(brow wrinkled)
Who is?

DISSOLVE TO - EXT. BACK ALLEY - NIGHT

The boy backs away, eyes wide. A voice echoes.

DRUSILLA (O.S.)
Connor.

Drusilla advances on him menacingly.

DRUSILLA
(in the voice of AIDEN)
Connor.

FADE UP TO - INT. POWELL LIBRARY - UCLA - EARLY EVENING

AIDEN (O.S.)
Connor?

ANGLE ON a TABLE. Spread across the near end is a red book bag, several textbooks, and a sketchpad. CONNOR is slumped over an open notebook, his head resting on his arms. WIDE SHOT - there are bookshelves on either side of him. Student pass beyond Connor's table in both directions. Standing on the far side is AIDEN, gazing down at him, grinning.

AIDEN
Connor.

Connor raises his head abruptly.

BLACK OUT.


END OF TEASER

Opening Credits
The theme song plays as we see images of


CONNOR REILLY walking to classes, killing a vampire

starring

Vincent Kartheiser

FAITH THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, fighting in the SLAYER TRAINING ROOM with
Connor

Eliza Dushku

and REPORTER AIDEN WALSH, pulling his CAMERA away from his face.

and

Sean Maher

Act One

with special guest stars

Megalyn Echikunwoke
James Marsters
Juliet Landau
David Boreanaz
Teri Polo


INT. MAIN FLOOR - POWELL LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS

Connor sits up and looks around, wincing slightly, then finally focuses on AIDEN, who strolls around to Connor's side of the table.

AIDEN
That boring, huh?

Aiden sits down against the edge of the table and picks up Connor's sketch pad. Connor blinks and stares down at his books.

CONNOR
I was studying for my Lit midterm.
(he looks up at Aiden)
What time is it?
I'm...
(he glances at his watch)
I'm supposed to help Faith check out that
occult bookstore.

He quickly starts gathering up his books and stuffing them into his bag. Aiden flips through Connor's sketchpad.

AIDEN
The Ancient Eye? I got her that lead.

Connor pauses, looking puzzled. Something's missing.

AIDEN
(frowning, impressed)
These are pretty good.

Connor looks up. Aiden pauses in his flipping. He turns the sketchpad around so Connor can see.

AIDEN
Who's this?

Connor gazes at it. CLOSE-UP - a carefully drawn sketch of LAWRENCE AND COLLEEN REILLY, sitting on a couch, posed as if for a portrait.

QUICK-FLASH -
Lawrence being carried downstairs in a stretcher; Colleen gazing up at Connor from a hospital bed with a bewildered expression.

COLLEEN (VOICE OVER)
You owe your father an explanation, Connor.
For all of it
.
Connor slowly stands, lifting up his book bag. His eyes dip pensively.

CONNOR
My parents.

Aiden closes the pad and hands it him.

AIDEN
You mean your adoptive parents.

Connor stuffs it in his bag.

CONNOR
Yeah.

He zips up his bag and slings it over his shoulder. Without another word, he steps around Aiden and starts towards the main atrium of the library. Aiden hurries after him.

AIDEN
What do they think of your whole...
super-power situation?
I mean, I know they don't know--

CONNOR
They don't think anything.

They pass the main checkout counter.

AIDEN
How can they not think anything?

Connor throws him a glare. Aiden raises his hands defensively.

AIDEN
Right. Don't ask, don't tell.

Connor and Aiden pass through the security gate and exit the main door of the library.

EXT. POWELL LIBRARY

IN FRAME - the arced main entrance of the library. Connor steps down the short flight of steps, Aiden at his heels. The sky is dark. The ground is DAMP. The two of them start towards Bruin Walk, Aiden still slightly behind Connor. He glances at him, his expression antsy, like he's trying not to talk. Then -

AIDEN
I guess...it's just me that...wonders.

Connor says nothing. Students pass them heading towards the library.

AIDEN
I mean...a vampire has a kid who is
a human with vampire powers?
How is that even possible?
(thinking out loud)
A vampire is essentially a walking corpse.
If he even had sperm, it would be....

CLOSE-UP on Connor, staring forward expressionlessly. His lips compress. Aiden frowns, then eyes Connor furtively.

AIDEN
So, obviously, there was some mojo involved.

They pass under an overhead lamp, then back into shadow.

AIDEN
Your mother, on the other hand,
would have be human.
(he chuckles)
'Cause a pregnant vampire makes no sense.
Biologically, I mean. You'd have been living
and growing inside a dead body for nine months--

Suddenly, Connor stops, whirls, and GRABS AIDEN BY THE COLLAR. His face is twisted into a snarl. He DRAWS BACK HIS FIST. Connor's POV - a look of STUNNED HORROR on Aiden's face. Connor stares back, lips parted, equally stunned.

CUT TO - two young women glance at them as they pass.

Slowly, Connor lowers his arm. Aiden steps away from him. His expression is bewildered.

AIDEN
(voice shaking slightly)
I don't--I don't get this.
Why does this bother you so much?
(he tries to shrug casually)
So your father's a vampire. At least he's a good vampire.
...Now.

Connor's apologetic expression fades into something between cool anger and hurt.

CONNOR
You don't know me.
You don't know anything about my life.
(he steps back)
So just....

He pivots and walks away.

CLOSE-UP on Aiden. He stares after Connor, his lips compressed with chagrin.


EXT. RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION - WEST SIDE - EVENING

Bungalow-style houses under leafless trees. Faith's Impala is parked along the curb between pools of streetlamp light.

