A stand-alone episode set sometime just before ďA Hole in the WorldĒ
INTERIOR Ė AUCTION HOUSE
WES and GUNN sit in chairs in the bidding section of am unusual ďFine AntiquitiesĒ auction house. The other clientele present is of a questionable nature, as are the items being auctioned, but it is definitely a higher-class establishment.
(To WES after staring at a waiting bidder)
Did you see that?
(Distracted with the program)
That man three rows up. Heís got three eyes! One
in the back of his head!
What? Where? Oh. Cheops demon.
Donít stare at the third eye. Itís considered very rude.
I wasnít staring at it. It was staring at me.
Yes, they move independently. Theyíre attached
to a second, much smaller prefrontal brain thatísĖĖ
Heís interrupted by the arrival of the AUCTIONEER, a suave, well-manicured man in a tuxedo, who steps up to the podium on a slightly raised stage.
Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen. Iím very pleased to see you
all here tonight, and I think that the items we have to offer you will
please you very much in return. Let me begin by saying that
Price-Holland House personally guarantees the authenticity of
every item we bring you tonight, and will be happy to safeguard your
purchase until suitable arrangements can be made for its transport
(Quietly to WES while auctioneer continues in background)
The Key of Camarra,
weíre taking it with us, right?
Yes. If weíre fortunate enough to win.
I expect Iíll be able to fit it into my coat pocket.
So Ladies and Gentlemen, without any further
ado, let us begin the bidding with something beautiful.
The AUCTIONEER signals to his associate, who brings a small velvet lined chest with a glittery necklace with a large light blue gemstone.
I give you, The Amulet of Ahmey.
(There is a collective oooh-aahhh from the audience.)
Weíll start the bidding at Twenty thousand.
Ah, number fifty-eight. Do I hear thirty?
Hey, that looks a little like Spikeís amulet.
Maybe we should bid on it?
No. Iíve been over all the items in the
program. The Key is the only one we need
concern ourselves with.
Oh. Oh, well.
(In the background)
I have thirty-five. Do I hear forty?
(Amused by Fredís reaction.)
Why? Do you like it?
Well, it is awfully pretty.
Does it have any powers?
(In the background)
Thatís fifty thousand. Anyone else? Fifty thousand
going once.... fifty thousand going twice...
(Even more amused)
Indeed. And it never fails.
Really? What does it do?
It prevents tooth decay.
Sold for fifty thousand to number thirty-seven.
CLOSE-UP on winning demon with very large teeth. FRED and WES laugh a little. Itís clear theyíre having a very good time being out together.
The next item up for bid is one I know many
of you have come here expressly for tonight.
So letís bring it out....
The AUCTIONEER waves a hand, and the lights dim slightly. There is a quiet drum roll as two enormously muscled MEN struggle to push out what appears to be a huge marble column to the center of the stage. The AUCTIONEER indicates the column with a flourish of his hand.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Key of Camarra.
FRED and WES stare.
Youíre going to need a bigger pocket.
FADE OUT to OPENING CREDITS
1 INTERIOR Ė AUCTION HOUSE
Pick up in the same place, with the AUCTIONEER indicating the column. ANGLE ON THE COLUMN where the assistant moves to open a smaller section on its face. Inside, a light shines down on a silver artifact. It has the ornate handle of a key and the blade of a dagger. It is lying on a red velvet lined leather case, lying opened in a diamond shape.
The bidding will begin at fifty thousand.
Ah, I have fifty. Do I hear sixty ? There, seventy?
(WES raises his number.)
I have seventy, do I hear eighty? Eighty there.
Ninety? One hundred thousand? Ah, one hundred.
Number 18, one twenty five? I have one twenty five.
(WES raises his number.)
Thereís one fifty. I have one hundred and fifty thousand.
(One bidder drops out, others grumble. One raises his number)
I have one hundred seventy-five...
(The AUCTIONEER looks at WES, who doesnít respond.)
What are you doing? Weíre going to lose it!
I have one seventy-five. Anyone else?
One seventy-five going once...
(WES is stoic and unconcerned.)
One seventy-five going twice...
WES raises his number slightly, and makes a little dip with it. The AUCTIONEER catches it immediately.
Two. I have two hundred thousand.
He looks back at the other bidder who hesitates, then passes.
Two hundred going once, Two hundred going twice....
Sold to number eighty-five for two hundred thousand.
(Enthusiastically clutching WESís arm)
You did it!
2 EXTERIOR ĖSTREET OUTSIDE THE AUCTION HOUSE Ė NIGHT
FRED and WES exit the auction house and walk to the car, Fredís arm looped through Wesís, chattering about the auction. WES opens the car door for FRED, turns, and (FROM WESíS POV) WUMP! Gets hit across the face and goes down. DEMON ASSAILANT hits him a few more times then picks his pocket. He runs off as FRED struggles out of the car and helps WES, who is still on the ground.
3 INT. ANGELíS OFFICE Ė NIGHT
ANGEL sits behind his desk, arms folded, listening to WES who is standing at the corner of his desk. WES looks distinctly beaten up.
We were very successful at the auction, it was
afterward that we ran into trouble. He jumped
me at the car and took it. I tried to follow him in the
car but we lost him.
He could be anywhere now.
And this ďKey of CamarraĒ Ė how bad is it?
(Shaking his head and turning away)
Of itself, itís neither good nor bad. Itís a tool.
Okay. Whatís it do?
Well, it...it brings a personís emotional hot spots
to bear. Strips the defenses. Exposes essential
Usually induces suicide.
Well, that doesnít sound so bad. I mean, itís not like
a virus or a bomb thatís gonna take out half the city.
No....itís an assassinís tool. Designed for use on specific
individuals. People with power, like presidents and heads of
evil law firms.
They exchange a look.
Okay, well, weíll have to get it back.
I wouldnít know where to start.
Letís start with the guy who took it. Did you get
A good look at him?
Yes. It was a grevlar demon in a black trench coat.
ANGELíS face falls.
Thatís no good Ė they all look alike.
Youíre beginning to see the problem.
Maybe if we go back to the alley where you lost him?
Do a circular search from there? Somebody mustíve seen them.
(From off camera)
Youíll never find him like that. And it wouldnít do
you any good if you did.
