This story is in-canon for Season 7, sometime between "First Date" and "Lies My Parents Told Me", with appropriate SPOILER ALERTS.
Well, apparently people have been suggesting some kind of BtVS/Kolchak: The Night Stalker crossover for years, as I myself have since becoming a Buffy fan during Season 6. But so far, I've found only one such effort on the web, so here's my own stab at it. [For those interested who haven't already seen them, I also have other spec scripts for what is essentially a crossover of The Wonder Years and Tour of Duty.]
Since BtVS has already wrapped as of this posting, and the great Darren McGavin has reportedly retired from acting due to health reasons (and is also mourning the recent passing of his wife of 33 years), it's obviously never going to actually happen. But this is my salute to a great actor and to two great TV series.
Of course, health and retirement issues notwithstanding, this script is written with Mr. McGavin in mind. Other actors I have in mind for other guest roles are noted as the characters make their appearance.
Any allusions within this story to Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer are the result of a happy accident rather than deliberate design. When you have two sisters, one of whose given name is Buffy and the other who is called Dawnie more often than not, it just seems more natural that an aunt named Pauline (whose existence had been established back in Season 4) would be called "Aunt Polly" rather than "Aunt Pauline". As for chases and knife fights in a labyrinth of underground caverns, those are at least as much a part of the Buffyverse as they are of the Sawyerverse!
[NOTE: Since originally writing this script, I've learned that there is argument over the actual name of Buffy's aunt; I had originally read a copy of the shooting script for the Season 4 episode "Pangs" where Buffy refers to her "Aunt Pauline"; but have since reviewed a tape of the episode where it comes out sounding more like "Aunt Darlene" or "Aunt Arlene" and the closed captioning actually reads "Darlene". With the conflict and ambiguity, however, I've decided to stick with "Pauline/Polly" specifically because of the allusion to Tom Sawyer. Canonical purists are welcome to save this screenplay to a word processing application and use the Find/Replace function to substitute "Darlene" (or "Arlene") for Pauline/Polly, but it's my script and I'm sticking to it!]
As I said, this is in-canon, at least as I understand the term. Some may quibble about the revelation that Carl has for Dawn, but I do not believe that it would impact on the rest of the series that significantly.
Feedback is invited. See EMail address at the end.
EXT THE SUMMERS HOME BACKYARD-- MORNING. Buffy stands supervising along the sidelines while Kennedy leads the other Potentials in calisthenics and martial arts exercises.
INT THE DINING ROOM. Dawn, Willow and Xander finish eating breakfast together, with Willow simultaneously surfing the web on her iBook. They converse ad lib as the DOORBELL RINGS.
I'll get it.
INT THE FOYER/LIVING ROOM as Dawn opens the door, and we see CARL standing outside. He is a medium-tall man in his seventies, wearing a rumpled off-white seersucker suit and a straw homburg. As he removes the hat, we see thinning and graying red hair. He smiles.
Yes, can I help you?
Good morning. Is this the home of Mrs. Joyce Summers?
I'm sorry. She... she passed away two years ago.
Carl's face falls. He blinks.
Oh. I'm so sorry to hear that.
I'm her daughter Dawn. My sister Buffy's outside in back....
Carl smiles at her, his eyes getting a little misty.
Maybe one of us can help you, Mr....
Kohl. Carl Kohl. I'm a friend of your mom's family. Actually an old, old friend of your grandmother's. I'm going to be here in Sunnydale for a few weeks and thought I'd look up your mother. So you're Dawn!
Pleased to meet you, Mr. Kohl.
She extends her hand (actually checking to make sure he's corporeal and warm-blooded). He takes her hand in both of his.
Call me Carl. And I'm pleased to meet you, Dawn.
Won't you please come in and have a seat. Buffy should be back inside in a few minutes.
Carl steps inside as Dawn gestures toward the dining room where Willow and Xander turn toward them.
These are our friends, Willow and Xander. This is Carl. He says he's an old friend of my mom and grandma.
Carl, Willow and Xander exchange "Hi!"s, each with a bit of curiosity and suspicion. Carl follows Dawn into the living room, then pauses to look at the pictures on the ledge on the stairwell wall.
INSERT CARL'S POV panning across the ledge. We see a studio family portrait of Joyce, Buffy and Dawn; a solo portrait of Joyce; and an old snapshot of a young blonde woman with two blonde haired little girls; their clothing dates the snapshot as from the early 1960s.
Carl stares at the photos in deep thought as Dawn looks at him.
Dawn, if you don't mind my asking, how did your mom die?
She... she had a brain aneurysm.
And how's your grandmother?
Grandma's fine. She has a nice condo in a retirement community, all the way down in La Jolla, so we don't get to see much of her. She doesn't call that often, either.
And your Aunt Pau....
The last of his words are drowned out as we hear the RACKET of the Potentials coming in the back door and crowding into the kitchen and dining room and starting their breakfast. After a few seconds, Buffy enters from the dining room.
Dawnie, Willow says we have a visitor?
Carl smiles at her with the same misty eyes he had for Dawn earlier.