PAN UP THE STREET - FAITH and CONNOR head up the sidewalk, armed--Faith with a small SWORD, Connor with his AX. They pause beside another parked car, then continue up to an intersection where Connor stops again. TIGHT TWO-SHOT - Connor gazes down and around uncertainly while Faith looks on. Finally, he points to their right.

CONNOR
I think he went this way.

FAITH
You think.

CONNOR
(shrugging apologetically)
It's the rain. It messes up the scent.

Faith cuts to the right. Connor follows. WIDE REAR SHOT - a block ahead of them, we can see a MAIN DRAG - passing cars, a red traffic light. Connor strides up the street, shoulders hunched, expression intent. After a moment, he stops again.

CLOSE-UP on his face, then -

His POV - just ahead of them on the right is a BACK LOT that cuts behind a strip mall on the boulevard.

Connor walks up to the driveway.

CONNOR
He went down here.

He and Faith enter the lot.

EXT. BACK LOT

Security lamps shine down on dumpsters huddled against the buildings. A high wooden fence runs along the back edge of the lot. CLOSE-UP on Faith as they start forward. Her expression is suddenly ALERT and WARY. REAR SHOT - She transfers her sword to her left hand and pulls a STAKE out of her back pocket. Connor glances at her, then around the lot. Then he CATCHES THE SCENT of what Faith is sensing.

CONNOR
Something....

FAITH
Sssh.

Faith LOOKS UP. CUT TO a FIGURE on the roof of the building above them. Before they even have time to react, it LEAPS DOWN on them. Connor tracks the figure as it falls, his eyes widening. Faith steps up and RAISES HER STAKE.

CONNOR
(panicked)
Faith, wait!

Connor LUNGES at her and PUSHES HER AWAY. She stumbles to one side, her sword clattering to the ground. The figure lands. Faith pivots and leaps again, stake high. Lightening-fast, the intruder GRABS FAITH'S WRISTS. They struggle. Faith looks up at her attacker. Her POV - ANGEL in his homeless guise. Angel's POV - a stunned Faith, arms raised, wrists gripped by his hands.

The two of them stare at each other for a moment, frozen. Then slowly, Faith's tensed body relaxes. She exhales a ragged breath. Angel smiles reassuringly, caresses her wrists, then lets them go. Connor stands off to one side, watching silently. Faith frowns, pockets her stake, and PUSHES Angel away with one hand.

FAITH
Jesus Christ, Angel!
You don't just jump down in front of somebody
like that! I could have fucking killed you!

ANGEL
(frowning apologetically)
Sorry. I thought you were the demons
I've been tracking.

FAITH
Do we smell like demons?!

ANGEL
(with a chagrined wince)
No, but with the rain...it's hard to tell.

FAITH
(glancing at Connor)
So I've heard.

Angel turns his gaze from Faith to Connor.

ANGEL
Connor. Helping out again?

CONNOR
(shrugging)
Tracking.

Faith exhales. She gives Angel the once-over.

FAITH
So what were you tracking?
...without a weapon.

ANGEL
(hands rising to his hips)
A couple of Moutra demons masquerading as
L.A. Department of Water and Power employees.
I hitched a ride with them and jumped off
a couple blocks back.
Their van's parked around the corner.

Faith glances around the lot and chuckles.

FAITH
Damn. And I thought this was such
a good neighborhood.
(with a quick glance at Connor)
We followed a demon in a business suit
over here. Saw him at this magic store
my witch friends asked me to keep an eye on.
I guess the Syndicate forced the owner to sell.

ANGEL
(nodding)
Makes sense. An organization like that is
going to take over, buy, or, if necessary,
destroy anything that smells of supernatural power.

FAITH
So you think the Syndicate has some kind of
center of operations around here?

ANGEL
(upbeat)
Maybe. Let's look around.

Connor holds out his AX to Angel.

CONNOR
If you're going with her, why don't you, uh....

His voice trails off. He's no longer looking at Angel. CUT TO where he's looking. At the other end of the lot are THREE FIGURES. One of them is recognizable as the Syndicate Kailiff demon MACH. The other two are pale, scaly demons in DWP jumpsuits. They enter the lot, talking amongst themselves.

FAITH
(whispering)
Yo, one of them's our guy.

ANGEL
(smiling)
And the other two are mine.

The demons look up and see Faith, Angel, and Connor. They come to a halt, then turn and BOLT BACK OUT of the lot. Connor brings down his ax. Faith scrambles over to her sword and grabs it up off the pavement. The three of them take off down the lot.


EXT. SUBDIVSION CHILDREN'S PARK - EVENING

WIDE SHOT - trees, grass, and a playground with a swing set, sandbox, slide, and carousel. The three demons race across the grass. As they do, one of the pale Moutras splits off from the others and heads towards the boulevard. The Kailiff and the other Moutra continue across the park.

CUT TO - Angel, Faith, and Connor shoot out of the back lot, giving chase.

ANGEL
(indicating the Moutra)
I'll follow that guy!

Without waiting for acknowledgement, Angel CUTS ACROSS the grass after him. WIDE SHOT - the other two demons are now halfway across the park, Faith and Connor closing in on them. Suddenly, the demons SLOW TO A WALK and TURN AROUND.

CLOSE-UP - the Kailiff reaches into his suit and pulls out a .45 PISTOL. It glints in the glare of an overhead streetlamp.

Faith cuts between the sandbox and the carousel. Behind her, Connor's eyes widen.

CONNOR
Faith!

Connor drops his ax, lunges forward, and SHOVES FAITH into the sandbox. He dives in after her. Her sword goes flying. She lands hard, face down.

FAITH
Uuf!