ANGEL and WES look up, surprised by the voice.
ENTER MERCEDES GREY. Slender, classy, feminine but athletic blonde, understated pale pink satin shirt over black leather pants, wearing a long leather coat not unlike Spikeís. We can guess by the look and the way she moves that sheís probably a vampire of past acquaintance. Sheís got a black leather bag slung over one shoulder.
(Smiling ruefully at the lackluster greeting)
(Sparing only a glance for Wes, she moves closer
to the desk)
What are you doing here?
ENTER HARMONY, barging in.
The vampire detectors are all going off, boss!
Thereís an unidentified vamp in the buildó
Itís all right, Harmony. Let security know, okay?
Okay....Oh, now? Okay.
So why are you here, Mercedes?
(Eyeing him for a beat)
It wonít do you any good to find the grevlar. A grevlar
demon wouldnít want the key for himself. You know that.
Yes, thatís quite true.
MERCEDES glances at him but still does not acknowledge him. She sits on the corner of Angelís desk.
(with amused nonchalance)
Besides, it hit the black market an hour ago.
WES and ANGEL regard her with surprise.
If thatís true, maybe we can simply buy it.
(Grins and looks at ANGEL with a ďget a load of this oneĒ expression)
No, if itís what you said it was, itís already been sold.
Thatís it then. Weíve lost it until whoever bought
it tries to use it.
Or until someone who knows tells us.
(He looks pointedly at Mercedes, who smiles
mischievously back at him.)
MERCEDES reaches into her bag and pulls out a black file folder, which she hands to ANGEL. He accepts it and opens it.
4 CLOSE-UP OF OPEN FOLDER
Shows an 8x10 glossy of a hard and seedy man.
5 Back to ANGEL.
Glyndon Kellerman. Kidnapper, child pornographer Ė and
those are his good points. Iíve been tracking him
for two months, through New York and Chicago.
And you want me to do what? Find him
for you? Kill him?
(Confused, looking at Angel strangely)
Of course not.
(Cutting to the chase)
Look, Mercedes, I get it. You want something in
exchange for telling me who has the key. Exactly
what is it you want?
(As if it should be obvious)
Permission to kill Kellerman.
Itís ANGELíS turn to look confused.
Look at the other photos Angelus. This guy left a
whole room in Chicago lined with videos of the kids heíd...hurt.
I know that wonít bother you, but you can understand where I
might enjoy tearing his throat out. So thatís the deal. Look, I
only came here as a professional courtesy because I heard you
were running the show. You give me permission to take out
Kellerman, and Iíll get a name for you.
ANGEL starts glancing through the photos, his face freezing, stunned, suddenly angry.
(Flatly, ignoring Wesí reaction)
(Looking at him sharply, surprised by his reaction
to the photos)
Angelus, you donító
(Looking up at her, eye to eye)
Itís Angel, actually.
Her turn to be surprised. She sees in his eyes that itís true.
What the hell are you doing here?
(Leans back in his desk chair)
Iím running Wolfram & Hart.
She starts to laugh again, and gathers up her folder, putting it back in her bag.
I bet that storyís worth hearing....
Yeah, maybe some other time.
Yeah, weíll have coffee. (Beat) So if I get you the name,
you donít have any problem with me taking Kellerman out?
(Jaw set in a hard line)
No problem. Iím surprised you even asked.
(Tilting her head curiously)
You do know that he works for you?
ANGEL AND WES
Heís currently an employee of Wolfram and Hart, your
Entertainment division. I didnít want to make an
enemy of your firm if I didnít have to. It has long arms.
For Heavenís sake, Angel. I told you this call was a
professional courtesy. Iím not asking for permission
because youíre Angel Almighty.
ENTER SPIKE AND GUNN
Theyíre talking as they come in, but SPIKE stops dead in his tracks when he sees MERCEDES.
Iím telling you, Charlie. Thereís an easier way toó
MERCEDES turns and sees SPIKE. She is clearly stunned. This quickly turns to joy as she runs and throws her arms around him. SPIKE seems equally thrilled to see her, opening his arms wide.
(with wonder, still clutching him)
Spike! Oh, itís really you, Spike! I thought you were dead!
I heard that you went down with the ship in Sunnydale!
(Smiling down at her)
Well, I did. But there was this amulet, then
this box full of flash, and I turned out to be not
quite so dead as everybody thought.
MERCEDES links her arm through SPIKEíS and steers him toward the door.
You must tell me everything.
SPIKE grins and raises a whatís-a-bloke-going-to-do? eyebrow at GUNN, allowing himself to be moved toward the door. They pause in the doorway, where MERCEDES looks over her shoulder at ANGEL.
Iíll call you later with the name.
Nice to see you, Angel. And by the way,
that desk looks good on you.
EXIT SPIKE AND MERCEDES
Who was that?
An old...acquaintance. Mercedes Grey.
(Hitting his intercom)
Harmony, get Lorne in here.
Am I to understand that you made a deal allowing
her to kill one of your employees in order to
obtain the name of the demon who bought
the Key of Camarra?
Kill who? What key? Weíre not opening any more
dimensional doors are we?
(Eyes still on Angel, waiting on an answer)
No, the Key of Camarra is a weapon,
not an actual key.
You didnít see the pictures. Iíd like to kill him myself.
Angel, however despicable this man may be,
we donít have the moral right to simply kill him.
Iím not gonna kill him, Wes. The deal I made was to
not be upset if someone else does.
You wanted to see me Twinkle Teeth? Uh-oh,
I hope that dark cloud over your head isnít looking
to rain on my parade....
You got a guy working for you named
Kellerman....oh, Kellerman. Yes I do. Adult
Entertainment division. Big money maker,
I donít care how much money he makes!
This firm will NOT employ child pornographers andó
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Kiddie porn? No, this guy
Does S&M, bondage stuffĖ Not pretty but
Not from what Iíve seen. Check into it. Now.
Lorne heads for the door, pauses when Angel calls him.
And Lorne, dig into everyone in that division.
Make sure it really IS all consensual.
So who is this Mercedes Grey? And
How come our list of No Kill vampires is getting so long?
Mercedes is...not exactly an old friend, but...
She seemed pretty friendly with Spike.
