Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy (masqthephlsphr) wrote in orlon_window,
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
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Dead, Part 2

Dead

Part 2

(May 11, 2006)

Written by: Masquerade

Act Three

INT. CONNOR'S DORM ROOM - MID-MORNING

Faith is lounging on her back on Connor's bed, tossing a tennis ball into the air. She has one knee up and her other foot crossed over it. Connor is seated at his desk, a textbook open against its front edge. He doesn't appear to be reading, though--more like gazing into space where the book happens to be.

On his desk we can see, among other things, the RED COCKTAIL NAPKIN from the night before, refolded.

FAITH
I've got a fresh batch of baby Slayers
rolling into town this week.

Connor doesn't look up.

CONNOR
What happened to the other ones?

FAITH
Moved on.
It's just me and Rona again.

Faith clutches the tennis ball in one hand and sits up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed.

FAITH
We could use some help with training.

Connor says nothing. His eyes focus in on the page in front of him. Faith tosses the ball from one hand to the other, chuckling grudgingly.

FAITH
Yeah, didn't think so.
(toss, toss)
But the slaying--you are going to
get back to helping with that, right?
'Cause these new girls aren't going to be
field-ready for a while.

CONNOR
I'll try.

FAITH
Enthusiasm. Gotta love it.

Connor finally looks over at her, his expression apologetic.

CONNOR
Sorry. It's just...school's started up again, full time.
You know how tough it got for me last Spring after....

Faith grips the tennis ball in one hand.

FAITH
...Drusilla sucked the high school from your brain?

CONNOR
(mumbling)
Among other things.

His attention goes back to the text. Faith looks at him, miffed.

FAITH
You gotta study harder. I dig.
But all summer, you've been like this, too--
(she gestures at him)
Moping. Nose in a book.

Connor doesn't reply. Faith continues to frown at him. Toss, toss, toss, toss.

ANGLE ON Connor. The tennis ball BOUNCES off his head. He raises a warding arm and grins, embarrassed.

PULL BACK to a TWO-SHOT as Faith stands up and YANKS the book out of his hand. He gapes up at her.

CONNOR
Hey!

She gives him a wily grin.

FAITH
C'mon!
Demons! Ass-kicking!
When was the last time you used
that ax you took from Angel's garage?
You've gotta be Jonesin' for
a little action by now!

Connor snatches the book back, his expression slightly disgruntled. He turns back towards the desk with it.

CONNOR
I get "action."

Faith scrutinizes him for a beat, then grins wryly.

FAITH
Glad to hear it.

Connor spies her expression and smirks. With a sigh, Faith collapses back to sitting on the bed. She frowns again thoughtfully, setting her hands on her thighs.

FAITH
It just...feels like you got more on your mind
than school stuff.
(beat; Connor says nothing)
I ask if it's Angel, you say it's not Angel.
I ask if it's me, you say it's not me.
I don't....

She trails off pensively. Then -

FAITH
Are you sure this doesn't have to do with...
you know....

Connor looks at her.

CONNOR
What?

Faith eyes him awkwardly. Then, with raised brows -

FAITH
Darla?

Connor turns away, shaking his head simply.

CONNOR
No.

FAITH
(awkward again)
I know...we haven't talked about it much.
I figured that if you wanted to, you would.

CONNOR
I don't.

Faith's brow knits. Then, softly, intently -

FAITH
Connor....

Connor's gaze rises from the book, but he doesn't look at her.

FAITH
She was your mother,
and she asked you to kill her.
And you did. Vampire or not--

Connor's hands tighten on his textbook. His expression is stony.

CONNOR
I told you all about that.
I don't know what else I'm supposed to say.

CLOSE-UP on Faith's concerned gaze.

FAITH
You don't have to say anything.


EXT. FAITH'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NOON

PAN DOWN TO the basement window.

INT. FAITH'S APARTMENT

In shadows. The door knob rattles. Faith enters and is halfway through peeling off her denim jacket when her glance is drawn over to -

The ANSWERING MACHINE, which is blinking repeatedly just as it was the day before.

Faith ignores it and tosses her jacket over the back of the desk chair. With a foot, she taps the door shut, then collapses onto the bed, stretching out sideways across the mattress. She closes her eyes and rests her forearm across her brow. Then groans.

FAITH
Crap.

Slowly, she lurches back up to standing and walks over to the answering machine. She hits the PLAY button.

Beeeep.

WOMAN'S VOICE
Hi, Faith, call me when you get back, please?
It's Vaughne.

Beeeep.