Buffy, this is Mr. Carl Kohl. Carl, this is my sister Buffy. Carl says he's an old friend of Grandma's.
Buffy extends her hand, and Carl, as with Dawn's earlier, takes it in both of his.
Please excuse the noise. I kind of run a self-defense class for teenage girls as a sideline. We're taking a break.
He came here looking for Mom. He didn't know.
I just moved here to Sunnydale. Temporarily.
And how do you know our grandmom?
I actually worked closely with your grandfather for years. We were investigative reporters together back in Las Vegas in the Fifties and Sixties.
Please have a seat, Mr. Kohl.
Carl seats himself, as Buffy and Dawn sit on the couch facing him.
Please. Call me Carl.
So what was our grandfather like? Mom barely remembered him, and Grandma never talks much about him.
Kirk Wilson... Kirk was a crazy, impetuous sonofab... sonofagun. Once he was onto a story, he'd sink his teeth into it like a pit bull. Wouldn't let his superiors or anyone else make him back off or throw him off the scent, if he knew he was right.
Too hardheaded for his own good at times.
Sounds like something we both inherited!
Is that why he died so young? Grandma never even told us what he died of.
It did contribute to his demise.
Spike enters from the back of the room at the basement steps.
Good morning, Luv! Good morning, Niblet! And who have we got...
Carl turns toward him. They look at each other with vague recognition.
Spike, this is Carl. Carl, this is Spike. Spike's one of my... martial arts trainers.
Good to meet you, Mate!
Carl's a friend of our mom's family. He knew our grandparents.
Carl and Spike continue looking at each other. Carl has a sense of curiosity and wonder beyond the mutual vague recognition.
So, Spike. Where are you from? You look familiar.
I was just thinking the same thing. London, originally, but been kind of all over. How about you?
New York, originally, then Vegas, then Chicago. But kind of all over too.
We'll figure it out eventually.
So, Carl. What brings you to Sunnydale? It's not exactly the retirement capital of the world!
The fact that it's not the retirement capital of the world, when it should be. I still investigate and report freelance on occasion. I'm on a long-term assignment on why the property values here have declined so much, and the municipal government's plans for reviving the economy....
We hear the RACKET in the kitchen and dining room escalate into an argument among several of the Potentials. Buffy turns toward the noise in alarm.
It looks like I caught you at a bad time.
As a matter of fact... but please come again, Carl. I want to learn more about my grandfather!
I'll be sure and do that, Buffy. And I'm staying at the Hancock Inn, room 201. My last name is spelled K-O-H-L.
She rushes back to the dining room.
I'll see you to the door.
Looking forward to seeing you again, Carl. We've got to figure out where we know each other from.
Well, I'm sure we will, sooner or later.
EXT THE SUMMERS HOME. As Dawn smiles and closes the door behind him, Carl walks to the curb where his car, a new silver Mercedes coupe, is parked. His weathered face reflects a myriad of emotions; grief, joy, apprehension are the most predominant. As he gets in the car, he pulls back his jacket and we see, in an elaborate shoulder holster rig, an ornately carved and polished wooden stake.
[END TEASER. INSERT OPENING CREDITS]
INT THE DINING ROOM-- DAY. Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Xander and Anya gather around the table with Spike standing off at the kitchen door. Willow has her iBook open.
All we've got on Carl Kohl is a few articles from some really boring publications on municipal government and civics.
So at least he really does what he says he does.
Yeah, but these articles are so few and far between. They're not the kind of articles that would let an old semi-retired guy afford to drive a new Mercedes and rent a VIP suite at the Hancock Inn.
Assuming that writing boring municipal government articles is what he retired from.
That's just it. That's his only presence on the Web. We don't know what he retired from.
Spike, can you narrow down what decade and what part of the world you think you know him from?
Can't, Luv. I know it wasn't recent. And a geezer that old, could be almost any decade in the 20th Century.
What's strange is that both you and Xander seem to know him.
I didn't say I knew him, exactly. I said he reminded me of someone, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
And he seemed a little too touchy-feely for just a friend of the family!
That could be just because he was upset. He didn't know about Mom until I told him.
He seems like a nice enough old man. Maybe he really is just an old friend of Grandma and Grandpa.
Dawn, Grandma's friends don't drive around in brand new Mercedes SLs and rent VIP suites in the most expensive hotel in the area.
But at least he dresses like he could be one of Grandma's friends!
Well, duh! Why don't we just call Grandma and see if she really does know this guy?
Dawn reaches for the phone and dials. A long beat
Hi, Grandma. It's Dawnie. Could you give me and Buffy a call back as soon as you get this? Bye.
She hangs up.
Oh! Maybe she's in Glendale with Aunt Polly. I think her kids are on Spring Break this week too.
Better them than us!
She dials another number.
Oh, cut 'em some slack. Aunt Polly and Uncle Matt did offer to take us both in when Mom died.
Eww! Can you imagine us living with that crowd?
We've got a bigger crowd here, in case you haven't noticed. And getting bigger almost every day.
But at least you're in charge.