Yeah, well, theyíve been ...friends a long time. Sheís
as old as I am.
Which still isnít explaining why weíre not
Mercedes is....different. When she was alive, she
had this little boy. He was only four when some
...bad people got a hold of him.
Yeah, but not before....They hurt him. In a lot
of ways. Mercedes was just a chambermaid. She
didnít have anyone to help her. Authorities didnít listen.
She found him......
(He looks down Ė itís a bad memory.)
She became a vampire to be strong enough to
exact revenge. It took years, but she found them.
And killed them?
(Raises brows as if ďkilledĒ is too mild a word.)
By whyíd her demon self even care?
I donít know. But part of her held on to humanity. Thatís all
she does now. Hunts down and kills the worst child abusers
she can find. She lives on animal blood in between kills.
And what if Lorneís right? And this guy isnít guilty?
He was in one of the photos.
6 INTERIOR Ė HOTEL ROOM
A posh interior of an expensive hotel. PAN in, showing coats and shoes carelessly removed, empty wine bottle and glass. MERCEDES is sitting curled on the foot of the bed, across from SPIKE. Lights are comfortably low. Theyíve obviously been talking for some time.
And so you burned? Why didnít you just leave when
the Slayer wanted you to?
ĎCause she wasnít usiní her head. She was just sayiní
it out of...friendship, or...what have you.
It wasnít finished. If Iíd have left then, it might not
have ever been.
And yet you tell me youíre not a hero?
I just stood there, Mercy, and let the amulet
do the work.
Through you. Through your soul. God, I still
canít get used to that.
(She smiles a little and touches his face.)
You knew it would kill you.
And still you stayed. You stood there till you
had no more legs to stand on.
(beat, then softly)
(shakes her head.)
She left without you.
You had a chance to go with her. She wouldnít
have blamed you. No, I know you, Spike. Maybe you
can fool them, maybe even yourself, but you canít fool me.
You didnít just do it for the Slayer, you did it for all of them.
The Slayerís friends, those girls,
all the humans on this sorry world.
Youíre a true champion Ė a hero right
down to the bone, and thereís just no way around it.
She means it. SPIKE, wondering at her words, looks hard into her eyes. She holds the gaze a moment, then strokes his hair.
Did she ever say thank you, I wonder.
She...she couldnít. I was gone. Dead. Sheís in
Europe now Ė she doesnít even know that
(Eyes him, wondering why the Slayer STILL
doesnít know. Instead of asking, says softly)
What was it like? Being dead? Did you see....?
Hell? No. My soul was caught inside the amulet. I
didnít see a damn thing. One minute I was burniní to
ash, and the next I was standiní in Angelís office, a
Yeah, for a long damn time. The people at Wolfram
and Hart tried everything to make me solid again,
but nothing worked. Then one day, a box comes in
the mail, no return address. Open it up, big flash of
light, and Iím corporeal again.
And thatís all it took? Just a flash in
a box? Do you know who sent it?
Not a clue. To be honest, I donít even care.
Iím just happy to be solid again. To be able to taste
things, to feel things again.
(Softly, smiling wickedly)
Anything in particular youíd like to feel again?
(Grins back but hesitates)
Mercy, Iíve just told you.....
About the Slayer. Yes, I was listening. The same way
I always listened about Drusilla.
(She slides closer)
But right now, you donít owe anybody anything.
Its been, what? Ten years since weíve seen each other?
But weíre still friends, Spike.
(She twines her arms around his neck. He doesnít resist.)
You know me, Iím not asking for anything but... a little comfort.
Sounds like you could use some too.
Thatís what friends do...
(She brushes her lips across his)
They comfort each other.
Provide a little warmth against the cold.
(Near his ear)
A little fire in the night.
(She draws him down on the bed and he goes willingly.)
We were always pretty good at that.
So letís do that for each other.
(Kisses him lightly and looks into his eyes, running a hand down his body)
Give each other just... a little comfort.
(She glances downward and the wicked grin returns.)
Well, okay, in your case, some really big comfort....
(Spike grins back and follows it with a passionate kiss.)
7 EXTERIOR Ė DOCKS. WES, GUNN and FRED hide behind a pile of crates and watch a certain boat dock. So far there is no activity. Crates are piled on both sides of a walkway.
So whereís Spike?
(Looking at his watch)
Too late now. Weíd better hope he doesnít show,
or heís going to walk in on the deal going down.
Well, are we even sure that he knows about it?
Yeah, Angel talked to him this afternoon when
Mercedes called with the info. He was supposed
to meet us here.
Maybe something happened. Maybe...
(Seeing figures approach)
SSSH! Get down!
8 PULL BACK TO SEE MORE OF THE DOCK.
ENTER DEMON in a suit, with a THUG in tow. THUG is carrying a large wooden crate. They walk toward the dock.
That our guy?
They edge closer behind the crates.
We got a plan here, or....
ANGEL leaps from behind crate on other side and strikes the THUG on the back of the neck. THUG stumbles and drops the crate heís carrying, but does not go down. THUG turns and backhands ANGEL.
GUNN dashes forward and hits THUG before he can go after ANGEL. SUITED DEMON gets into the act, joined by three others from the boat dock. They fight. FRED picks up Wesís weapon and stands off to the side, looking for an opportunity to use it.
9 INTERIOR Ė HOTEL BATHROOM
PAN in, showing tile floor with towel and bathrobe lying in heap, bottom of claw foot bath tub. Room is lit with many candles.
Sound of laughter, not just tittering but real laughter.
PAN up over edge of tub.
SPIKE is lying back against MERCEDES in a bubble bath. His left hand is on her leg, the other holding a glass of bourbon. She has her arms wrapped around him and is occasionally dragging a large sponge over his chest. Her hair is pinned up. Steam rises from the water.
I think the final straw was when he told
you to fix the buckle on his shoe.
Pompous ass thought he owned us just
because he was payiní us.
Iíll never forget the expression on his
face when you reached down and pulled
his feet out from under him!
It might not have been so amusing if he
hadnít cried out, ďMy backside!Ē loud enough
for everyone in the ballroom to hear!
That was a show stopper. Apparently Arch Dukes hit their
ass as hard as everyone else. The bread pudding on his
head was a nice touch too.
The dish reminded me of a crown.
