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INT. MAGIC BOX TRAINING ROOM - DAY

The sun streams through the window, filling the room with light. It is a beautiful day, a typical Sunnydale afternoon. BUFFY is angrily muttering as she punches a punch bag. The bag falls due to the force of her punches. She puts it back up and continues to attack it.

CUT.

INT. AIRPORT - DAY

People mill around. The airport is busy. GILES is sat with his head in his hands. How can he make this decision?

ANNOUNCER

The flight departing at 1:50 pm for London Heathrow is now boarding.

Many people start to leave the departure lounge. GILES looks at his ticket and gets up, walking towards the exit of the airport. He puts the ticket in a bin as he passes it.

How could he have even considered leaving?

We focus on MERLIN in the background as he collects his suitcase and walks towards the exit, ignoring the people all around him.

CUT.

INT. MAGIC BOX TRAINING ROOM - DAY

BUFFY continues to punch the bag. XANDER walks in quietly. BUFFY stops and turns to look at him.

XANDER

I can't believe G-man is actually gone. And you didn't even say goodbye, Buff. I mean, I know you didn't want him to go, but still...

BUFFY continues to punch the bag again. It is clear she wishes to avoid this conversation.

XANDER

(persistently)

I mean, sure, you don't like his decision! I don't like his decision, none of us do, except maybe Anya, but he's doing what he thinks is best and-

BUFFY

(interrupting angrily)

You think I don't know that? I know why he's leaving, okay! I know what he thinks, and he thinks he's being all noble and doing the right thing. But why does the right thing always have to be abandoning me? Why does everyone always abandon me, and why do I always have to be in the wrong? I mean, I thought at least Giles was the one person who couldn't leave! He's meant to be my Watcher, Xander. It's his duty to stay here with me.

Suddenly a voice interrupts…

GILES

You're right Buffy. And I'm sorry. If you can find it within yourself to forgive me, I will need a place to stay until I can find more permanent accommodation.

BUFFY and XANDER stand in stunned silence, staring at Giles, who stands in the doorway.

CUT.

INT. INITIATIVE MILITARY PRISON CELL - DAY

ETHAN is huddling in a corner, muttering incoherently. Marching can be heard, coming from the corridor outside the cell.

ETHAN

(desperately)

CHAOS! Please! ...Please. I never failed you, please! Don't leave me here.

ETHAN breaks down in tears of desperation and anger. Out of his sight, a young man with messy blue hair and tattoos on his arms appears. ETHAN turns quickly, staring at him.

ETHAN

You- You're here! Thank you!

CHAOS

Enough! I am not here for your meaningless gratitude. Let us leave this filthy cage. Chaos cannot be contained.

The two men disappear, leaving the cell empty.

CUT.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

MERLIN walks towards a crypt, his head hanging low. A vampire steps out in game face. Merlin doesn’t even need to look up to notice it.

MERLIN

(wearily casts spell)

Forbearnun.

The vampire bursts into flames as MERLIN's eyes flash gold. It turns to dust at his feet.

MERLIN

(bitterly)

Lovely neighbourhood. Housewarming guests arrive before you've even moved in.

(beat)

I hate vampires.

MERLIN walks into the crypt.

CUT.

TITLE SEQUENCE

INT. BUFFY's LIVING ROOM - DAY

GILES is lying on the sofa under a blanket, asleep. His suitcase is in the corner. BUFFY walks downstairs, smiling.

BUFFY

(cheerily)

Wakey wakey, sleepyhead!

GILES sits up, dazedly, and looks around, slightly confused.

GILES

(confusedly)

Huh? Uh, sorry, yes. Good morning, Buffy.

BUFFY beams at him.

BUFFY

No time for snoozing, Giles! We have a busy day ahead of us.

GILES stands up with an amused grin.

GILES

I have never known you to be so excited for a new training programme.

BUFFY

I'm just glad you're staying. Maybe things can finally go back to normal now.

Her smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes as she says this. It is clear she is still hurt by his earlier decision to leave.

CUT.

INT. CHAOS' MANSION - DAY

ETHAN serves CHAOS a plate of cooked breakfast with his head bowed reverently. It has been a long time since he had been able to serve his chosen master properly and he hopes to be rewarded with power beyond his imagination. CHAOS rolls his eyes but accepts the plate of food.

CHAOS

(arrogantly)

I hate these mortal forms. You have to look after them so carefully, so consistently. And yet, they are so useful.

ETHAN nods.

ETHAN

You mentioned you have a plan.

CHAOS

That is why I am here, yes. My plan is not complex, but involves more work than I am prepared to do alone. This is why you will be allowed to help me.

ETHAN

Of course, master. What would you have me do?

CHAOS

Your task, for now, is simple. I require some ingredients for a spell. I would like you to acquire them for me.

CUT.

INT. MAGIC BOX - DAY

ANYA is behind the counter, serving a customer. XANDER and DAWN are sat at the table playing a card game.

ANYA

(to customer)

Thank you for spending your money. Have a nice day!