MAN
Hey, Tony here. Last Friday night was great--

Faith rolls her eyes. She stabs the STOP button and then the NEXT button.

FAMILIAR FEMALE VOICE
...Buffy.
The answer to your question is "Yes."
You need to have--

Faith stabs with frustration--STOP, NEXT -

FAMILIAR MALE VOICE
(British accent)
...like to reiterate what Buffy called to explain yesterday--

Faith STABS the STOP button again.

FAITH
(with frustration)
Damn, people!

NEXT.

MAN TWO
...Steve. We exchanged numbers a few weeks
ago at Ivar?

Faith stabs STOP. The machine goes back to blinking. She brings her thumb up and bites absent-mindedly on the tip. Then she winces and shakes her hand.

FAITH
Ouch.

Angrily, she BRINGS DOWN A FIST on the countertop. It SHUDDERS.

FAITH
Fuck!

She circles around the island counter, hands on her hips, pacing, then pauses and runs a hand through her hair.

FAITH
(whispering)
Fuck.

After a moment of staring at the floor for answers, she circles back around to the phone, picks up the receiver, and jabs out a number. Impatient finger-drumming on the countertop. Then -

FAITH
Okay, you can come back.
(pause)
Whoa--listen to me.
This is on a trial basis.
(she raises a finger)
'Cause if you do anything, anything--

She smiles malevolently and sets her free hand on her hip.

FAITH
Oh, it's not me you need to be afraid of now, puppy.
You wanna play Watcher,
you have to answer to a whole mess of people.
(she listens and chuckles skeptically)
So they say. Just keep an eye out for syringes.

She leans against the counter.

FAITH
First things first.
Meet me at the Temple Luna club in an hour.
(a frustrated pause)
Well, when's it over?
(pause)
All right. Then meet me there at six.


INT. BACKROOM - TEMPLE LUNA - EARLY EVENING

Aiden strolls past the papers, books, and artifacts piled on the tables, looking slightly stunned.

AIDEN
This.... This was their library?

Faith stands off to the side, her hands stuffed in her blue-jean pockets.

FAITH
Everything we confiscated from that house.

Aiden picks up a thick tome and reads the spine. He caresses it absent-mindedly as he sets it down, then runs his fingers over an ancient scroll stored in plastic tubing.

AIDEN
Jesus.
Does Mr. Giles know you have all this?

Faith shrugs, although Aiden, still turned around, doesn't see it.

FAITH
He knows we found...stuff in that house.

Aiden's mouth hedges on a smile.

AIDEN
He doesn't, does he?

Faith raises her eyebrows, no-nonsense.

FAITH
No, and you're not going to tell him, either.

Aiden finally turns, throwing Faith a curious, astonished look.

AIDEN
You...you expect me to go through all this by myself?
I've barely started Latin....

He scans the wealth of materials again, looking overwhelmed.

AIDEN (cont.)
...Much less Sumerian, Greek, Aramaic,
or any of the demon languages!
And most of this stuff....
(he gives her a significant look)
You do realize the Syndicate probably
got half it from Wolfram and Hart?

Faith looks uncomfortable as this slowly sinks in. She crosses her arms defensively. Aiden frowns at her and sighs.

AIDEN
Look, I know the Council's been pressuring you
to get a qualified Watcher on your team,
and you've been stalling them off.

Faith says nothing.

AIDEN (cont.)
I mean, that is why you broke down and called me,
isn't it? To get them off your back?

He steps towards her cautiously.

AIDEN
Well, I'm not a qualified Watcher yet.
(he gestures at the tables)
Certainly not qualified to inventory this.

Faith shrugs, forcing an air of nonchalance.

FAITH
We'll bring them in on it eventually.
I just don't want them all rushing over here
getting in my way.

Aiden scoffs, then chuckles incredulously.

AIDEN
What exactly do you think's gonna happen
if they send over a few scholars to study this stuff?

FAITH
(impatiently)
Are you gonna help me, or not?

Aiden takes in the sight of Syndicate library again and exhales audibly. After a moment, he nods.

AIDEN
Yeah, all right.

Faith steps up to the nearest table, all-business, and starts picking up books and piling them into the crook of one arm.

FAITH
Good.
Now, let's get this stuff out of here.


INT. CONNOR'S DORM ROOM - EARLY EVENING

Connor is slumped on the couch under the loft, staring at the red COCKTAIL NAPKIN in his hand. His POV - The Sekhmet logo. He turns the napkin over. His POV - Danny (562) 555-1947

Dave, seated at his desk, glances over at him.