Serves him right for treating you like a lackey.
He was lucky we didnít just eat him.
(Still smiling but more thoughtful)
You always were on my side, werenít you, Mercy?
(Tilting her head to peer sideways at him)
SPIKE leans his head back against her and runs his hand down her leg. She responds strongly even though he canít see it.
You know what I like best about
our memories together?
(Trying to sound unaffected by the hand)
They donít all end in blood.
Some of them do.
Most of them donít.
SPIKE finishes the bourbon and sets the glass aside.
MERCEDES runs the sponge up his chest. Thinking, he lifts her hand to his lips.
Well, that was never what we were about anyway.
SPIKE lays the hand back on his chest, still covering it with his own. The other hand is still on her leg, stroking.
(Smiling a little, distracted by what heís doing)
No? What were we about?
(Smiling, a little breathless)
(She kisses his neck, his ear. His response is equally strong)
Feeling alive in the moment.
You know why you always came back to me Spike?
Every time Drusilla wandered away? Because I
never asked you for anything. Never asked you to
be anything for me. I just took you as you were,
however you were, and that was always enough.
Ssssh. Go back to her or donít. Go
to your Slayer or donít. It doesnít change us.
Doesnít change this moment.
(Closes his eyes)
I wonder if youíd have felt the same had we known
each other in life.
Master William and Mistress Mercedes?
No, I was too much of a weakó
William wasnít weak. He was gentle.
Thereís a difference.
Surprised by this, SPIKE turns his head toward her face as much as the position will allow.
Of course I would have cared for William.
(She nips his ear.)
But I would have corrupted him.
SPIKE turns his head back, sighing.
I would have let you. I certainly didnít put up
much of a fight when Dru turned me.
I would never have turned you! You know me
better than that. (Close to his ear) But oh, how I would
have enjoyed corrupting you!
To emphasize this point, she runs both hands over him, the left down into the water where itís doing things under the bubbles.... SPIKEíS reaction is immediate and intense, but he doesnít let it go on long before he flips his body suddenly over on top of her. MERCEDES is happily startled. Gripping the top of the tub, he moves back and forth on her suggestively, kissing her, wet muscles flexing. Passion builds abruptly and he moves once more, harder, and she gasps as if more has started going on under the bubbles than before...
10 EXTERIOR Ė DOCKS. Sound of gasp segues into Fred screaming as the THUG bears down on her. WES tackles him from the side and takes him down, finishing him as GUNN thumps one with a crowbar and ANGEL finishes the other two. GUNN and ANGEL approach WES, who gets unsteadily to his feet near the crate.
(Putting a hand to the bleeding bruise on his
forehead then looking at the blood on his hand)
Damn! What kind of demons were these?
(Holding his jaw)
So soft? Who named them that?
Theyíre tough as alligator hide.
(Frowning at the blood)
ďSosoffĒ not....are you okay?
Yeah, but we sure could have
used Spike here.
ANGEL looks around, glowering.
11 INTERIOR Ė HOTEL ROOM
SPIKE and MERCEDES have moved to the hotel bed, where they have just finished some passionate lovemaking. MERCEDES is still on top, breathing hard, as is SPIKE.
(Lying down on him, laughing a little)
Oh, Spike, some things just donít get old....
(Laughs a little into her neck, then kisses her shoulder.)
No, love, some things donít change.
She rolls off him and settles into the crook of his arm with her head on his shoulder. He keeps his arm around her and blows out air in a whew!
(Tilting her head to look at him.)
But some do. Like that soul, for example.
Hmmm. Fat lot of good itís done me.
What was it supposed to have done?
Well, it was...I donít know...give me more...
control, I guess...
But she still doesnít want you?
He doesnít answer. She sighs and runs a hand over his chest.
12 EXTERIOR Ė DOCKS.
ANGEL, FRED, WES and GUNN stand around the crate amid the unconscious demons.
Shouldnít we open the crate?
See if the Keyís inside?
GUNN steps forward with the crowbar and pries the lid up, lifting it and looking inside.
Well, I donít know what the key looks like,
But Iím pretty sure this isnít it.
(Frowning comes to look.)
Maybe itís at the bottom?
Now way Iím sticking my hand in there.
ANGEL moves to look and his face registers disappointment. He glances around at the demons unconscious on the ground with dismay.
Put the lid back on. Weíll bring the whole crate back.
GUNN replaces the lid and tamps it with the crowbar.
13 INTERIOR Ė ANGELíS OFFICE
Angel is sitting at his desk, reading something, angry.
Moving to stand in the sunlight, closing his eyes and clearly enjoying it.
And a sunny good morning to you, boss man.
Where the hell were you?
Donít worry, I brought the car back. Not a scratch.
You took one of my cars?
Yeah, but itís all back tucked safe and sound
into itís parking spot. So thereís no need to
go all postal about it.
So where were you?
(Frowning and moving closer to the desk)
Where do you think I was?
Well, Iím going to guess with Mercedes, but
what Iím more concerned about was why you
werenít at the docks. Did you know?
Realization that he hadnít been where heíd agreed to be and confusion hit SPIKE at the same time.
Know? Know what?
That she sent us on a wild goose chase. We tipped them off
that weíre watching the docks by staging a major raid on
a crate of monkey hands.
(Finding humor in this despite the circumstances)
(Off their intense looks)
Oh, sorry. Am I interrupting something?
No, Angel was just giving me a hard time for not
lending a hand last night. Although from the sound
of it, you had more hands than you needed.
(Smiles at the humor)
(Indicates his head)
Still couldíve used you, though.
About those hands Ė thought
youíd want to know Ė Wes says theyíre all charmed.
So itís a pretty good thing we got them, cause, you know,
monkey paws and wishes gone bad and all.
See? There you go. Allís well that ends well.
Did you know?
SPIKE looks at him. He is about to be glib but is troubled by the thought that something might be going on with Mercedes that he doesnít know about.
(Running a hand to the back of his neck.)
No. I just forgot. Got distracted.
Well, if it was that blonde vamp who was doing
the distracting, I canít say I blame you too much.
Look Spike, if youíre going to help us, fine, if youíre not,
donít. But donít tell me youíre going to be someplace and
then not show up. Iíve got people at risk here, and if youíre
not going to be there to back them up, I need to know about
it before anything goes down.