No answer at Aunt Polly's. They don't even have an answering machine.
Oh, yeah! Running a dozen girls through a Slayer boot camp in a three bedroom, one bath, fighting off the Stevie Wonder brigade and assorted ubervamps and demons, and having to rebuild the whole house every three days. Why would anyone choose a nice quiet home in Glendale over this?
Well, you haven't met our cousins!
Besides, what would I have done? Commuted three hours one way every day from Glendale to the Hellmouth?
The PHONE RINGS
That was quick of Grandma. Guess she's not in Glendale.
Hello... Oh, hi, Carl! This is Dawn....
The others' eyebrows raise.
That sounds nice. I'll ask Buffy.
He's inviting you and me to dinner at the Hancock tonight.
INT THE LIVING ROOM. The others from the previous scene, the Potentials, and Andrew are gathered and sitting or standing as Buffy addresses them with Willow behind her.
Okay! Everyone listen up. Willow, tell them about the phone call yesterday.
Yesterday, Althenea from the coven called. She said that their seers think that there may be more than one Seal of Danzalthar, and that the Bringers are looking for the others. The First still appears to be in remission, but the Bringers around here are either continuing on some long-term plan that was started before Buffy killed the Ubervamp, or the First is still executing some form of control over them from wherever it's been remissioned to. Or there's another corporeal agent of the First out there who the seers didn't think was here in Sunnydale, who's controlling the Bringers long-distance.
This morning, some old guy calling himself Carl Kohl dropped by here for a visit. Some of you may have caught a glimpse of Dawn and me talking to him. He says he's a freelance writer and an old friend of my grandmother and late grandfather. He's driving around in a brand new Mercedes and staying at a VIP suite at the Hancock Inn, and when Willow hacked into the Hancock's reservation and credit system, she found out he paid for the suite in cash. Now, we haven't gotten through to my grandmother to ask if she really does know this guy, but her friends are more the ten year old Volkswagen and Motel Six crowd.
Dawn and I both shook hands with him, he's corporeal, he's warm blooded. So it may be coincidence, he may be really who he says he is, but we're not taking any chances. As of today, we're at--
What is it? DEFCON One?
That means, prepare for an attack from the Bringers at any time. When the sun's up, train. Keep the weapons ready. Nobody leaves the house alone, or unarmed. When it's dark, nobody leaves the house, period. No more training in the cemetery, no more touring the demon hangouts. The house is in lockdown. Except for me and Dawn tonight. Carl invited us to dinner at the hotel and we're going to try to get a feel for what he's all about.
INT A HOTEL RESTAURANT-- EVENING. Very plush with a Tudor motif and bay windows overlooking a well-kept garden which is brightly lit. Buffy and Dawn come in the door, both wearing evening gowns and high heels. They are met by the HOSTESS, who is similarly dressed.
Party of two?
We're supposed to meet a Mr. Kohl.
Oh, yes. Follow me, please.
As they follow the hostess, Buffy and Dawn glance around. Most of the OTHER DINERS are dressed at least semi-formally, men in suits and women in dresses or gowns.
Told you we wouldn't be overdressed.
Well, yeah... except compared to him!
ANOTHER ANGLE shows Carl at a table, sticking out by still wearing the rumpled seersucker, smiling as he rises to greet them.
THE THREE OF THEM SEATED TOGETHER eating their dinner salads.
So Buffy, you said this girls' self-defense class was just a sideline?
Yes. I'm a counselor at Sunnydale High. Where Dawn's a Sophomore. Since we're on Spring Break, we kind of turned the class into a sleepover camp for the week, so it's gonna have to be a short evening, unfortunately.
That's all right. I'm here in Sunnydale for a while, so we'll have plenty more opportunity to meet.
I am impressed, Buffy. I didn't think you were old enough to have finished all the schooling to be a counselor.
I didn't. I'm almost like a peer counselor. The pay's not that good, but it beats flipping burgers.
And it's a good start to a more stable career. So counseling and this self-defense class are how you've made ends meet since you lost your mom?
That and flipping burgers for a time.
We're used to struggling financially.
Well, Mom did all the struggling after Dad left.
What exactly did she do?...
EXT THE SUMMERS HOME FRONT YARD-- NIGHT. Buffy and Dawn walk from the driveway to the front door.
He does seem more interested in learning about Mom than about how we plan to defend ourselves against the First!
But if he really is an old friend of the family, he doesn't know as much about Mom as you'd think he should.
He said he hadn't seen her since before she and Dad got married.
CONTINUING INT THE FOYER as they enter.
So why so much interest?
I don't know, but it's genuine. Buffy, you didn't see the look on his face when I told him she was gone. And after tonight, I do feel a connection to him.
Willow and Xander approach them from the dining room.
Did my grandmom call?
No, but Althenea did. The seers think there's another Potential trying to get here from the Bay Area. And the next bus from there is due in about a half hour.
INSERT A WIDER SHOT as Buffy looks around. Several of the Potentials are asleep on the living room floor.
We're still at FEDCON One...