The customer leaves. ANYA moves to sit on the chair next to XANDER, getting as close to him as possible without actually sitting on his lap. XANDER smiles at her and places his arm around her.

ANYA

(eagerly, curious)

Who's winning?

XANDER

We can't tell until the game is finished, An...

(beat)

Hey, I've not seen Will today. Any idea what's up with that, Dawn? Surely you and Buff have seen her, at least, otherwise it might be time to send out the search parties.

 

DAWN shakes her head.

DAWN

She said she was staying home today. I think she's sad about Tara. They've not been speaking. And she's still really guilty about making us all amnesia-y.

BUFFY and GILES walk in from the training room. It is clear that they have just finished training. GILES drinks from his water bottle.

BUFFY

Yeah, apparently Tara still wants her to go without magic for a while. She was reading some book when I last saw her.

CUT.

INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - DAY

WILLOW paces around the room restlessly. A book lies abandoned on her bed. Her eyes fall on AMY-rat's cage. She takes AMY-rat out of the cage.

CUT.

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

MERLIN sits on a bench, staring over graves. His eyes fall on an old-looking headstone, which can no longer be read. He stands up and walks to it. When he reaches it, he falls to his knees and grabs hold of it, as though hanging on for dear life.

MERLIN

(sobbing)

Please, Arthur! I can't- I can't do this anymore... It's been too long! ...And now- now, I'm here at an unmarked grave, so far from home, so far from anywhere we ever knew... trying to find you.

MERLIN takes a moment to compose himself, sighs and stands.

MERLIN

(wearily)

Why am I even here? It's not like he came back to any of the other mystical sites. Why would this be any different...

He begins to walk off.

CUT.

INT. TRIO'S HIDEOUT - DAY

ETHAN looks intently at a picture of a monster. It is roughly the shape of a large dog, has large fangs and claws, and is covered in scales, except for the head, which looks like an animal skull. WARREN stands proudly behind him, while ANDREW and JONATHAN watch his expression.

ETHAN

(turning to Warren)

And you can be certain that this will get the job done?

WARREN

I can assure you, you need not worry about their power.

ANDREW

Yeah, my brother trained hell-hounds one time. It was going to attack all the people at prom!

JONATHAN

But the Slayer killed those.

ANDREW

(whining)

But that was Tucker's mistake! We're handling this job, obviously we can do way better.

ETHAN grins slyly.

ETHAN

I'm sure.

ETHAN does a spell and the boys fall to the floor unconscious.

CUT.

INT. MAGIC BOX - EVENING

GILES is behind the counter and ANYA, XANDER, BUFFY, and DAWN are sat at the table.

ANYA

Giles can watch the shop this evening, can't you, Giles?

GILES

If you want to close early, you can make that decision. I shall be around until Buffy finishes her patrol, regardless. If some strange customer decides that they would like to buy some eye of newt at midnight, I am sure I will be able to accommodate them.

ANYA

(triumphantly)

See, Xander! That means we can go and look at wedding dresses now.

DAWN

Ooh! Can I come?

ANYA

I don't see why not. But don't be annoying.

DAWN

Buffy, can I go?

BUFFY turns to GILES, who smiles comfortingly at her, but does not attempt to lead her in her decision. DAWN looks pleadingly at BUFFY.

BUFFY

(to Anya and Xander)

Actually, that would be really helpful if you guys don't mind looking after her while I'm on patrol. You could drop her back home when you're done, Willow should still be around.

XANDER

Sure! I'd be honoured to look after the Dawnster.

DAWN jumps up and claps her hands excitedly. XANDER and ANYA also get up, and the three of them leave.

BUFFY

Guess that just leaves you and me, Watcherman.

GILES attempts to convey his pride in her improving "parenting" and relating with others with a smile.

CUT.

INT. WILLOW'S ROOM - EVENING

WILLOW is sat on her bed with AMY-rat in front of her. Her eyes are closed; she is concentrating.

WILLOW

(chants spell)

 

AMY-rat turns human! WILLOW opens her eyes and jumps up happily.

WILLOW

You're back!

AMY

(covering herself)

Willow! Hi!

There is a brief silence, filled with awkwardness.

WILLOW

(rambling)

I'll just, you know, go get you some clothes. Clothes are good. Right. Clothes, yes.

WILLOW turns towards her wardrobe.

CUT.

INT. MERLIN'S CRYPT - NIGHT

MERLIN is lying on the ground, shaking, tossing, and turning. He is clearly having a nightmare.

MERLIN

(screaming)

ARTHUR!

Moments from Season 5, Episode 13 of 'Merlin' fade in and out.

MERLIN

NO! ARTHUR!

MERLIN's eyes open, flashing gold. The crypt door flies across the room. MERLIN blots wake and covers his face with his hands.

MERLIN

(whisper)

It was a dream. It was just a dream.

CUT.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

BUFFY hums as she walks, stake in hand.

BUFFY

(sing-song voice)

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

BUFFY sighs, bored.

BUFFY

Come on, monsters. It's getting boring out here, not to mention cold. Let's make with the slaying already.