Dave's POV - Connor grabs the telephone receiver off the side table. He taps in a number and brings the receiver up to his ear.

CUT BACK TO Connor, who draws back the phone at the grating ELECTRONIC SQUEAL of a disconnection warning. He winces.

WOMAN'S VOICE
(mechanically)
The number you have dialed, five-six-two, five-five-five,
one-nine-four-seven...is no longer in ser--

Clunk. Connor sits back with a frown.

Dave glances at him again.

Connor heaves himself up off the couch and walks over to his desk where a carefully folded NEWSPAPER lies on the computer keyboard. He picks it up.

INSERT - A short NEWS ITEM. Beside it is a grainy photograph of the young woman from the night before, smiling up from the page.

WOMAN DIES ON CAMPUS UNDER MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES
Julia Moore, age 23, was found wounded and dying late Friday night by a UCLA student near Portola Plaza, and was pronounced DOA shortly thereafter at the University Medical Center. Ms. Moore was a Systems Analyst from Santa Ana and had no known affiliation with the university.

The nature of her injuries is being withheld by police pending a full investigation, but a spokesman for the L.A. County Coroner's Office announced this morning that the injury was most likely sustained while on campus.

The public is being asked to come forward if they have any information about Ms. Moore or her reasons for being on campus that evening.
Connor brings down the newspaper and stares into space thoughtfully.

CUT TO - Dave, looking over at him.

DAVE
Hey, are you....

Connor glances back at him.

DAVE
Are you going out tonight?
'Cause I sort of invited Amy over
for the evening, if you know what I mean.

He chuckles.

Connor gazes back down at the newspaper.

CONNOR
Yeah. I am.

He unfolds the paper and spreads it out wide across the desk. Then, carefully, he rips the photograph out from the page.


EXT. THE LOS ANGELES SKYLINE - DUSK

SHOT - Downtown buildings set against the gold-and-red streaked western sky. With time-lapse photography, we see the sky and the distant curve of the Pacific GRADUALLY DARKEN, and the lights of the skyscrapers twinkle on. HOLD ON the sparkling nighttime skyline, then FADE TO -

EXT. BACK ENTRANCE - TEMPLE LUNA - EVENING

The back door is propped open with a wooden wedge. Aiden exits carrying an armful of books. He walks them up to the open trunk of his red Honda Civic and squeezes them one by one into the crevices of a nearly full cardboard box. There are several more CLOSED BOXES beside the open one. Beside Aiden's car is Faith's Impala, trunk also open and filled with boxes. Faith reaches for the Impala trunk lid.

FAITH
Anything left in there?

AIDEN
No, this is it.

Faith slams the lid down. Finished, Aiden reaches up to do the same with his own. Suddenly, we hear a GUTTURAL ROAR. Faith whirls around to see -

THREE BIG, HAIRY FIENDS lumbering towards them.

FAITH
(mumbling; annoyed)
Perfect.

She races towards the closest of them and LEAPS AT IT with a flying kick, sending it stumbling back.

Startled, Aiden backs up towards the back door of the club.

Faith glances over at him as she starts PUMMELLING on another demon.

FAITH
Get in your car! Go!

Quickly, Aiden KICKS out the door stop, then races over to the still-open trunk of the Civic. The third demon CHARGES in his direction as he tries to bring down the lid. Then, inexplicably, the creature passes him and dodges around the car, heading for the driver's side door.

Faith sees this, frowns, and bolts after it. She GRABS the demon by the hair on the back of its neck and HURLS IT against the wall of the club. THUD. Aiden slams down the trunk and scrambles around the car. Faith turns to find the second demon sneaking up behind her. She starts in with the kicking and punching. Her first opponent RISES UP from ground where it fell. Aiden THROWS OPEN his car door and LEAPS INSIDE.

CUT TO a REAR SHOT - Tires SQUEALING IN PROTEST, the Civic SHOOTS FORWARD across the parking lot. The demon that was thrown against the wall staggers up and breaks into pursuit.

Faith has the second demon flat on the ground. She SLAMS her foot down on its neck, BREAKING IT.

Aiden's car nears the parking lot driveway. Just then, a SUBARU IMPREZA pulls up on the street beyond and comes to a halt in front of him.

CLOSE-UP - TWO MORE HAIRY DEMONS are in the Impreza, their INHUMAN appearances concealed by hooded sweatshirts.

INT. CIVIC

Wide-eyed, Aiden JAMS ON HIS BRAKES. The force of it tips him forward, then back. Without hesitation, he grapples out an hand for the passenger-side seat-back, glances behind himself, and THROWS the car into reverse.