Whatever. Lockdown. And everyone's bedded down anyway. Will, I need you and Spike to hold the fort, use your magics and Spike's strength to protect the Potentials just in case. Xander, can you come with me? I may need the extra firepower.
Dawn, you wanna come too? Extra firepower. Plus we need to continue talking about our new friend.
I gotta get changed anyway. So you've got five minutes to get out of your prom dress and into something a little more combat-y.
EXT THE SUNNYDALE BUS TERMINAL-- NIGHT. A bus closes its door and backs out of the boarding area slot.
Buffy, Dawn and Xander step out from around the corner, the two sisters dressed much more casually than earlier. Buffy carries an axe, Dawn a broadsword and Xander a crossbow.
Just those two middle-aged couples and the old lady with the walker.
No potential Potentials on that bus.
So the Bringers got her?
Or she just missed the bus.
Or the seers may have missed the bus and this gal may not exist at all.
Well, no more buses from the Bay Area tonight. Just so this little sortie won't be a total waste, let's cut through the cemetery on the way home. Just 'cause we're focusing on the Potentials and the Bringers, doesn't mean we can forget about thinning the vamp herd.
They walk off. The camera pans down the street in the opposite direction and zooms in on Carl's Mercedes a half a block down, with him at the wheel watching the three intently.
EXT THE CEMETERY-- NIGHT. Buffy, Dawn and Xander converse softly as they walk.
So he seemed normal.
Almost too normal, other than the funky suit and the Robin Leach lifestyle.
Didn't ask any questions about the house or the Potentials?
No, and I may have given him too much.
Mostly questions about Mom and Grandmom....
Buffy raises a hand and they come to a halt about 25 yards from a crypt marked "DAVIDSON". By staring at it, Buffy draws the others' attention to it. The front door and gate are ajar.
Okay. The Davidson crypt looks active. It's a small one but there could be up to a dozen in there. I'll go in alone. Xander, you work your way around and cover the back with the crossbow. Dawn, you cover my back and stay outside, and take out anyone I flush out the front. Your strong suit is the broadsword and decapitation, so give yourself plenty of swinging room for that. Don't follow me in unless I call for help, and if I do, you leave the sword outside and come in with your stake ready. The place is so small inside, the sword's gonna be pretty useless. In fact, I'm leaving my axe with you because that's gonna be pretty useless inside too.
She hands Dawn the axe.
Buffy, I think I heard something out there.
So did I, but it sounded like a cat or a raccoon. But just in case, you two try to keep each other in sight.
The camera zooms back and then tilts down to reveal, a few rows of graves back, Carl crouching behind a large monument and listening in amazement.
A CLOSER SHOT OF THE DAVIDSON CRYPT as Buffy opens the gate, kicks in the inner door and charges inside with her stake raised, Dawn putting down the axe and grasping the broadsword two-handed, standing a few feet away. We hear BUFFY'S GRUNTING, VAMPS SNARLING AND SEVERAL CRASHES, PUNCHES AND THUDS.
CARL darts forward from the monument and dives behind a regular-sized headstone several yards closer for a better look, extremely amazed.
SEVERAL VAMPS start bursting out the doorway of the crypt. Dawn lunges forward and swings the sword at the throat of the first vamp with a forehand swing, decapitating and dusting it, then reverses her body spin and decapitates the second vamp from behind with a backhand swing as it runs past, dusting it.
A total of five more vamps pour out the doorway as this happens, but the fifth dusts in the middle of the doorway, revealing Buffy standing behind it drawing back her stake. As Dawn holds the other four at bay with her sword, Buffy forward somersaults toward the axe, picks it up and decapitates and dusts another of them.
Xander appears from the back of the crypt, leveling the crossbow.
The surviving three vamps give Buffy and Dawn a wide berth and run off in the direction where Carl is.
As the first vamp passes the headstone behind which he is hiding, it stops, doubles back, lifts Carl by the jacket collar and throws him over the headstone to the ground. All three vamps pile on top of Carl as Buffy, Dawn and Xander watch in shock.
Buffy sprints for them with Dawn close behind. Xander drops to one knee and fires the crossbow. The bolt hits a vamp in the leg but barely fazes it. Before Buffy and Dawn can reach or Xander can finish reloading...
The three vamps explode in rapid succession, leaving Carl covered in a coating of dust and holding up his carved, polished stake. He sits up, dusting himself off and catching his breath.
INSERT CARL'S POV of Buffy, Dawn and Xander standing over him, staring in open-mouthed disbelief.
I'm too old for this crap!
First Principal Wood, now this guy! Is this, like, an invitational for freelance vamp-stakers or something?
My God, Buffy! You're the Slayer! And the girls at your house are Potentials!
Xander levels the crossbow at Carl, as Buffy has the axe and Dawn the broadsword at the ready.
All right, Old Man! Talk to us! Who are you?
I... I really am a retired investigative reporter. But I used to specialize in tracking murder cases and mysterious deaths that appeared to involve vampires and other supernatural beings. My real name's Carl Kolchak.
[END ACT 1. INSERT COMMERCIAL BREAK]
Carl Kolchak. As in the Kolchak Papers.