SPIKE frowns; he knows Angelís right but it wonít be easy to admit it.
Youíre right. Wonít happen again.
ANGEL, not expecting this answer, is a little thrown.
Now....now we go talk to her. Where is she?
Forget it, Iím not telling you.
We need to find out where this Key
Yeah, Iíll tell her you want to talk to her and
bring her down here. Youíre not going to barge
into her hotel room with a couple of heavies
and try to scare it out of her. Not on my watch.
Damn it, Spike! Why are you protecting her?
She lied. You canít trust her, she doesnít have a soul!
You just assume she lied. What if
someone else lied to her? What if she got the wrong
information? Sheís not in our little soul-having club so
sheís automatically a liar?
(face to face)
Sheís not trustworthy, Spike. She never was.
(Right back at him)
Not to you, maybe. Iíve trusted her for a hundred years.
(Not backing off)
Not to me.
Uh, excuse me boss. I donít mean to break up
your little mťnage-ah-two, but that blonde vamp in black
is back and she wants to see you.
Mercedes? Send her in.
ANGEL and SPIKE exchange a glare.
ENTER MERCEDES. She strides in, pauses, surprised to see SPIKE standing there, then gives a little smile thatís for him alone.
(Interrupting the exchange)
I was just going to come looking for you.
Well, then I did you a favor.
That tip you gave me last night
was a waste of time. And since you kept Spike
away from it, I have to think you knew all along.
Kept Spike away?
She looks questioningly at Spike.
Spike was supposed to go to the docks?
ANGEL steps toward MERCEDES and SPIKE matches him stride for stride. ANGEL stops. MERCEDES looks from one man to the other.
Look, I admit I kept Spike...busy last night. And I admit
I gave you bad information, but thatís why Iím here.
(She eyes him, unafraid.)
First I want you to promise me that Kellerman is still mine.
No promises. No deals. Talk.
Go to hell, Angel.
ANGEL takes another step toward her, but SPIKE intervenes.
Sheís just asking for what youíve already
promised. Unless you lied.
(Grinding his teeth)
All right. Yes. Heís still yours.
(Glancing at Spike, appreciative)
The grevlar sold it to a Sosoff demon Ė the same one
who bought the monkey paws. What I didnít know yesterday
is that he bought it for a fourth party...
(Putting it together.)
MERCEDES raises her brows in assent.
So weíre both after the same bad guy.
I donít want him, I just want the key.
(Regarding him distrustfully.)
And I have no interest in the key. So
apparently weíre not at cross-purposes.
MERCEDES steps closer to SPIKE, and he almost unconsciously slides a hand around her waist. She glances back at ANGEL.
We can work together.
SPIKE grins ruefully at ANGEL, who tries to ignore him.
So where is he?
You expect me to know?
Angel, I promised you a name, not a location.
After all, the man works for you.
You must know where to find him.
Can you scare up an address?
Glances at SPIKE and MERCEDES, who are both standing in a similar stance, both blonde-headed and black coat clad, both regarding him with cool stares from slightly tilted heads. These two look very much like two sides of the same coin.
Yeah. We could probably scare up just
ANGEL looks back at SPIKE and MERCEDES, who are involved with each other now, and frowns.
14 EXTERIOR Ė NIGHT
Slum like apartment building next to a small, old warehouse, alley beside it. Lights are on only on the top (third) floor. Car pulls up carrying ANGEL, GUNN, SPIKE, MERCEDES AND WES. They exit the car and look at the building.
Not exactly the style youíd expect when
someoneís sitting on that much money.
Thatís the idea. I had to track this guy through
a lot of false fronts and third party holdings.
What do you think?
Send them in through the front, you and I
find a back way in?
(Nodding, then to GUNN)
Wait till you hear us. Donít try to take them on by yourself.
GUNN nods to ANGEL.
EXIT ANGEL and SPIKE off down the alley beside the building. Mercedes turns to the others.
You want me to go first?
(Unaccustomed to letting a pretty woman take point)
Uh, yes. Thank you. That would be good.
He turns to look at Gunn, and when he turns back, sheís gone. Wes frowns.
How do they do that?
I donít know, but Iíd like to learn. Itís a handy trick.
15 INTERIOR Ė APARTMENT BUILDING
Staircase on the right. It is appropriately run down. ENTER WES and GUNN. They look around and start climbing the stairs. At the top, MERCEDES signals them to freeze. Thereís a tinny radio playing.
16 EXTERIOR Ė ALLEYWAY
ANGEL and SPIKE are looking for another way in.
If you donít trust her, whyíd you leave her alone
with the boys?
(Looking up the side of the building, not
really giving Spike his full attention).
I trust her not to eat them now. Not when sheís
this close to Kellerman.
(Jumping a little to pull a fire escape ladder down.)
She wouldnít anyway. You know that. You know her.
(Annoyed, turning away from the ladder a
moment to face SPIKE.)
Yeah. I know her. And I think youíre forgetting a few
things. Like the fact that she doesnít have a soul.
Whether you want to believe it or not, it makes
a difference, Spike.
(Doesnít respond to this Ė he KNOWS it makes a
difference. He puts an arm across the ladder, blocking Angelís entry.)
Youíre not thinking of staking her? When this is done?
(Looks at him intently before answering.)
The humans she kills....letís just say
there are worse monsters out there than Mercedes Grey.
Satisfied, SPIKE removes his arm and they climb the fire escape.
17 INTERIOR Ė STAIRS.
MERCEDES, WES and GUNN stand immobile on the stairs, listening.
Thereís a Sosoff demon just around the corner in the hall.
Maybe two. Probably in front of the door.
How do you know?
Mercedes frowns and does a double-take on Gunn.
Oh, right. Vampire senses.
Iíll go first, get them busy. You
come in from behind in a minute.
You sure you want to do this aló
But sheís already gone.
18 EXTERIOR Ė FIRE ESCAPE
ANGEL and SPIKE are at the top. The window before them is lit from inside, the shades drawn, but there are voices. ANGEL motions to another window that is dark, and steps off the fire escape onto a thin ledge and moves toward it. SPIKE follows.