She coughs against the wet sand and tries to scramble back up. Connor pushes her down.

FAITH
(muffled)
What the--!?

CONNOR
(whispering, urgent)
They have a gun.

We hear the distinct click of a GUN BEING COCKED.

FAITH
(murmuring)
Crap.
Where's that damned vampire when you need him?


EXT. CITY BOULEVARD - WEST SIDE

Traffic. Neon. Pedestrians. The Moutra strides up the sidewalk yanking an orange baseball cap down over its face. It reaches a group of strolling tourists and pushes into the crowd. REVERSE ANGLE - Angel follows several meters back. His POV - the crowd. We can just make out the BOBBING ORANGE CAP. Angel picks up his pace and weaves into the throng. He emerges on the other side.

ANGLE AHEAD - the demon is NOWHERE TO BE SEEN.

Angel stops and scans the sidewalk ahead and behind. The tourists overtake him and bustle by. He remains there for a moment, searching the area with slow, steady eyes, a chagrined frown on his face.

ANGEL
Damn it.

Then his eyes slide to his left. Beside him, a small cloud of GRAY-WHITE CIGARETTE SMOKE rolls into view.

SPIKE (O.S.)
Heard you were back.


EXT. PARK

Mach the Kailiff walks towards the playground, GUN RAISED. His POV - the CAROUSEL, and to its left, the lower corner of the sandbox.

CUT TO the SANDBOX. We see FAITH'S FACE IN CLOSE-UP, turned to the side. Her lips are parted, breathing shallowly. Slowly, we PAN BACK. Connor is stretched out over her back and legs, pinning her to the wet sand. They are lying in a shallow trench.

FAITH
(whispering)
Hear anything?

CONNOR
They're still there.

Suddenly, CAR LIGHTS arc across the park. Both Faith and Connor duck their heads instinctively. CUT TO a late-model sedan entering the subdivision. It drives by the park. THEN TO Mach. He lowers his gun. He doesn't move. The car pulls into a driveway on the other side of the park. Mach nods to the other demon, then disarms and pockets his gun. They turn and finish crossing the park.

CUT TO Connor and Faith, huddled in the sandbox trench.

CONNOR
(whispering)
I think they're leaving.

FAITH
(firmly)
Those ears of yours better be damned sure.

CONNOR
(exhaling with relief)
They're leaving.

Faith lets out a breath as well. Slowly, she wriggles out from beneath Connor and rolls over on her side. They share an embarrassed grin.

FAITH
Damn. That--

Another light CUTS ACROSS the park. Connor and Faith duck in again. Then slowly Faith raises her head.

FAITH
(slightly unnerved)
It's just a fucking car.

Connor raises his head as well. His POV - Faith's face, close to his, flushed from fear and anger. She exhales another slow breath.

Her POV - Connor's face, close to hers. He is gazing at her, lips slightly parted. Connor dips his head forward. He kisses her. Faith kisses back with intensity. She reaches out for his shoulder and draws him close.


EXT. CITY SIDEWALK

TIGHT SHOT of SPIKE - leather coat, cigarette in one hand, walking beside Angel. He throws the cigarette to the sidewalk and steps on it.

SPIKE
Back just in the nick, too.
(his gaze pans the street)
After everything we did,
city's back into it up to its ears.

Angel frowns, hunched into his filthy coat.

ANGEL
I've seen.
(pause)
So...you tracked down Dru.

Spike casts him an uncertain glance, then nods.

SPIKE
Yeah. I did, and--

ANGEL
And then you slept with her.

Spike scoffs.

SPIKE
Right, like you never slept with Darla
when you had a soul.

ANGEL
That was a long time ago.

SPIKE
I'm not talking about China.
I'm talking about your brat.

Angel's eyes dart to him, but he says nothing.

SPIKE
Don't know why you never mentioned 'im
all these years.

ANGEL
It's complicated. And it's nobody's business.

SPIKE
(eyebrows rising)
Dru seems to think it's 'er business.

Angel stops. He grabs Spike's shoulder and spins him around to a halt. Spike throws his hands out.

ANGEL
What does she want from him?

They are standing at the edge of a curb. The light across the street is red. Spike gapes, then breaks out in a grin.

SPIKE
Well, look at you, all Daddy Warbucks.

His grin fades.

SPIKE
What do you think she wants? She wants to turn 'im.
(he frowns)
Actually, she wants me to do it.

Angel's eyes are intent under a wrinkled brow.

SPIKE
I think I managed to talk her out of the part
where she makes you watch
with your soul still attached.
Now she's gonna wait 'til after.

ANGEL
(decisively)
There isn't going to be any "after".

Spike scoffs again.

SPIKE
Well, I know that.
I don't want Angelus back any more than you do.
(then, with a serious tone)
But Dru does. She wants the whole lot of us back,
if you catch my drift, with your kid along for the ride.
(pause)
So you better listen up.

The traffic light turns green. Spike steps into the street and strides across the intersection. Angel follows.

SPIKE
(staring ahead)
She's got this glass orb.
Like the one Red used to restore your soul.

ANGEL
The Orb of Thessula.

SPIKE
Like that, but different.
It's called the..."Orb of Autumn,"
or "Ottumwa" or something.

He holds up his hand, fingers curled as if cupping something. Angel gazes at this.

SPIKE
But it's a ball, okay? A glass ball.
And she's going to try to get you to hold
it in your hand.

Angel's eyes rise to Spike's face.

ANGEL
(quietly)
Like you did?

The two of them reach the opposite curb and step back up on the sidewalk. Spike squares his shoulders.