Buffy and Dawn lower their weapons.
Carl Kolchak. As in Kolchak the Night Stalker.
That's me too.
Buffy, Carl Kolchak's a fictional TV character from the Seventies! FX still shows reruns with that Darren McGavin guy!
No, Xander. Carl Kolchak's a real person. You can put down the crossbow!
No, no, no, Dawn! Vampires, real! Demons, real! The Hellmouth, real! Kolchak the Night Stalker, make-believe! TV!
Xander, the Kolchak Papers are real. When Carl Kolchak tried to publish them, his newspaper suppressed him. But word of it got to the Council of Watchers, and they bought a copy of the entire manuscript from him. The Kolchak Papers have been a very valuable resource to them for over thirty years, and he actually sat as an advisor to the council on a few occasions a long time ago. Giles says the only real reason he didn't become a full fledged member of the Council is their exclusivity and their stuffy, snobbish attitude toward Americans. In fact, the Council's copy of the Kolchak Papers was one of the documents he saved before their building was blown up.
And then a little later on, the TV network also came across the Kolchak Papers. They assumed it was fiction, so they bought the movie rights from him as fiction!
I'm sure that must've hurt your ego. Believe me, I know what it's like when people don't believe you and think you're a nut case!
Oh, yeah! My ego cried all the way to the bank!
The Night Stalker can't be based on fact! His vamps didn't even dust when he staked them! I remember in the original pilot movie, Kolchak mentioned that they had to cremate the first vamp he staked, and all his victims.
Since when does Hollywood get everything right, Xander? They did get the part right about cremating the victims, before they could turn into vampires. But Janos Skorzeny did dust when I staked him, as did every other vampire I staked. Just like your "vamps".
I guess they were a little chintzy with the special effects. That was a few years before Star Wars.
At least Darren McGavin had me down perfect, right down to the wrinkled suit and the homburg hat.
Yes, you do look amazingly like him!
That's who he reminded me of!
Xander lowers the crossbow. Carl gets up off the ground and sits on the headstone, putting his stake in its shoulder holster.
Only about a fourth of the Kolchak Papers were made into Night Stalker episodes before the show was canceled.
But I made an even bigger bundle off The X-Files too. A lot of their stories that weren't about space aliens or the Cigarette Man also came from my papers. And that show ran for a lot longer than The Night Stalker.
The last section of the Kolchak papers was about Sunnydale and the Hellmouth. Years before any of us were born.
So what brings you back to Sunnydale, Mr. Kolchak? Did you learn about the rumblings and come to try to keep the Hellmouth closed?
Oh, no! When I left here the last time, I decided nothing could ever make me come back. Not even threats of the Hellmouth reopening. Even then, I was getting too old for that crap! I presume you've read what happened.
But you're here. What could bring you back after all that?
Only one thing. Finding out that my family was here in Sunnydale, and wanting to get them the hell out!
But... you came to Sunnydale looking for our mom!
In the pilot movie to the series, I had a fiancee named Gail. The police coerced her into leaving town after I staked Janos Skorzeny, and I kept trying to find her.
In real life, her name was Joan, we'd been married for seven years, and we had two daughters: a six year old named Pauline and a four year old named Joyce.
Buffy and Dawn gasp.
And she wasn't coerced into leaving town. Joan was convinced that I'd brought a curse on myself for killing Skorzeny, and wanted to protect herself, and especially Pauline and Joyce, from the curse or whatever demons I'd unleashed. She left me, disappearing without a trace. At first I did try to find her, just like in the movie. But after a while... it wasn't so much a matter of giving up, but realizing she was right. I couldn't risk endangering them, so I stopped trying to find them.
Carl reaches for his wallet, then takes out a photo and hands it to Buffy and Dawn.
INSERT CLOSE SHOT OF THE PHOTO. We see a young Carl Kolchak in a rumpled suit, with an even younger and very attractive blonde woman and two young blonde girls.
That's Mom and Grandma and Aunt Polly! We have pictures of them like this, same clothes, same background, but just the three of them.
But Mom's maiden name was Joyce Wilson. Our grandparents were Kirk and Joan Wilson.
But you never met your grandfather, this "Kirk Wilson".
He died when Mom was a little girl. Grandma raised her and Aunt Pauline alone, like Mom raised Buffy and me. Mom and Aunt Polly barely remembered him.
And you never saw any pictures of him.
How do we know this picture isn't a computerized photomanipulation?
Where would I have gotten the original to manipulate?
How about if I call my grandmother to come up here and identify you?
A long beat. Carl smiles painfully.
As much as I'd love to see your grandmother again, I don't want to bring her into this. In fact, I'm asking you two to please never mention our ever meeting to her. For her sake and your Aunt Pauline's.
But if you want proof, I'm willing to do a DNA test if you are. I'll pay for it.
I'll take you up on that!
Just to be absolutely sure.
We're Kolchaks! That's why I'm the Slayer! That makes as much sense as anything else in my life!
I want so much to believe you... that you're our grandfather.