Ethan's monster suddenly springs out of nowhere. BUFFY attempts to hold it off, but is overpowered. Slightly injured, she runs, but it is faster than her.

MERLIN stands in the doorway to his crypt. His eyes flash gold, and the monster retreats slightly. MERLIN runs to BUFFY and pulls her inside the crypt.

BUFFY

(slightly shaken)

Woah, what was that?

MERLIN

The monster, you mean? I'm not sure. I've not seen anything like it before.

BUFFY

And also, if you don't mind me asking, how did you do that? I mean, my best friend is a witch and all, but she never did magic like that.

MERLIN

I was born like this. I'm afraid the monster will probably return. I can't hold it off indefinitely. You should get away while you can.

BUFFY

No. I'm staying. I have to kill it. It's my job.

MERLIN

I might have known you were the Slayer.

BUFFY

Yeah, well. Even the Slayer needs help sometimes. Speaking of, I'd better make a call.

BUFFY takes out her phone.

CUT.

INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT

GILES sits alone at the table, writing in a diary. The phone rings and he jumps up and runs to the counter to answer it.

GILES

Buffy?

He pauses to listen to her.

GILES

Of course. I'll be right there.

GILES slams the phone down, grabs two swords, and runs out of the door.

The Magic Box is empty.

CUT.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

Giles' car roars up and GILES jumps out. The monster comes out from its hiding place and surges towards him. BUFFY runs out of the crypt and GILES throws her a sword as he begins to battle the monster. BUFFY runs and attacks it from behind.

BUFFY

Thanks, Giles!

The monster shifts its focus to BUFFY and GILES notices her injury.

GILES

You're hurt! You should have said, Buffy.

The monster turns to GILES again and BUFFY manages to land a killing blow to its back. They relax, finally, and MERLIN walks out from the crypt.

Fear eclipses Merlin's eyes as he notices GILES. He struggles to breathe properly.

MERLIN

(terrified)

My lord...?

GILES frowns, confused.

GILES

I think you may be confusing me for someone else, perhaps. I have gone by various names, but I don't think anyone has ever called me "my lord".

Merlin relaxes slightly, but still appears shaken.

MERLIN

I- I'm sorry. It's just, you look, you look like someone I used to know.

MERLIN lets out a breath of relief. He has convinced himself that GILES is not Uther Pendragon.

MERLIN

I suppose I should congratulate the two of you. You killed the creature very quickly.

BUFFY

No way! I should thank you. If it hadn't been for you, I would be dead. I'm Buffy, by the way. And this is Giles, my Watcher.

BUFFY shakes hands with MERLIN and then GILES does the same, nodding politely to him.

MERLIN

I'm- I'm Merlin.

GILES' eyes widen. BUFFY grins, it has not occurred to her that he is the Merlin.

BUFFY

You mean like the wizard? Finally I'm not the only person around here to have a crazy name.

GILES

(in awe)

Well, I- I suppose you would like somewhere to stay? That is, if you don't mind, Buffy.

BUFFY

Of course! You can stay with us. Not that there's a whole load of room. Half the town is staying at my place at the moment, but I'm sure we can find a place for you to stay.

MERLIN looks uncertain, remembering how destructive his accidental magic can be when he has nightmares.

MERLIN

I don't know. I mean, I would love to, but I wouldn't like to intrude. And- and I'm only in town for a while, so I'll really be okay.

BUFFY

Well, if you're only in town for a while then it won't be intruding, will it? Besides, you saved my life and I have to thank you somehow.

MERLIN

(slightly reluctantly)

I suppose I could stay with you for a couple of days. Thank you.

BUFFY grins.

GILES

Now, Buffy, let me see your arm. It's a good job I keep a first aid kit in the car.

They all walk towards Giles' car.

CUT.

INT. MAGIC BOX - NIGHT

ETHAN rummages through drawers, looking for a specific item. Eventually he finds it, leaving chaos in his wake. He grins.

ETHAN

(smugly)

Cheers, Ripper.

He leaves the shop, closing the door behind him.

CUT.

INT. BUFFY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

BUFFY, GILES, and MERLIN walk through the door to find WILLOW and AMY talking on the sofa.

BUFFY

(surprised)

Amy! Wow! You're back! ... How've you been?

AMY

Rat. You?

BUFFY

Dead. ...It's great to see you human-shaped again.

AMY

Well, it's all down to Willow.

GILES looks at WILLOW warningly. WILLOW gulps nervously. MERLIN stands awkwardly.

BUFFY

Oh yeah! This is Merlin, he's going to stay with us for a couple days, 'cause otherwise he'd be sleeping in a crypt and crypts are for vampires, not for people who saved my life.

WILLOW and AMY stare in awe.

MERLIN

Hi...

There is a general stunned silence.

CUT.

INT. CHAOS' MANSION - NIGHT

CHAOS and ETHAN sit in the centre of the room with their eyes closed. They are chanting as they perform a spell. Thunder can be heard.

What sort of evil will this spell bring?

END OF EPISODE.