19 INTERIOR Ė APARTMENT
Room is slummy Ė extremely seedy. KELLERMEN sits with his shirt open counting money into two piles while one SOSOFF looks on. Another SOSOFF stands behind him while two SMALLER MEN lounge in chairs beside a television, where something unsavory plays. There are many open boxes of DVDs piled around. KELLERMAN finishes counting and hands the SOSOFF one of the piles. The SOSOFF accepts it and hands back the Key of Camarra, in a leather case.
So that was it? All you had to do
was touch him with the blade and he
let you take everything?
It works just like they said. I didnít even
have to stick him.
But you DID kill him?
He would have killed himself. But it was more
fun to rip his head off.
As long as heís dead.
Now that we know it works, we can go after the real
targets. Iím gonna enjoy this!
(From off camera)
I wouldnít count on it.
The DEMONS and KELLERMAN look up. ANGEL and SPIKE are standing in the bedroom doorway.
In fact, I think itís probably going to hurt.
KELLERMAN steps back and unsheathes the Key of Camarra, holding it with the top of the leather case. The two SOSOFF demons rush ANGEL and SPIKE. They fight.
CUT TO HALLWAY, where MERCEDES is walking up to the two DEMONS guarding Kellermanís door.
Hello, boys. Iím here to see
They hesitate, and she takes advantage of that to hit the first in the stomach and kick the second in the face. They fight. WES and GUNN charge in and fight too.
20 INTERIOR Ė APARTMENT
Big fight in progress. When ANGEL is thrown back near the window, KELLERMAN takes the opportunity to sink the key into his shoulder. SPIKE continues to fight, downing one SOSOFF. KELLERMAN is knocked aside and then inches toward the door, flanked by the two SMALLER MEN who want no part of the demon brawl.
(From across the room)
ANGEL doesnít respond. His face is a mask of unbearable pain. He staggers to his feet in front of the window. SPIKE knocks the SOSOFF down and moves over to him.
What is it? Angel?
The SOSOFF gets to its feet, picks up the table they were counting the money on and charges. The impact of the table catches both ANGEL and SPIKE in front of the window, crashing them though it and outside. They fall through the roof of the warehouse next door amid much crashing wood and splinters.
21 INTERIOR Ė WAREHOUSE
SPIKE rolls off ANGEL and staggers up. ANGELl gets as far as his knees.
SPIKE picks a big splinter out of his hand and brushes off his duster.
Look at all this wood! We couldíve been
shish-kababbed! Damn Sosoff! I put the bloody thing
down twice, youíd think itíd stay down. Doesnít...
He trails off, realizing there is something wrong with ANGEL. ANGEL turns his face slowly toward SPIKE. He is crying. The Key still protrudes from his shoulder.
22 CLOSE-UP of his hand, holding a large splinter of wood like a stake.
23 SPIKEíS face.
24 INTERIOR Ė HALLWAY.
The fight continues. MERCEDES notices KELLERMAN and the TWO MEN slipping past and heading down the stairs. She finishes her DEMON and follows, leaving WES and GUNN to defeat the last.
CUT BACK TO:
25 INTERIOR Ė WAREHOUSE
SPIKE is still standing near ANGEL, who remains on his knees, defeated.
It would have been better if it had killed us.
Itís what we deserve.
SPIKE eyes him with concern and crosses the space between them slowly and carefully.
ĎS that right? Here I thought we were
fighting the good fight. Saving the innocent.
Are we? Or are we just giving ourselves
a reason to exist? We donít deserve to....
I donít deserve to....the things Iíve done.
You want to talk innocent blood? Iím swimming in it.
Drowning in it. You know itís true. You saw it.
ANGEL raises the stake a little toward his heart. SPIKE moves very carefully, hunkering down beside ANGEL, getting ready. He speaks soothingly.
Yeah, I did. But that was then, this is now.
Back then, the demons were calling the shots.
Now weíve got some choice in the matter.
I could live a thousand years and never make up for
the things Iíve done.
Yeah, well. Maybe we can do it in bigger pieces,
you know, an apocalypse here, and apocalypse there...
(Staring at him in pain)
We can never be redeemed. Never be forgiven.
Weíre like Kellerman, too far gone to hope. You know
what he does? To kids? Do you know what Iíve
done to them?
SPIKE stares, letting him talk.
I started with my littlest sister. She was so young.
So perfect. Six years old. When she came to the door,
she thought I was an angel. And I killed her. And I didnít
make it an easy death, I...I...
Thereís too much pain in the memory to continue. SPIKE looks away a moment, recognizing it, unable to come up with words of comfort.
She was my sister, and I...I...
26 EXTERIOR Ė ALLEYWAY.
KELLERMAN is sneaking away. There is a car parked in a dark side alley with its hood protruding out into the main alley. KELLERMAN and the MEN walk around to the driverís side and KELLERMAN fumbles with his keys.
MERCEDES comes flying over the hood of the car, catching KELLERMAN in the chest with a side kick. She lands well as he goes down. She easily takes out first one human, then the other, and stands over KELLERMAN while he crawls back from her.
KELLERMAN scrambles to his feet and backs away from her, drawing a knife. MERCEDES looks at it and laughs.
You do know Iím a vampire?
KELLERMANíS eyes widen. He didnít know. He realizes how much trouble heís in.
Youíre not going to make ME into a bloodsucker!
(Cold and hard)
I wouldnít consider it. Not if you got down on your
hands and knees and begged me for a hundred years.
Realizing the alternative is to be a meal, KELLERMAN staggers to his feet and retreats, sweating, raising his knife. This seems to amuse MERCEDES.
So tell me, how does it feel to be the victim?
KELLERMAN dives at her and she neatly sidesteps the lunge and disarms him, pinning him to the alley wall with one hand.
How does it feel to be completely in someone elseís
power? Someone who definitely doesnít have your best
interests at heart?
She rakes a nail across his cheek and watches it bleed with interest.
How does it feel to be in the control of someone who can
hurt you at their whim?
We hear KELLERMAN scream as we:
CUT BACK TO: WAREHOUSE.
27 INTERIOR Ė WAREHOUSE.
ANGEL has just finished telling SPIKE the story of his sister. SPIKE looks deadly serious, almost pained Ė it was difficult even for him to hear.