Aiden's POV, through the rear window - The pursuing demon. The Civic SLAMS INTO IT, sending the demon flying back. Beyond that, we see Faith pummeling the remaining demon.

Aiden turns back around and puts the car in DRIVE.

EXT. PARKING LOT

The Civic PEELS FORWARD, bouncing over the curb and into the street ahead of the Impreza. Without stopping, Aiden takes an immediate left into traffic on the cross-secting boulevard, narrowly missing cars passing through the intersection. They brake hastily and HONK at him.

The demon's Impreza accelerates, CAREENING INTO THE INTERSECTION after him.


EXT. CLUB SEKHMET - LONG BEACH - EVENING

ESTABLISHING - A WAREHOUSE BUILDING transformed into a NIGHTCLUB. Above the door, a tawny lioness prowls across a gothic name plate. A beefy DOORMAN sits on a bar stool beside the door. He looks up as Connor approaches. Connor stops several feet shy of him, appearing uncertain.

DOORMAN
(to Connor)
I.D.

Taking a deep breath, Connor reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. He hands it to the man. The man opens it, glances down at Connor's driver's license, then hands the wallet back. From a fanny pack around his waist, he brings out an INK STAMP.

DOORMAN
Both hands.

Connor holds out his hands, palms down, his right hand still clutching his wallet. The man grabs the fingers of his left and BRINGS THE STAMP DOWN on the back on his hand. Then does the same on the right. Connor looks down and frowns a disgruntled sideways frown.

INSERT - In the same black gothic lettering as the club logo, we see the inked word "CUB."

DOORMAN
Five dollars.

Connor opens his wallet and fishes out a five-dollar bill. He hands it to the man, then heads into the club.

INT. NIGHTCLUB

A VAST, DARK ROOM with black walls, round metal tables, and--Connor's attention is drawn up--detached mannequin body parts dangling from the ceiling. In the background, diffuse and nearly indistinct, we hear the wailing of Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead." The incessant beat of the music permeates a gloom cut only by isolated red and white halogen spotlights and softly glowing Victorian-style lamp posts. With a skeptical grimace, Connor plunges in.

His POV, in passing - A giant MOVIE SCREEN with flickering black-and-white images from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"; a chain-link-fenced CAGE, behind which a pale, lithe woman in a leather newsboy cap, hot pants, and halter top writhes; a smattering of doe-eyed, waif-like PATRONS who glance up indifferently from their conversations as Connor passes their tables; and ahead, bathed in a crimson glow, a BAR.

The BARTENDER has greasy long black hair and a humorless expression. He wipes out glasses, ignoring Connor as he comes to a halt behind a black vinyl barstool. Connor's brows knit.

CONNOR
What's "grain of the goddess?"

The bartender looks at him, then glances back reflexively at the large hand-written advertisement behind him.

BARTENDER
Specialty of the house.
Carnelian beer.

CONNOR
(dismayed)
Does that mean it's red?

The bartender nods. Connor forces a grimacing smile.

CONNOR
I'll just have a Coke.

The bartender tosses down his rag and gets to work pouring Connor's drink. As he does, Connor pulls his wallet out of his back pocket and fishes the newspaper photograph from it. He shows it to the bartender.

CONNOR
Ever see this girl come in here?

The bartender shakes his head and thunks a glass of ice moistened with cola down on the bar.

BARTENDER
Three-fifty.

Connor pays the man, takes his drink, and turns around.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT THREE

Act Four

EXT. BACK PARKING LOT - TEMPLE LUNA - CONTINUOUS

WIDE SHOT of the PARKING LOT - Two demons are on the ground, dead; the third is struggling with Faith near the driver's side door of her Impala. She KNEES it in the gut, forcing it to double over, then GRABS it and RAMS it head-first through the WINDOW GLASS. She hauls the demon back out and FLINGS it to the ground. It falls limp, face and throat slit.

CUT TO - INT. AIDEN'S CIVIC

Aiden grips the steering wheel, his eyes intent on the street ahead. Glowing store fronts, traffic signals, and car headlights flash by in the front and side windows. Suddenly, his cell phone rings. With a startled jolt, he digs in his coat, brings the phone out, and clicks it on.

AIDEN
I'm a little busy at the moment!

CUT TO - INT. FAITH'S IMPALA

Faith is in her car now, exiting the Temple Luna parking lot, one hand on the steering wheel.

FAITH
Aiden, whatever you do,
don't go to the Council Office.