SPIKE
(also quiet, but defensive)
Hey, she did me a favor, okay?

He stuffs his hands back in his pockets.

SPIKE
Gave me back something I haven't had in years.

ANGEL
(coolly)
And what's that?

SPIKE
You know damned well "what's that."
(pause)
The taste.

There is silence between them for a moment.

SPIKE
(quietly)
A soul...makes it rotten in your mouth.

CLOSE-UP on Angel, turning his gaze away. Then on Spike, pensive.

SPIKE
Souls...chips....
Buffy.
Had me confused for a long time.
(pause)
I'd forgotten what it feels like to have....

Angel's expression grows contemplative. His eyes narrow, his lips almost curve into a smile.

ANGEL
...Clarity.

Silence. Then Spike's chuckle breaks up the moment.

SPIKE
But you--I know you.
You've gotten used to that ghosty-chip of yours.

Angel glares at him, annoyed.

ANGEL
What do you want, Spike?


EXT. THE SANDBOX - EVENING

Connor and Faith lay on their sides in the sandbox, kissing. CLOSE-UP on their LIPS, moving against each other. After a beat, Faith moans and draws away. Connor pursues. Faith turns her head.

TWO-SHOT - she rolls over onto her back and sits up. Connor looks up at her, bewildered.

CONNOR
What's the matter?

Faith wipes the corner of her lip with her thumb. Slowly, she stands. She brushes the damp sand off her pants. Connor sits up.

FAITH
This isn't a good idea.

CONNOR
Why not?

Faith casts him a sympathetic, frustrated look. Then she chuckles.

FAITH
Because I like you.

Connor's brows knit together. Faith sighs and holds out a hand to him. He gazes at it petulantly, then takes it, allowing her to pull him up.

FAITH
Look. When it....

Connor turns away, searching around for his ax.

FAITH
When it comes to guys...I....
I don't mind having a little fun.
But I've been getting major vibes off you
that you want it to be more than that.

Connor spots his ax, walks over, and picks it up. He turns.

CONNOR
I don't....
(defensive and frustrated)
What's wrong with that?

FAITH
(holding her arms out)
Nothing. I'm just....
(she lets her arms drop)
I'm not the hearts and flowers type.
I never have been.
(pause)
I tried it the other way, and it just didn't work.
The only guys I sleep with are the ones
I don't have to care about in the morning.

Connor stares at her coolly, his expression torn between rejection and complement.

CONNOR
So that's all it was with Spike? Having fun?

FAITH
That's right.

His lips tighten with frustration.

CONNOR
What about Angel?

Faith chuckles sardonically.

FAITH
Believe me, I wanted to. I tried to.
(she shakes her head)
But damn, talk about making things complicated.
(beat)
So no, we never have.

Connor gazes at her, his expression dubious. His eyes glimmer with emotion.

FAITH
(face falling)
Connor....
Ah, man. I'm so--

CONNOR
Don't.

Connor turns and stumbles out of the sandbox. He starts across the grass.

FAITH
Where are you going?

Connor barely gives her a glance.

CONNOR
I have to study.

Faith's POV - Connor receding with long strides, hunched into himself, his ax dangling in one hand.

FAITH
(mumbling)
Shit.
(calling out)
Connor!

She whirls around, looking for her sword. She spots it several feet away, snatches it up quickly, and turns. Her POV, PANNING - the park, and beyond it, the back lot of the strip mall. Connor is nowhere in sight.

FAITH
Jesus.
How does he do that?

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

EXT. CITY STREET - EVENING

Angel and Spike face off, indifferent to the pedestrians veering around them.

ANGEL
You're obviously telling me all this for a reason,
so what is it? What do you get out of it?

Spike has his hands in his pants pockets. He stares up and around for a moment solemnly.

SPIKE
I want it like it was before.
When it was just Dru and me.

Angel shakes his head and frowns. Spike continues, undaunted.

SPIKE
Before Sunnydale....
Before this miserable bloody town.

He sets his gaze firmly on Angel.

SPIKE
Leave me and Dru alone, and in return,
I'll take her somewhere far away
from you and Junior.
(beat)
Forget the last seven years ever happened.

Angel crosses his arms and gives Spike a firm-jawed gaze.

SPIKE
Just give me a few days. You know how Dru
gets when she has her mind set on something.

ANGEL
She could cause a lot of damage in a few days.

SPIKE
Well, I won't let her.

Angel chuckles skeptically. Spike gapes.

SPIKE
You think I want to go sinking my fangs
into your brat?
(he scoffs)
Not hardly. Probably tastes just like you do.

ANGEL
(eyeing him)
You want to buy yourself a few days?
Give Faith back the Amulet.

SPIKE
(furtively)
I can't do that.
(he shakes his head)
Don't get me wrong. Never should have nicked
it in the first place. Know that now.
But I'm dancing round Dru like a cat
on a hot tin roof as it is.

ANGEL
(coolly)
Well, then think of something fast, Spike.
Because you know I'll figure out where she is soon.


EXT. RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION - WEST SIDE - EVENING

Connor strides down the street clutching his ax, a scowl on his face. He reaches an intersection and stops, finally taking in his surroundings. His POV - down the block to his right is the busy BOULEVARD. He watches the passing traffic for a moment, then gazes down at his ax with frustration. He turns and looks back in the direction he came. LONG SHOT - HEADLIGHTS ARC as a CAR turns on to the street a few blocks down. It starts in Connor's direction.

CUT TO - INT. CAR

Two VAMPIRES in game-face are inside. We recognize the driver as Dru's male minion from episodes 8 and 9. Their eyes are on - VIEW OUT THE WINDSHIELD - CONNOR in their headlights, standing limply on the street corner.