Carl smiles back and clutches both her hands.
Trust your instincts, Sweetheart. The same instincts that let me survive all those brushes with evil are the ones that let your sister survive those same evils. And yourself.
So young Rupert Giles is your watcher!
Not so young.
Well, he can't prove that I'm your grandfather, but he can prove I'm the real Carl Kolchak.
Good. He's due back from the East Coast day after tomorrow.
Carl stands and nods toward the gate.
My car's right outside. Let me give you a lift home.
They start toward the gate. Dawn continues to hold Carl's hand and looks at him adoringly, which Buffy and Xander eye suspiciously.
Oh, your friend Spike. He seemed familiar and I knew he was a vampire right off....
So if you're Kolchak the Night Stalker, and you're our grandfather, and you saw a vampire in our house, why didn't you try to stake him right away?
Because I may have never actually seen one before, but I've heard what the signs were for a vampire with a soul.
And they are...?
Something in the eyes. Almost like being in love!
Buffy blushes, Xander looks revolted and Dawn stifles an involuntary giggle.
EXT THE SUMMERS HOME BACKYARD-- DAY. Buffy trains with the Potentials while Carl stands watching off to the side for a few seconds, then enters the back door.
INT THE BASEMENT. Spike sits on his cot smoking as Carl comes down the steps and sits near the bottom step.
So. The Niblet tells me you say you're her granddad. And that you're Kolchak the Night Stalker!
And she tells me you used to be William the Bloody!
A long beat, then they raise their eyebrows and point fingers at each other.
New Orleans! Mardi Gras 1970!
You were a lot younger.
And you were a lot less blonde.
So how does a vampire end up getting his soul back?
Different ways. The other bloke that Buffy knows got his back as a curse, when he pissed off the wrong Gypsy. I went out looking to get mine back through trials and torture because of your granddaughter.
What did she do?
It wasn't what she did, it's what I did to her. I didn't try to turn her, but I nearly violated her real bad. Right here in this house. Felt so terrible and remorseful afterward that I went halfway around the world to get my soul back. For her.
Hey, you only said my granddaughter. We are talking about Buffy and not Dawn here, right?
Of course, Mate! In addition to the Niblet being as pure and untouched as they come, she's the closest I've ever come to having a little sister myself. In all my century plus of existence, human and vamp!
And your daughter...
Joyce was as sweet and as kind a human being as ever walked God's Green Earth. And I felt that way about her long before I got my soul back or had a bloody chip put in my head.
Thank you, Spike. I needed to hear that.
You're welcome. Joyce deserves to be remembered like that.
So you being Kolchak the Night Stalker, this isn't the first time you've ever been here to the Hellmouth.
Definitely not! I've seen the Hellmouth up close and personal. Right after you and I crossed paths in New Orleans. Closer and more personal than I care to remember.
But you were able to write about it. Never read it myself, but after they came home last night, Niblet and Carpenter Boy dug up the Council's old copy of your papers and started reading from it along with Red. Couldn't help overhearing. Understand you ended up tied to a wheel hanging over the demonic manhole cover over the Hellmouth, while the eyeless buggers with the black robes tried to open it with your blood.
Carl nods and blinks wordlessly.
Ooohh! Been there, done that, got the bloody T-shirt! And I do mean bloody.
So we've got more in common than New Orleans.
We belong to an exclusive club, Mate! Only my membership's just a few weeks old.
Buffy rescued me, but not until after the Ubervamp came out from the seal and pounded me for a few days. How'd you get out?
Cheap rope and pure dumb luck. Before anything got out.
Buffy comes down the steps and stops when she gets to where Carl is sitting.
There you are.
Just getting reacquainted with an old acquaintance. Turns out we're more kindred spirits than I thought we'd be.
I made an appointment at the medical lab for ten tomorrow morning. They say we can get the results back in three days.
INT A WOMEN'S LAVATORY. Buffy and Dawn stand in front of the wash basins and mirror. Dawn is rather apprehensive.
Dawnie, you're the one who's all googly and excited to prove he's our grandfather. They don't even draw blood anymore like they used to with the OJ trial. They just swab your cheek lining with a Q-Tip!
It's not the needles I'm afraid of.
They glance around at the toilet stalls to make sure they're alone.
What if my DNA isn't human? What if I don't even have DNA?
Dawnie, the monks made you from me! That's something I just know. We went through all this over two years ago. The monks made you human so that nobody can tell what you were before, including some medical lab. So not only will you have human DNA, you'll have my DNA. And if Carl's really our grandfather, we'll have his DNA.
So we only need your DNA then! They don't have to check mine.
But if it turns out he's not our grandfather and not really Kolchak the Night Stalker, and he means us harm, your not giving a DNA sample may open up a can of worms for him to use.
Come on, don't be chicken! Maybe we'll learn something that might be helpful. Besides, he's paying for it! You know how much this procedure costs?
Dawn takes several deep breaths to calm herself.
They step out and the camera follows them to the inside of a waiting room in a medical laboratory where Carl is among the people waiting. They sit next to him.