INT. AIDEN'S CIVIC

Aiden gapes.

AIDEN
Well, what should I do?

INT. FAITH'S IMPALA

FAITH
I don't know! Drive around!
Try to lose them!

She pulls into traffic on the boulevard.

INT. AIDEN'S CIVIC

AIDEN
What do you think I'm doing!?

He clicks off his phone and shakes his head.

AIDEN
(grumbling)
Here's a plan. I get a speeding ticket.

Then with a look of alarm, he drops the phone, grabs the steering wheel with both hands, and twists it to the left.

His POV - A truck has cut in front of him.

AIDEN
Or cause an accident!

EXT. CRANE SHOT - MELROSE AVENUE - HOLLYWOOD

Aiden's Civic zigzags through east-bound traffic, first in one lane, then in the other, the Impreza in pursuit. PAN BACK. Faith's Impala is two blocks behind and GAINING.

CUT TO STREET LEVEL - She sails through a yellow light.

INT. AIDEN'S CIVIC

Through the front windshield over Aiden's shoulder, we see the 101 Freeway OVERPASS a block ahead. The entrance to the freeway is right before it. A BMW in front of the Civic SLOWS.

LOW SHOT - Aiden takes his foot off the accelerator.

EXT. MELROSE AVENUE

Behind the Civic, the Impreza closes in. Ahead of it, the BMW veers right onto the freeway ramp. The Civic accelerates. The Impreza accelerates. Then, at the last minute, Aiden SWERVES the Civic onto the freeway ramp, cutting an arc that almost sends the car spinning in a circle. The Impreza SHOOTS FORWARD under the freeway, then SPINS OUT 180 degrees and comes to a halt.

INT. AIDEN'S CIVIC

Aiden cuts his car tight to the left, straightens out, and HITS THE GAS.

EXT. MELROSE AND 101

The Civic heads up the freeway on-ramp. Just then, Faith's Impala passes by on Melrose.

INT. FAITH'S IMPALA

Horns BLARE. The Impala slows. Through the front window over Faith's shoulder, we can the braking tail lights of east-bound traffic. And among them, one set of HEADLIGHTS. The Impreza is coming directly at her, forcing the other traffic to go around it. Faith rolls the Impala up directly in front of it, and stops.

Her POV - headlights.

Faith cuts her own lights, then grins and waves. The Impreza SHOOTS INTO REVERSE, ARCS AROUND, and SPEEDS off down the street. Faith hits the gas, but within seconds, the Impreza's tail lights are indistinguishable from the others. She frowns and turns on her beams again, then pulls her cell phone out of her jacket pocket, thumbs in a number, and brings the phone up to her ear.

FAITH
Hey. You Okay?
(beat)
Good.
Meet me at A-1 Self Storage on Pico near downtown.
But if you see anything fishy,
get the hell out of there and call me.


INT. CLUB SEKHMET - EVENING

Connor is standing before a trio--two women and a man--slumped across an overstuffed leather couch. The women are in 1940's-style dresses and heels; the man is bald and wearing a foppish velvet jacket and boots. He nods at the photo clipping in Connor's hand.

MAN
Yeah, she came in here a few times.

Encouraged, Connor brings out the crumpled cocktail napkin next, and shows them the name and phone number on the back.

CONNOR
What about him?

Collectively, the three shake their heads and shrug, glancing at each other. Connor pockets the napkin again, nodding.

CONNOR
But you know the girl.

A woman in a vintage brimmed hat stares up at Connor through her mesh widow's veil. Her eyes are outlined in black; her lips are blood-red.

RED-HAT WOMAN
We didn't know her,
we've just seen her a few times.
A tourist, you know?

CONNOR
A tourist?

MAN
Not a regular.

RED-HAT WOMAN
(impatiently)
As in "just passing through?"
(she gestures at him)
Like you.

Connor glances down at his khaki-tan, multi-pocketed slacks and gray t-shirt.

CONNOR
(with disappointment)
Thanks.

He turns away, eyes PANNING the tables around him, then starts over towards a tall, pale man wearing a dark suit fit for an undertaker. The man's eyes drop to Connor as he approaches. Connor changes his mind at the last second and veers away.

PULL BACK TO a WIDE SHOT of Connor looking around again. The current music fades out and Sisters of Mercy "Flood I" fades in as we CUT TO a MONTAGE - Connor, stopping beside the scattered patrons and asking them about the photo and napkin. Heads shake; stray comments are offered; but nothing useful comes out of this, as is evident by the mounting look of frustration on Connor's face. Even the waitress who takes his empty glass only shrugs.