MALE MINION
(to his companion)
That's him. Get ready.

The other vampire nods.

EXT. STREET

WIDE SHOT of the intersection. The car approaches. Connor brings his ax down discretely to his side and averts his eyes. The car passes. Suddenly, something HITS him in the shoulder, jolting him. CLOSE-UP - Connor glances down. He's JOLTED again. He stumbles. His POV - the tell-tale RED FINS of a tranquilizer dart, protruding from his THIGH. Connor stares down at it for a moment, then looks back up, his glassy eyes searching for the car. He SWAYS. His eyes roll back. He slumps to the sidewalk, his ax clattering on the concrete.

LOW ANGLE on a supine CONNOR. We can see over him to the street beyond. The car pulls into the frame and brakes. A door opens.


EXT. CITY STREET

Spike takes a step back from Angel, who turns around to face him, his expression grim.

SPIKE
So do we have a deal?

ANGEL
We have a deal.

Spike takes another long, swaggering step backwards, and then another one.

SPIKE
Don't sound so glum about it, mate.
I get mine, you keep yours. Everybody's happy.

Spike turns and disappears into the crowd. Angel stares after him for a long moment, then turns and heads down the street in the opposite direction.


CUT TO - EXT. NEARBY ACCESS ROAD

A street connecting the residential subdivision to the boulevard. Faith exits a strip mall back lot onto the sidewalk, sword at her side.

And nearly runs into ANGEL.

ANGEL
Faith.
(he glances around)
Where's Connor?

FAITH
(exasperated)
He took off. Said he had to study.
Angel, that suit pulled a gun on us!

ANGEL
(startled)
Are you all right?

Faith gazes around warily.

FAITH
I think he was just trying to scare us so
he could get away.

ANGEL
(brow knitting)
You think Connor went after him?

FAITH
(still exasperated)
No. He took off this way,
(she points across the access road)
but he doesn't have his car.

Angel scans the street, breathing in the air. Then his eyes graze over the area immediately around them. He nods.

ANGEL
He was here.

He steps down into the street, walks a few steps, and stops. Then he slowly pivots and stares down the access road. LONG SHOT - residential streets cut across it for several blocks. We can see their manicured side yards and shingled roofs. Angel nods down the street.

ANGEL
This way.

He crosses over to the sidewalk on the opposite side. Faith follows.

FAITH
So what happened to the guy you went after?

ANGEL
I lost him.
(pause)
Then I got sidetracked by Spike.

FAITH
(eyebrows rising)
No shit.

Her eyes dart down, then finally settle on him again.

FAITH
So...did he take the amulet?

ANGEL
Yes.

Her gazes sinks again. Angel glances at her.

ANGEL
Faith, it wasn't your fault.
(his brows knit with discomfort)
Spike's....
(his lips compress)
Well, let's just say Dru's moving forward
with her family reunion plans.

Faith's eyes widen with realization. She turns her gaze to the street ahead of them.

FAITH
(softly, pained)
Damn.
...How?

Angel shakes his head. His demeanor stiffens, all-business again.

ANGEL
We can get into that later.
First, we need to find Connor.



CUT TO - EXT. A DIM-LIT RESIDENTIAL STREET

Angel strides up the street, shoulders hunched, expression intent. CLOSE-UP on Faith, walking beside him. Her eyes rise to him, then dip away. Then rise again. Her expression is puzzled. Angel gives her an uncertain sideways glance. They continue walking.

Finally -

FAITH
So what's the story between you and him, anyway?

ANGEL
Connor?
(he shrugs)
Not much to tell.

Faith gives him a reprimanding frown.

FAITH
Bull. The guy went to friggin' Agiba
with me to bring you back.
And you seem pretty interested in how he's doing, too.

Angel glances over at her.

ANGEL
(awkwardly)
Well, I've been known to take a wounded bird
or two under my wing.

FAITH
(chuckling softly)
Yeah, I know.
(pause)
Connor told me he had some problems in the past,
but he won't talk about it.

Then her voice rises like a question.

FAITH (cont.)
He did mention he'd met you about a year ago,
though, at Wolfram and Hart.
Said he went there after he discovered he had
superpowers, and that you helped him get a
handle on them.

ANGEL
(nodding)
Yeah, that's right.

Faith shakes her head.

FAITH
Except....

She stops dead on the sidewalk, bringing Angel to a halt with a LOOK.

FAITH
(incredulous)
Except for the part where there's no friggin'
way he just discovered his powers a year ago!
You can't tell me that guy hasn't been fighting
for a very long time, because I know better!

Angel frowns impatiently.

ANGEL
Faith--

FAITH
(holding her arms out)
I'm just saying, okay?
(she shrugs)
So there's stuff from his past he doesn't want
to talk about.
I can dig--I've been there myself--

ANGEL
What does it matter then?

Faith lowers her arms.

FAITH
It matters because he's hanging around.
And because I happen to know that whatever
he's not telling me has something to do
with vam...pires....

She trails off. A puzzled look comes to her face.

FAITH
Vampires. That's...the reason he's....

QUICK-FLASH TO -
FAITH wanders around her desk in her apartment. Vaughne watches her.

VAUGHNE
...that mist was on you and her specifically. Not the suite.

FAITH
What about the vampire book?
It was on that, too.

VAUGHNE
If I remember, the theory we came up with was
that the spell was put on the two of you--
but no one else you knew--to make you forget
something having to do with vampires.
Angel shifts on his feet awkwardly, hands sinking into his coat pockets.