If you were a just and fair God, could you
ever forgive that? Would anything I ever did
after that be enough to earn forgiveness?
ANGEL presses the tip of the stake into his chest and a small blossom of blood appears. SPIKE is very concerned now.
And thatís just one, Spike. Just one person.
I killed more than I can count. How can I
ever be forgiven?
SPIKE looks at the stake, and at ANGEL. He leans in, getting ready.
I donít know, Angel. I donít know how much
of it weíll have to pay for. Probably all, in the
end. But thatís not for us to decide.
I just know... it isnít about us anymore.
(Looking at Spike in confusion, pain. Unable to comprehend the words)
Of course it is. Weíre still here but theyíre all dead.
And we donít deserve to be here, Spike. We donít.
We donít...We donít...
In a sudden movement, ANGEL raises the stake to use it. SPIKE lunges and catches his arm, and they struggle for it.
28 INTERIOR Ė HALLWAY
WES and GUNN finish fighting the Sosoff DEMON. It goes down but this time doesnít get up, even though both WES and GUNN are primed for it to rise. They are considerably battered.
(Looking at the prone DEMON)
I think itís done.
Finally. What about the other one?
GUNN turns and looks over his shoulder at the other DEMON on the floor.
Whereís Kellerman and his two friends?
And Mercedes. I didnít see any of them leave. You think
they took her?
(Heading for the stairs)
I think itís more likely that she took them.
EXIT WES. GUNN FOLLOWS.
29 INTERIOR Ė WAREHOUSE.
SPIKE and ANGEL are rolling over together on the floor, struggling for possession of the stake. SPIKE, ending up on top, slugs ANGEL and rips the stake out of his hand, throwing it aside. ANGEL begins to weep afresh and SPIKE climbs off and pulls him up to a sitting position by the lapels.
Listen to me...
But ANGEL is too far gone. Growling, SPIKE releases one lapel and grasps the handle of the Key, yanking it out of ANGELís shoulder. A look of horror comes over his face and he abruptly releases it, as if it had burned him. It takes him a moment to collect himself, and he fights his way through his emotions to do it.
He grabs ANGELís lapels again and shakes him.
Angel! Snap out of it! Listen to me! Itís out.
(Still under the spell.)
It doesnít matter. It doesnít change anything.
Iíll find another stake.
Angry, SPIKE punches him across the jaw and shakes him some more.
Now you listen to me, you damn sorry sod!
There will be no staking, do you hear me?
I canít live with this, Spike. I canít...
SPIKE hits him again, and thereís a little more ANGEL in Angelís eyes when his head rolls back.
You selfish prig! Who said this has ANYTHING to do with
you? You were a wastrel as a man and a
a destroyer as a vampire. Now is the
ONLY damn time in your ENTIRE existence that youíve
ever been ANY use to this world, and you are NOT going to
end that service with another selfish act!
SPIKE gives ANGEL a firm shake. Shouts:
Do you hear me? You are bloody well going to stay here with
the rest of us and fight the bloody fight!
ANGELís eyes are clearing as he listens to SPIKE. SPIKE moves to hit him again, but he catches the punch.
(Confused, still holding him by the lapel))
(Wiping the tears from his face, sitting up more
Pulling his lapels from Spikeís grip)
(Sitting back on his heels and eyeing ANGEL)
They sit looking at each other.
30 EXTERIOR Ė FRONT OF APARTMENT BUILDING.
WES and GUNN come out the front door and approach the car. Wes ducks his head to look inside.
31 CLOSE-UP of WESís face from the interior of the car.
Theyíre not here.
(From behind them)
Yes, we are.
Startled, They both jump and WES bangs his head on the car roof.
32 ANGLE ON THE THREE OF THEM.
I hate the way you guys do that.
Angel slants him a look, then holds out the Key to WES. He has it gripped in an old rag. WES stops rubbing his head and gingerly accepts it.
Yeah. Make sure you donít touch it with
your bare hand.
WES nods and wraps it carefully, moving to put it in the car.
Whereís Kellerman and Mercedes?
I donít know. (Beat.) Thatís probably for the best.
(WES and GUNN get into the car, leaving ANGEL with Spike, who stands looking toward the alley.)
No. Iíll catch up to you later.
Listen, Spike, about what I said back there...
Spike turns to face him.
While under the influence?
(Waves a hand in dismissal.)
Youíre not the only one with stories to tell, Angel.
Wait till the next time Iím drunk, and Iíll curl your hair
with some of my past uglies.
He looks pointedly at ANGELíS hair and raises his brows.
(Itís hard to say thank you)
I wouldíve used that stake if you hadnító
(Brushing it off)
Yeah, well you remember that the next
time I want to use the viper.
NOISE from the alley gets SPIKEíS attention.
Iím gonna check on Mercy.
EXIT SPIKE toward the alley. ANGEL watches him go, then he, WES and GUNN drive off.
33 EXTERIOR Ė ALLEY.
Spike comes around the corner and proceeds cautiously down the alley.
34 Ė CHANGE TO SPIKEíS POV
The alley is mostly dark, but thereís some light on the hood of the car. MERCEDES stands just beyond it, holding something. As SPIKE approaches it becomes clear that itís KELLERMANíS body. MERCEDES is still drinking. She pauses and raises her head when SPIKE approaches. Sheís in full vamp, bloody-mouthed.
35 Ė CHANGE TO WIDER ANGLE
SPIKE freezes when the full picture hits him. Thereís a small moment of horror, revulsion, giving way to strange fascination. MERCEDES de-vamps and wipes her mouth delicately with a handkerchief, still holding KELLERMAN.
Spike. Demons taken care of? Did Angel
get the Key?
Yeah. You could say that. Got it right in the bloody shoulder.
(He thaws a little, but looks away.)
Heís all right though. They all left.
Iím finished myself.
Sheís about to toss the body aside, but pauses and holds it out a little toward SPIKE instead. The wounded neck lolls temptingly. SPIKE stares at it.
Unless you want some. Thereís plenty left and
heís already dead, if thatís an issue...
SPIKE takes an involuntary step forward, then catches himself. Their eyes meet and lock; she wants him in her world. Regretfully, SPIKE breaks the contact.
No, thanks. Not hungry.
Right , then...