Finally, Connor wanders towards the back of the club with a weary, fed-up expression.

His POV - The dance floor is empty. Beyond it is a long stretch of brick wall dotted with FRAMED PHOTOGRAPHS, DRAWINGS, AND PAINTINGS that ends in a non-descript, unlabeled DOOR. On the other side of the door is a dark back hallway with a green, glowing "EXIT" sign above it.

Connor crosses over to the wall. He stares up at it boredly and blankly. Then, with a knit brow, he starts down its length, taking in each of the framed pictures in turn and occasionally chuckling with incredulity.

PANNING, his POV - Gothic paintings and sketches of ghouls and vampires; photographs of famous Broadway and Hollywood Draculas and Nosferatus; painted portraits, black-and-white photographs, and daguerreotypes of unknown men and women in period costumes.

Finally he comes upon the unmarked door, which OPENS suddenly, forcing him back. A young man with teased hair, a leopard-skin vest, and a studded dog collar stumbles out. He gives Connor a dazed look then continues on his way. The door shuts behind him. Connor watches him go with a dark, circumspect gaze, then gives the wall one last, passing glance.

And turns back towards it abruptly. CLOSE-UP on his troubled gaze.

DRUSILLA stares out at him from a familiar tintype.


EXT. A-1 SELF STORAGE - EVENING

A STORAGE GARAGE LOT behind a chain-linked fence. The lights of downtown loom in the background. Aiden sits in his car just outside the locked entrance gate, eyes on the street. Just then, Faith's Impala pulls up behind him. She hops out, unlocks the gate, heads back to her car, and drives in. Aiden starts his car and follows.

CUT TO - Faith's Impala turns down one of the aisles and comes to a halt in front of a garage half-way down. Aiden pulls up behind her a moment later. He gets out of his car.

AIDEN
So what happened?

Faith exits the Impala shaking her head.

FAITH
The ones in the car got away.

Aiden peers behind himself reflexively.

AIDEN
Well, they didn't follow us here,
that's the good thing.

Faith chuckles.

FAITH
The "good thing" will be finding out who
the hell they are.

She circles around to the passenger side of her car and opens the door. Aiden wanders over to the open driver's side window.

His POV - Bits of jagged glass in the window frame and scattered across the floor and the upholstery inside the car. A DEMON CORPSE is propped up in the front passenger seat. Two more CORPSES are slumped in the back.

AIDEN
(grimacing)
Ehhh.
The ones from Temple Luna, I presume.

Faith leans over the demon in the front seat, checking its pockets.

FAITH
Damn it, there's blood in the upholstery.

AIDEN
Who are these guys?

FAITH
(grunting and tugging on something)
I don't...know...but I'm thinking...
you might find a mug shot in all that crap
we have in our trunks.

AIDEN
Ex-Syndicate minions?

FAITH
Probably.
(then muttering)
Damn, that stinks.
(beat)
Hah!

Faith pulls herself out the car, waving a piece of paper.

FAITH
The address of Temple Luna.
Found it in this creep's boot.

Aiden stands tall.

AIDEN
They were sent there?

Faith nods and glances at -

The Impala's TRUNK.

FAITH
Yep. I'm thinking by someone who knows
what we have.

AIDEN
(thoughtfully)
Or someone who wants something specific in it.

Faith considers this with a frown.

FAITH
Either way, let's get it locked up.

She walks over to the garage door, fishing her keys from her pocket. Aiden eyes the storage garage skeptically. His POV - Garage no. 142.

AIDEN
A storage garage?
You sure that's a good idea?

FAITH
It's mystically protected.
And it's just temporary until
we can get the stuff over to the Council offices.

With a rattle, she raises the garage door.


INT. CLUB SEKHMET

CLOSE-UP on the TINTYPE OF DRUSILLA.

Connor's gaze drops away from it. He stares steadily forward for several beats, then his eyes dip to the side expectantly.

WOMAN (O.S.)
(cool and sensual)
I sometimes look at that one myself.

Connor casts a reflexive glance at the tintype.

WOMAN (O.S.)
She has an ethereal beauty.
I always wonder what she's thinking.

Connor chuckles incredulously.

CONNOR
What could she be thinking? She's a--

He turns around. And is stopped short.

CONNOR
...Loon.

A pretty YOUNG WOMAN stands there. She has dark brown hair that falls beneath her shoulders, black low-rider slacks, a black tank-top, and a black leather jacket. She gazes at him with an enigmatic expression for a moment, then holds out a hand.