ANGEL
Faith, maybe you shouldn't--

FAITH
(with a pensive stare)
Shit....

ANGEL
What?

Faith looks up at him. Her expression is troubled.

FAITH
(starting forward again)
Nothing. Let's just go.

Angel falls in step alongside her. He smiles reassuringly.

ANGEL
Maybe you shouldn't worry so much.
Maybe it's just...complicated.
(beat)
Give him time.

Faith's brows knit. She looks up at him.

FAITH
You know something, don't you?
(her eyes scan his face)
About what he's not telling me.

ANGEL
(shrugging uncomfortably)
I know a few things, but....

Faith gazes at him cautiously for a moment, then looks away. They walk in silence. Finally, Faith stops him again.

FAITH
Okay. Just tell me one thing.
(she exhales)
My gut tells me I can trust him--
that he's not going to do anything...funky,
or whatever, that's gonna break that trust.

Angel gazes at her thoughtfully.

ANGEL
I'd say go with your gut.

Faith studies his face for a moment, looking frustrated. Then Angel's attention is drawn across the lawn of the HOUSE next to where they are standing.

FAITH
What's the matter?

ANGLE ON the HOUSE. It's the last house on the block. Beyond it is another intersection. Angel cuts across the grass. When he reaches the access road sidewalk, he stops.

ANGEL
(puzzled)
I don't know. Connor's scent ends here.

FAITH
How can...?

ANGEL
A car.

FAITH
A car?

Angel circles around, head dipped, his face a mask of concentration. Then he steps off the curb into the street. Finally, he stands tall again.

ANGEL
Leaking motor oil.

He dips his head again and starts walking slowly up the access road. Faith glances in that direction. Her POV - the main boulevard, two blocks away.

WIDE SHOT - Faith jogs after him, staying on the sidewalk. As they come up within a half block of the boulevard, a narrow BACK ALLEY comes up on their right. Angel heads towards it, then picks up his pace, looking panicked. He BOLTS FORWARD, coat tail flying.

ANGEL
My god.


EXT. CHURCH OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY - EVENING - ESTABLISHING

WIDE SHOT - the church sits on a lot at the darkened end of a curving street, a hilltop looming behind it. There is faint glow in the stained glass windows.

INT. SMALL BASEMENT STOREROOM

PANNING - or what was once a storeroom. Now it is a make-shift BEDROOM lit only by a few flickering candles. We see a wide bed covered with Drusilla's black lace bedspread. Hanging on the wall over the bed is a wood-mounted, shellacked painting of the Holy Family. There is a single small window near the ceiling covered by a thick curtain. DRUSILLA stands in front of the antique dressing table, her eyes and fingertips CARESSING SOMETHING lying there just out of frame.

CUT TO the DOORWAY. The BLOND SYNDICATE WITCH from episodes 14 and 15 appears, wearing a black cape over a black dress. In her hand is a black bag resembling an old-fashioned doctor's house-call satchel.

WITCH
Everything is properly prepared.
It's time.

Drusilla turns.

DRUSILLA
At last.

She exits into the basement proper.

INT. THE BASEMENT

PANNING - nearly the entire basement is taken up by a single room - what was once the church social hall. We see shadowed objects--chairs, tables, an easel--shoved against the walls. At the far end of the room by the stairs leading to the narthex is a kitchen. At the near end of the room, Drusilla and the witch pass by bathroom doors on their way to another staircase.

INT. GROUND FLOOR BACK ROOMS - CHURCH OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

Drusilla follows the witch through a back hallway. There are open doorways on either side of them, and a closed door at the end of the hall with a green "EXIT" sign above it. They pass through the doorway on their left and enter a narrow room that sits behind the sanctuary. The built-in wooden cabinets and shelves are empty, stripped of the religious accoutrements once stored there. They exit through an open doorway that leads directly into the sanctuary.

INT. NAVE

ANGLE - looking across the room to the sanctuary. The pews are still positioned in a triangle in the center of the nave. Within the triangle is the small round table, now covered with a red satin table cloth. CLOSE-UP of the TABLE - on it sits a gold GOBLET. The AMULET OF AURLIEUS lies in front of the goblet, its chain encircling it.

WIDE SHOT - Decorating the table, the pews, the pillars, and the BALCONIES stretching down the walls above the nave are blood-red rose bushes with wandering, thorny stems. Standing amongst the pews are the five vampires. Three men--the two who attacked Connor and one other--and two women. We recognize one of the women as the female minion from episodes 8 and 9. The other is a diminutive blond with a deceptively sweet young face.

Drusilla and the witch enter the sanctuary. The vampires turn to face them. Drusilla's eyes scan the assembled vampires. She pouts.

DRUSILLA
(forlornly)
Spike's not returned yet.
I so wanted him to be here.

WITCH
(stepping down into the nave)
We must proceed.

She walks over to the center table and sets her satchel down on one of the nearby pews. Then she opens it, pulls out a metal SCALPEL, and holds it up. CLOSE-UP on her face, as hard and cold as the scalpel.

WITCH
Blessed be the name of Proserpina,
queen of the underworld, defier of death.

She lowers the scalpel.

WITCH
Bring forth the surrogate.

CUT TO the BLOND VAMPIRE. She is watching the proceedings with the same expectant expression as the others. Suddenly, the vampires on either side of her, a male and a female, GRAB HER BY THE ARMS. She gapes at them, stunned, then STRUGGLES as they drag her up to the center table.

Drusilla watches with an intense, unwavering gaze, her lips betraying the slightest smile.