MERCEDES tosses the body aside and walks up to SPIKE. She realizes what just happened and she doesnít want to hurt him. She loops an arm through his and leads him away from the body, back down the alley.
Címon. Weíll go back to the hotel.
Have a quiet night. Relax.
SPIKE walks back out of the alley with MERCEDES.
36 Ė INTERIOR OF ANGELíS CAR.
ANGEL is driving, WES in the front with him, GUNN in the back. WES is examining the Key as he holds it with the rag.
And that wound on your shoulder is from the Key?
(Unhappy to discuss it)
But I donít understand. Contact with the blade is enough
to immobilize most people. Are vampires immune?
Because if they are, we really shouldó
Then why arenít you....?
We got it out in time.
WES says nothing, just observes him. Angel shifts uncomfortably.
Speaking of Spike, did we just leave
him back there?
He went with Mercedes. I donít think
weíll be seeing him for a while.
Canít say I blame him.
(Off looks from Angel and Wes)
What? Iím just saying...Woman looks at me
the way that one looks at Spike, Iíd take my
Sheís not a woman. Sheís a vampire.
Yeah, but so is he, so thatís
not a problem. Itís not like sheís going
to bite him or anything. Right?
WES says nothing. He glances at ANGEL, who frowns and looks out the side window.
37 INTERIOR Ė MERCEDESí HOTEL ROOM
Pan room, (another scene of hastily removed clothing,) to the bed, occupied by SPIKE and MERCEDES. Some hot and heavy action going on here. Brief montage of some passionate scenes, her touching him with love in her eyes. Then:
(Gasping with The Moment)
He keeps going a little longer to his own release. Then...
(Hoarsely, quietly, and with a groan)
He collapses on top of her, his face buried in her right shoulder, unaware of what he just said. MERCEDES says nothing, and continues to hold him.
38 CLOSE UP of her face, eyes closed, a single tear running from the corner of her eye and catching the light.
39 INTERIOR Ė ANGELíS OFFICE Ė MORNING
ANGEL sits behind his desk, WES leans nearby, GUNN sits in a chair.
Fredís running the Key through a series of tests,
then it will be catalogued and sent to the vault.
Which is a lot like being thrown into a bottomless pit.
This time thatís a good thing.
Knock, knock. I just got word on Kellerman. He wonít be
making anymore movies for us. They found him last night in
the alley after we left.
Howíd he die?
Ah, that would be severe neck trauma.
Mercedes. Looks like she got her man.
Are we just going to ignore the fact that
thereís another vampire killing people in LA?
She doesnít usually stay in one place long. Sheíll
be on the hunt again.
I donít know. If kiddie pornographers are her thing,
thereís a lot of hunting to be done in this town. And she does
seem pretty set on Spike.
She always did have a thing for Spike...
40 EXTERIOR Ė LA Overview, day passing, sun setting.
41 INTERIOR, MERCEDESí HOTEL ROOM Ė JUST AFTER SUNSET
MERCEDES moves back and forth in front of the camera, but we canít quite see what sheís doing. Thereís a KNOCK at her door. She opens it and SPIKE stands there grinning.
(A little breathless at first, happy to see him, then suddenly cool)
Come in. I was just going to come looking for you.
SPIKE strides in.
Instead of stepping into his arms as he expects, MERCEDES moves away and picks up a shirt on the bed, folding it and putting it in a travel bag.
I...I wanted so say goodbye, or
at least so long, before I left.
SPIKE stands very still, his expression hardening, face closed.
Before you left? Exactly where is it youíre
MERCEDES continues to put her clothing in the bag as she talks.
Back to New York. There are a few of Kellermanís
associates there that I need to take care of.
And afterward? Are you coming back to LA?
She stops folding, stands still.
At least not for a while.
I thought it was different this time, Mercy.
She looks down sadly.
It was. It is.
SPIKE moves quickly, grabbing her by the shoulders and forcing her to turn to face him. She doesnít resist.
Her eyes fill with tears and she blinks them away.
Itís because itís different. Because youíre different.
There are things you need to resolve....in here.
(She puts a hand over his heart.)
About the Slayer. About who you really are now. How you
fit in to the world. And me, Iím just confusing things.
She shakes her head a little and turns away from him.
Funny. The only thing thatís really
confusing me is why youíre leaving.
MERCEDES bites her lip, then turns back to face him, a little defiant.
Iím no good for you now, Spike! We both know it.
I donít have a soul, and if I stay, Iíll just pull you back
into the dark with me.
Maybe later....when youíve figured it all out...
SPIKE says nothing, but his expression has gone from hard to comprehending and sad.
Spike, you arenít really losing anything here.
(As a statement of fact:)
I love you. I always have, I always will.
You and I, we can burn the bed down at night
and still be friends in the morning,
but your heart... it needs to heal, or find some
kind of resolution, and it wonít do that with me here.
(She touches his face tenderly.)
You have a soul now. You have a real chance
to become something good for this world. Maybe
even a shot at redemption. But youíre not sure of the
way yet, and until you are, you canít be around me.
(Laughs a little, sadly.)
Because you can be pretty sure that the path
Iím on is dark and not the right way for you.
(She trails the hand down his shoulder and arm, wanting to touch him more but refraining.)
So Iím going to do you a favor and go
back to New York. I do have things to do
there, after all....
(Tears start to fall, and SPIKE wipes them gently away with his thumbs. He understands.)
And you take care of that shiny new soul.
SPIKE pulls her into his arms.
Not so shiny any more, actually.
She pulls back to look into his eyes. Sheís very serious.
They all get battered, one way or another.
But you have the soul of a hero, Spike. It can take it,
and it can find a way home.
(She tries to smile.)
Come on now, kiss me goodbye or Iíll miss
She doesnít let him speak. She throws her arms around him and kisses him. He gives into it, gathering her against him, and it turns from a yielding to passion. She breaks away first, smiling and wiping her eyes.
Now thatís more like it.
She gives him one last, long look, then picks up her coat and the duffle bag from the bed, slinging it over one shoulder. She pauses at the door. SPIKE doesnít move.
You ever need me, you know
how to find me.
Take care of yourself, Mercy.
Her eyes are still wet but she flips him a careless grin over her shoulder.
ANGLE ON SPIKE, staring after her.
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