WOMAN
I'm Alix.

Connor waits a beat before finally extending his own hand.

CONNOR
Connor.

They shake hands. Alix then slides her fingers into her back pant pockets.

ALIX
(scrutinizing him)
So...what's a nice mama's boy like you
doing in a place like this?

Connor reaches into his own back pocket.

CONNOR
My mother wasn't nice.

He pulls out his wallet and retrieves the newspaper photo. He holds it out to her.

CONNOR
You know this girl?

Alix glances at the clipping and then Connor with amused disinterest.

ALIX
What are you, a cop....

Then she snaps the clipping out of his hand. Connor takes in her pensive expression as she stares down at it.

CONNOR
I got it from my school newspaper.
She died on campus last night.

Alix hands him back the clipping.

ALIX
How?

CONNOR
Burns, I think. I'm not sure.
You know her?

Connor slips the clipping back into his wallet.

ALIX
I've talked to her before.
Where do you know her from?

CONNOR
I don't...didn't. I....

He pulls out the cocktail napkin next.

CONNOR
It's complicated.
(he hands it to her)
What about this guy? Do you recognize the number?

Alix reads it, then looks up at him.

ALIX
Was this hers?
(Connor nods)
Then yeah, I know him.
They were seeing each other--Danny and Julia.
Or...not seeing each other exactly.
Flirting, more like.

She eyes him, a faint smile curving her lips. Connor stares back at her for a beat without expression, then his eyes dip away briefly.

CONNOR
(surprised)
You know him?
'Cause no one else around here seems to.

Alix chuckles. She pivots slightly.

ALIX
(taking in the expanse of the club)
What do you think this place is, Mayberry?

She turns back to him.

ALIX
Yeah, people know him.
He comes in here all the time.
(she looks at him pointedly)
But they don't know you.

CONNOR
(coolly)
Neither do you.

Alix hands him back the napkin and shrugs.

ALIX
Well, it's not like me and Danny are buds or anything.
(she shrugs)
You asked if I know him, I know him.

Connor slips the napkin back in his wallet.

CONNOR
(matter-of-factly)
People like you don't generally have "buds", do they?
(he looks at her)
At least not ones with a pulse.

Alix looks taken aback. Connor chuckles. She tosses her hair and gives him a sleek, cool look.

ALIX
Just because this is a "vampire" club doesn't
mean there are actual vampires--

CONNOR
No. Just you.

She regards him with a brief, simmering frostiness, then crosses her arms.

ALIX
You haven't told me yet why you're so
interested in Danny and Julia.

Connor stuffs his wallet back in his pocket and steps around her. Alix turns. Connor starts away, then pivots back around to face her.

CONNOR
When someone dies in your arms,
you get interested.
(beat)
At least, humans do.

And with that, he continues on his way. Alix stares after him for a beat, then follows.

FRONTAL TWO-SHOT - Connor passes the bar, not slowing his pace. Alix closes in on him.

ALIX
I could help you.

Connor glances back at her. They pass the chain-link-fence cage.

CONNOR
(irritably)
You don't even know what I want.

ALIX
(coming up to his side)
Well, I assume to find her killer.

REVERSE ANGLE - the front entrance of the club.

Connor comes to a halt a few feet from it.

CONNOR
(with a glare)
I didn't say she was murdered.
And why do you care?

ALIX
I know more about them than you do.

With a dismissive frown, Connor starts towards the door again. Alix's hand clasps his shoulder. Connor stops again.

CLOSE-UP - He CLAMPS a hand onto hers, GRABS it tight, and turns, TWISTING her arm back. Alix gapes at him in pain and surprise. Her face GOES VAMP. She growls. Connor lets go and steps away from her.

CUT TO a LOW SHOT - Slowly, he reaches down to a side pocket on his pants. He slips his fingers inside and brings something up, but not quite all the way out of his pocket. He stares at her ominously.

Alix looks down. Her POV - In his fist - A WOODEN STAKE.

With a wary expression, she steps back, her face returning to human. Connor pivots and exits the club.

CUT TO - EXT. DIM-LIT STREET - A MOMENT LATER

Connor approaches his car, keys in hand. He halts at the driver's side door and unlocks it. As he opens the door, he LOOKS UP.

His POV - The ROOF of a three-story building. ALIX is standing at the edge, looking down at him.

CLOSE-UP on her - She raises her chin as she notices that Connor has seen her, then turns and disappears across the roof.


ESTABLISHING SHOTS -

EXT. THE SLAYER COUNCIL BUILDING - MID-MORNING

A mid-century, off-white, four-story office building.