A LAB TECHNICIAN steps up from around the counter, reading from a form on a clipboard.
Carl Kolchak, Buffy Summers, Dawn Summers! Come with me, please.
INT THE SUMMERS HOME FOYER/STAIRWELL/LIVING ROOM-- DUSK. Several of the Potentials are gathered in the living room, with Buffy and Spike giving them a lecture on vampire vulnerabilities ad lib.
Giles enters the front door with TRACIE, a diminutive girl of 17 or 18 who is of Oriental and Spanish mix, dressed like a typical mallrat. Everyone gathers around them.
Everyone, this is Tracie. She was born in the Philippines, but she's been living in New Jersey most of her life.
In fact, the way her Watcher disappeared, we're still not quite sure if it was the Bringers or the Sopranos who were responsible.
Oh, great! Born in the Philippines. Does that mean I'm going to have to share my meager ration of pig's blood?
No thanks! I haven't touched the stuff since I was old enough to realize what it was!
So you must be the famous Vampire With a Soul!
I heard he was much taller and heavier. And darker.
That's the other one!
There's two of you?
Well, yes, and...
Hi, Tracie! I'm Buffy. Make yourself at home! Everyone, introduce yourselves to Tracie. Giles, something else has come up!
She grabs Giles by the sleeve and pulls him through the crowd and partially up the stairwell.
We have another visitor. Someone who claims, among other things, to be an old friend of yours!
The camera follows as she leads him up the stairs into...
INT DAWN'S ROOM, where Carl and Dawn sit on the bed together with their backs to him, looking through some photo albums. They turn to face him, both grinning.
Giles! You old stuffed shirt butler!
Dear Lord! Kolchak! You old used car salesman!
Carl laughs as he walks around and reaches out to grab Giles in a fierce bearhug. Buffy and Dawn watch in amazement as Giles laughs and hugs him back as fiercely.
He's the real McCoy!
Well, the real McGavin, anyway!
The two men separate.
So, Carl! What the devil are you doing back here in Sunnydale? I should have thought you'd be lounging around a poolside or off on a golf course someplace pleasant, living off the fortune you made from the TV show royalties!
Actually, I was! Until I learned my daughter and granddaughters were living here in Sunnydale. And then heard about all the new rumblings at the Hellmouth. So I came here to get them out.
I see. So you sought out the Slayer to help you find them.
No, quite the opposite. I found my granddaughters and learned that one of them was the Slayer!
He stands there with his mouth hanging open.
Or so he says. We just went to a medical lab this morning to do some DNA testing. We get the results in three more days.
You needn't have bothered! Buffy, if this man says he's your grandfather, then he's your grandfather! Which I think is wonderfully fantastic!
Kind of makes sense, doesn't it? If bloodlines or genetics have anything to do with it, who else would make a better Slayer than the Night Stalker's granddaughter?
Welcome to the family, Grandpa!
If you don't mind, I'm gonna be the Doubting Thomas here. I'll wait for the DNA results.
What do your instincts tell you,
That I'm talking to a used car salesman!
Dawn, you're free to believe that Mr. Kolchak's our grandfather, and treat him as such. For me, it's not going to hurt to wait a couple more days.
Well, unfortunately, I won't be around for that. I have to turn right around and leave first thing that morning. Back to England this time. But I'm sure of what the results will be.
So Joyce Summers was your daughter. And you hadn't known that she had passed away.
Not until I got here and Dawnie told me.
I just want you to know that Joyce was one of the most wonderful women I've ever met. A perfect angel. Everything good that Buffy and Dawn have about them came from her.
Yes, everyone's been telling me that. Spike tells me he even thought so before he got his soul back.
So, Carl, it's so fortuitous that you should show up now. I presume you've heard about the Council.
Yes. And since you survived, a big part of me thinks it's no great loss.
Same here. Anyway, all that's left are myself and Robson, who's still in the hospital slowly recovering. And perhaps a small handful of survivors out there who haven't been able to find us. And, of course, you.
If you'd like.
Thank you. I can't promise much, but this old used car salesman still has a few tricks left in him.
I'm not too crazy about staying around Sunnydale on a permanent basis, though. But I won't be too far whenever I leave.
Of course, you realize now that taking your granddaughters out of here is not in the cards.
Well, I was thinking maybe Dawnie could come with me.
Carl! Even if you are our grandfather, I'm still Dawn's legal guardian. And we need each other. Here. In Sunnydale. We've had to fight the state family services to stay together too hard to give it up.
Well, I said I wouldn't be far. And it doesn't look like I'm leaving any time real soon anyway. We can talk about it after things stabilize a little more.
If they ever do.
So, my old friend! We've got a lot of catching up to do!...
INT THE LIVING ROOM/FOYER-- DAY. Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Anya, Carl and Giles all stand in the foyer, Giles with a suitcase at his feet. The other principal characters and the Potentials are gathered in the living room.
Okay, everybody! Mr. Kolchak and Dawn and I have some business to take care of after we drop Giles off at the airport, and it may take a while, so we may not be back until afternoon. So Willow's in charge until we get back.