EXT. BACK ALLEY

ANGLE ON the mouth of the alley, looking out. Faith skids to a halt there. Her eyes widen. Her POV - a dumpster, and next to it, a pile of flattened cardboard boxes. Slumped across them, eyes closed, is CONNOR. Angel crouches beside him.

ANGEL
Connor...Connor?!

Faith hurries over to his other side. Connor groans.

CONNOR
(mumbling, out of it)
Dad....

FAITH
(kneeling down)
Connor, it's me and Angel.

ANGEL
He's lost blood.

Angel gingerly lifts Connor's chin and checks his neck for wounds.

ANGEL
There's no bite mark.
Connor, what happened?

He wraps an arm around Connor's shoulders and lifts him to sitting. Connor weaves slightly, then blinks and turns a slightly unfocused gaze on Faith.

CONNOR
...Vampires. Two...I think...

He raises a slightly bent right arm and winces. Angel's eyes dip to Connor's arm. He reaches for Connor's right hand and turns the arm around. CLOSE-UP on Connor's shirt sleeve, stained RED on the inside of the elbow. Quickly, Angel yanks up his sleeve. Connor groans softly. There in the crook of his elbow is a deep RED BRUISE surrounding a tiny PUNCTURE MARK.

Connor stares down at it, disoriented.

FAITH
Damn. Were they from the Red Cross?

ANGEL
(to Faith, concerned)
You think he should go to the emergency room?
(to Connor)
Connor, I think we should take you to the hospital.

CONNOR
I'm...okay.
Just...darts....

He starts trying to stand, grunting with effort.

CONNOR
Tranq....

Angel helps him to his feet. Connor stumbles.

ANGEL
Connor, we don't know how much blood you've lost.
(to Faith)
At least take him home.

FAITH
What are you going to do?

CONNOR
I'm...fine. I just....

Connor stares around the area surrounding the dumpster. His POV - the dumpster seems to SPLIT IN TWO for a second, then snap back to normal. SHAKY PAN of the area around the dumpster. Scattered trash. Flattened cardboard boxes.

CONNOR
Where's my ax?

He reaches down with a wobble and starts shifting cardboard.

ANGEL
(to Faith)
I'm going to find Drusilla.

Connor throws Angel a furtive glance.

FAITH
(taken aback)
Drusilla?
(she scoffs softly)
I don't get it.
What's this thing she has for Connor, anyway?
And why would she take some of his blood
and just leave him here?

Connor lurches shakily to standing and glares.

CONNOR
(irritably)
Because she's a wacko, okay?

ANGEL
(uneasily)
I don't like this.
Connor, you're going home.

Connor gapes at him.

CONNOR
While you hunt her down?
I don't....

He sways and reaches out a fumbling hand, steadying himself against the dumpster.

CONNOR
(weakly)
She tried to kill my fam....

ANGEL
You can barely stand.
Besides, Drusilla is my problem.

Connor doesn't reply. He gazes at Angel a moment, then narrows his eyes.

CONNOR
You're right.

Angel raises his eyebrows and nods. But Connor only gives him a sour smile.

CONNOR
She is your problem.
You made her insane....
You turned her into a vampire.
(Angel's eyes sink away briefly)
You made her think you were her family,
and now she....

ANGEL
(quietly and firmly)
Which is why I'm the one who has to go
after her. I don't want you going near her.

Faith looks from Connor to Angel uncertainly.

FAITH
Uh, guys?

Connor's eyes dip.

FAITH
(to Angel)
Are you going to go after Drusilla right now?

ANGEL
Yes.

FAITH
(nodding)
Okay.

Her eyes scan the alleyway.

FAITH
I think there was a Syndicate meeting
around here tonight. I'll take Connor home,
then I'm coming back for a look.
We'll meet up and compare notes tomorrow.

Angel nods. He turns to Connor.

ANGEL
Be careful, okay? Just....
Be careful.

With that, he leaps up onto the dumpster and from there to the roof and disappears into the night.

Leaving Faith and Connor alone. Connor turns and shuffles out of the alley.

FAITH
(exasperated)
Where are you going?

CONNOR
I have to find my ax.


INT. NAVE - CHURCH OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

The BLOND VAMPIRE struggles against the vampires on either side of her, her eyes panicked. Scalpel in one hand, the WITCH reaches down and picks up the goblet from the table.

WITCH
From blood flows life,
generation to generation.

The vampires reach up and steady the blonde's head with a hand to top of the skull and the base of the chin. She squirms. The witch brings the goblet up to the blond vampire's lips. Her mouth is WRENCHED OPEN. The witch tips the goblet. BLOOD, THICK AND RED, pours into the vampire's mouth. Her face goes VAMP. When the goblet is empty, the witch sets it down on the table, making sure the chain of the Amulet surrounds it again.

Then she turns and raises the SCALPEL. The vampires holding the blonde release her head. She thrashes. With one swift, decisive stroke, the witch SLASHES HER THROAT. The vampire grabs her neck, eyes bulging. We see BLOOD smeared on her fingers. She stumbles around towards the others, then suddenly EXPLODES in a cloud of dust.

Standing there gazing coolly into the space where she stood is DRUSILLA, STAKE in hand.

The witch returns the scalpel to her satchel and pulls out a small plastic dustpan and broom. ANGLE ON the concrete floor - we see the pointed toes of Drusilla's boots, and in front of them, SCATTERED WHITE-GRAY ASH. The witch kneels and sweeps the ash into the dustpan. Then she rises and dumps it into the goblet.


EXT. RESIDENTIAL INTERSECTION

Faith stands on the sidewalk beside the corner house where Connor was abducted, looking out into the street.