INT. SECOND-FLOOR CORRIDOR

In FRAME - The DOOR of the Slayer Council suite. In gold lettering on the opaque frosted window - "Silver Lake Fitness Training."

INT. FAITH'S OFFICE

Faith is behind her utilitarian desk, taking books from a paper grocery bag and lining them up on a tall metal shelf.

PAN THE SPINES -

Bristow's Demon Index
The Art of War
Mythology and Methodology of the Vampire Slayer
Vampires: A History


CONNOR (O.S.)
You know, I could do that for you.
I'm an expert now.

Faith turns around with a grin.

FAITH
Dude. Hey.

Connor walks in, hands in his pants pockets, and slumps down in one of the creaky wooden chairs on the other side of Faith's desk. Faith rolls out the padded office chair on her side and collapses into it.

FAITH
There's a ton more where these came from.

Her POV - The paper bag.

She lurches up to the edge of the chair--

FAITH
Just have to figure out....

--and shifts the bag out of the way. She stretches back.

FAITH
...How to get them over here without
getting mugged by the Big Foot clan.

Connor smiles politely, his eyes briefly downcast. Then he looks up at her.

CONNOR
I just...wanted to apologize for being a putz yesterday.
School, y'know? Kinda stresses me out.

FAITH
(grinning)
Which is exactly why I'm not in it.

Connor chuckles, then gives her a sincere look.

CONNOR
It's important to me, though.
(Faith nods)
But I want you to know that if you
need my help with anything, I'll help.

FAITH
Cool.

She stands, slapping the edge of the desk.

FAITH
'Cause we got....

She glances over at the door.

AIDEN (O.S.)
Well, the Council database is online now.

CUT TO Aiden, who is stopped short just inside the room.

AIDEN
Hey, Connor.

CONNOR
Hey.

FAITH
(to Aiden)
The Council what?

Aiden walks over to her desk and perches half-on the side edge. A flicker of annoyance crosses Faith's face.

AIDEN
Database.
Something Willow's been working on for years now.
Andrew picked up the ball, and good thing, too,
'cause we're gonna need it to decipher
all that Syndicate stuff.

Connor looks from Aiden to Faith, puzzled.

FAITH
(to Connor)
You remember--that library in their house?
(Connor nods)
All sorts of demon mumbo-jumbo.

AIDEN
Not all of it. A lot of it's in English.
I spent half the night in that garage
going through it.
(he chuckles)
I never knew incorporeal demons
could be so...bureaucratic.

He relaxes, shoulders slightly hunched, arms crossed on his lap.

AIDEN
Most of it I can't make heads or tails of,
(his voice rises with excitement)
but I can tell you this--

CONNOR
(interrupting)
You know, I might be able to help.

He is looking at Aiden thoughtfully. Connor has both their attention.

CONNOR
(awkwardly)
Sorry, uh...it's just....
You know that during the big battle last Spring,
the head Hogath possessed me.

AIDEN
(glancing at Faith)
No, I didn't know that.

CONNOR
It was inside my head.
(he points at his temple)
And at the same time, I was in its head, too.
Sort of.

AIDEN
You knew what it was thinking?

CONNOR
(nodding; suddenly solemn)
Yeah.
I'm not saying I could translate demon writing,
but I knew what it was planning, long term.
At the very least, I could probably tell you what
some of that stuff is.

Aiden grins.

AIDEN
That'd be great.

FAITH
Cool. You can both get to work on it.
(she turns to Aiden)
So you were saying?
About what you found out from that Syndicate stuff?

AIDEN
(sitting up)
Oh, right.
(excited again)
Well, it's pretty obvious both the Syndicate
and Wolfram and Hart made it their business
to know who the players were in town--
the big outfits and the little guys.
There's detailed information in there
about clans, covens, bad guys;
their modus operandis, their real estate....

Faith eyes him, a slow grin spreading across her face.

FAITH
So what you're saying is, we're not going to
have to wait for the monsters to come knockin'
on our door anymore.

Aiden nods, brows raised.

AIDEN
We're going to be able to go to them.

Faith throws Connor a mischievous look.

FAITH
Hear that, Junior?
Time to sharpen your ax.

BLACK OUT.

THE END


Executive Producer       Joss Whedon


Connor       Vincent Kartheiser
Faith       Eliza Dushku
Aiden       Sean Maher
Man       Robert Blanche
Dave       Jon Abrahams
Vaughne      Megalyn Echikunwoke
Alix      Rachel Leigh Cook



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