FAITH
Did you find it?

Connor gazes around the gutter with a frown.

CONNOR
No.

He steps up on the sidewalk and wanders past Faith onto the lawn of the house. PAN THE LAWN - damp grass glistening under overhead streetlamps. No sign of the ax.

CONNOR
(irritably)
It's not here.
(he exhales heavily)
They must have taken it.

FAITH
(sympathetically)
Man, that bites, I know.
The Syndicate took all my weapons.
(beat)
But Connor, it's just an ax.
That's the stuff we can replace.

Connor glances over at her with a cool expression, but says nothing.

FAITH
C'mon, I'll take you home.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT TWO

Part 2 (click here)



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Comments:


japanrfrancis
japanrfrancis at 2005-07-04 12:34 (UTC) (Link)

Yay!!

I love the first part of this new episode. I've been waiting for weeks for a new episode to show up, and you don't disappoint. The chemistry between Faith and Connor is so hot, and the way Faith is finally starting to figure things out is really...fun. Cant wait for your next episode.
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-04 16:21 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!!

Glad you enjoyed it.
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
yeah so now they have his blood and the axe and the spell can commence. Loved the SPike/Angel interaction and all that went on with Spike and Dru and EvilSpike's motivations (I'm allfor S/D). I liked the Connor/Faith kiss,ooooo.

ANd I foolishly read this part before I'm going away so now I'll never get to the next part for days. Dummy
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 19:47 (UTC) (Link)
Well, the blood and the ax don't necessarily have to do with the same spell.

*whistles cryptically*

Glad you like the Spike stuff. My hit count went down for this episode compared to the previous few. I was worried I was alienating the Spike-types. Maybe I am. But, you know, *somebody* had to be first to fall in the unfolding of Drusilla's nefarious plan!

As for the Connor/Faith stuff, I'm not sure where I'm going with that. Faith isn't exactly the 'shippy type.
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 20:00 (UTC) (Link)
hmmm two spells now my head's gonna swim

I still liked the SPike stuff but I prefer evil Spike anyhow. (This is why I don't have a hits thing. I'd make myself paranoid with it.)

No, Faith's more the friends with benefits type which can be it's own tension
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 20:05 (UTC) (Link)
I needed the hits thing just to reassure myself *someone* was visiting my fic. Seems during some episodes the crickets would chirp after I posted the ep.


Well, if you like evil Spike, then I hope I'm doing a fair job with him. I get so paranoid of Spike fans. I don't want to make him *too* evil, because I'll get accused of bashing or "writing OOC". Spike was always pretty morally ambiguous as a soulless demon. But he's *still* soulless, so that's got to count for something.


As for Faith and Connor, yeah, if I do continue in this smoochy vein, it won't be a traditional 'ship of any sort. Which would drive Connor nuts, possessive little git that he is.
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 20:09 (UTC) (Link)
I think EvilSPike is fine, almost a little too nice but it IS Angel he's talking to and he wants something. Spike is manipulative and possessive.

Yeah, I've not really done Connor as too possessive even though I know he is. I don't like jealousy (so why am I in Jossverse, these are some jealous people). He's more possessive when I pair him with Dawn. WIth Faith, I usually have him in touch with his inner Liam and a little looser. Right now in the Spike/Faith/Connor threesome he IS being possessive and weird
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 20:18 (UTC) (Link)
Well, there's more Spike in Part II as well. Let me know what you think. I think I'm trying to serve more than one master--Spike Evilistas, Spike Redemptionistas, and, well, my story, in which Spike can't be pretty much more than a foil character at best.

Because it's really about Faith and Connor and Angel, ultimately, they're the truly 3-dimensional characters in the story.
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 20:29 (UTC) (Link)
true. Spike is just a minor character here. Aiden has more of a role than he does and really it's hard to serve two masters though I think there is some cross over between those two groups. I'm okay with Redeemed Spike. I use him a lot but I prefer him evil and I think there's a fair share of Redemptionists who didn't mind him evil
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 20:34 (UTC) (Link)
Well, the problem is now that Spike is keeping Dru company, he keeps getting "on camera". Which means I need to think through how he will act. And I can't spend a gazillion hours trying to wade through the complexities of he had a soul and now he doesn't but he had all those experiences of heroism, etc, when he had a soul and how do they effect him now and blah blah blah.

It's hard enough working out Connor and Angel's motives as I get towards the end of my season.
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 20:37 (UTC) (Link)
yeah I don't envy you that at all. And they're all broody moody little drama queens too
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 20:43 (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's the task I took upon myself, working all that out (in the Connor and Angel case, anyway). It's helping me work through all my feelings and reactions to the show in general and the Congel relationship/story line in particular, which was the point.
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 20:51 (UTC) (Link)
yes I think that's why we write a lot of this fic in the first place. I love looking at the relationship from different angles.
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 21:15 (UTC) (Link)
I don't write a *lot* of fic, just the fic required to work through my issues with the way canon turned out. That's all I need. So if I work out my issues with TD, the big question will be--a second season of TD or not? 'Cause at that point, it will mostly be for fun.
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 20:44 (UTC) (Link)
Oh God! Now I want a Congel icon with the caption "broody moody little drama queens"!!
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-21 20:50 (UTC) (Link)
Snort. If you get it, I want it too. I said that about SPike/Angel and I know bashipforever got one of those two that says drama queens
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2005-07-21 21:13 (UTC) (Link)
If I post a request in my LJ, I'm sure someone will make one.

; )
cornerofmadness
cornerofmadness at 2005-07-23 21:05 (UTC) (Link)
no doubt
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