Anya and Willow each give Giles a quick hug.
Have a safe trip.
Give my love to the whole coven!
I'll be sure and do that, Willow.
Giles picks up the suitcase and he, Buffy, Dawn and Carl leave. Willow closes the door behind them, waits several seconds and then turns to Kennedy and Amanda who are standing by the window.
Are they gone?
Kennedy and Amanda nod.
Okay, listen up! Carl and Giles both agree that the threat from the Bringers is a bit reduced, especially since a big part of that perceived threat was that we weren't sure who Carl really was until Giles got back. So since everybody's dying of cabin fever--
The Potentials all groan in agreement.
-- including myself-- Giles thinks it's okay for us to get out for a while. And since Carl has something special planned for when he gets back, he wants me to do some shopping and errands for him. And since I'm in charge, everyone follow me!
The Potentials stampede for the door with a collective cheer, pushing Willow and Anya out in front of them.
Andrew starts to follow them out, but Spike and Xander each grab his arms.
Where are you going, Junior? You're still our hostage!
INT THE BASEMENT. Spike stretches out on his cot.
Silence at last!
CLOSE ON XANDER sleeping on the living room couch.
CLOSE ON THE KITCHEN PHONE as it RINGS.
Andrew enters and picks up the phone.
Summers residence. Andrew speaking.
You did say this was the Summers residence.
Yes, you have the right number.
Then the only people supposed to be living there are my two granddaughters and their friend Willow! So who the hell are you?
I'm... sort of staying here.
Staying... I want to talk to Buffy!
She's not home at the minute. Do you have her cell ph...
Then let me talk to Dawn!
She's with Buffy. They just left with Carl.
Carl? And who the hell is Carl?
If you're Buffy and Dawn's grandmom, he says he knows you! He's this old guy who says he's the original Night Stalker!
Oh, my God!
INT A SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM AT THE MEDICAL LAB. Buffy and Dawn sit on either side of Carl, across the table from a GENETICIST.
Well, there's no doubt about it, Mr. Kolchak. You're definitely related to these two lovely young ladies. And based on the amount of DNA you have in common with them, you're almost certain to be their grandfather.
Buffy and Dawn both hug Carl.
What'd I tell you? Trust your instincts!
The ones I got from you... Grandpa!
I knew it all along!
And I'm sorry I doubted you.
No, it's okay, Sweetheart. Doubting Thomas was a very important figure in the history of the early church.
I do want to mention something else. We did find something rather extraordinary about the DNA of you two ladies.
Dawn gulps anxiously.
Well, due to the processes of mitosis and meiosis in the reproductive cycle, any two siblings would be expected to have a common mitochondrial DNA marker from their mother's egg cells, and approximately 50 percent of DNA in common from the nuclear DNA, from the two parents. Unless they were identical twins, in which case the nuclear DNA would be 100 percent in common. However, in the case of you two ladies, in addition to the common mitochondrial DNA marker, you have over 99.99 percent common nuclear DNA. The odds of that happening are astronomical. Out of your tens of thousands of genes, the two of you have only a half dozen or so that are different. Just enough to account for the differences in hair color and height, maybe a little bit of your other facial features. Otherwise you two would look like identical twins except for the difference in age. And genetically, you practically are!
Carl raises his eyebrows. Buffy feigns naivete.
Oh, gee! Imagine that!
I can't stress to you how phenomenal this is! The odds of this happening approach one in a trillion!
The luck of the Kolchaks, I guess.
Well, can you think of any other explanation?
Not realistically. Theoretically, it almost looks like somebody cloned you when you were five years old to create Dawn, but in addition decided to do just enough gene splicing to alter Dawn's appearance. But that's only theoretical. Despite what the tabloids and all these off-the-wall claims from Europe say, even if it were legal we'd still be years away from human cloning. And years away from human gene splicing. Hypothetical human cloning and gene splicing on the same embryo, we're talking decades if ever. And going back to the Eighties when you two were born, in terms of genetic engineering, that was the Dark Ages.
So there is no logical explanation.
Just pure chance in the face of the astronomical odds.
Carl's eyes narrow as he glances back and forth between Buffy and Dawn.
In fact, this is so phenomenal, I was wondering if the two of you would be willing to undergo some medical and psychological tests. In the interest of science.
At least not right now. We've both got some pretty heavy commitments. Maybe in a few months. We'll contact you when we're ready. Thanks for the help.
She, Dawn and Carl leave hurriedly.
INT CARL'S MERCEDES as he drives it away from the medical lab and down the streets of Sunnydale, with Buffy in the front passenger seat and Dawn in the back seat. A long pregnant pause for all three, with Carl in particularly deep thought.
Dawnie, did you know you weren't the first one?
Dawn and Buffy both raise their eyebrows.
You mean, I wasn't the first ball of shapeless mystical energy to be given human form from the blood of a Slayer, and turned into her kid sister. With a complete set of prefabricated and indelible memories for herself and everyone who would have known of her.
Oh, thank God! You already know! I sort of suspected with your being nervous about the DNA test. But I wasn't sure, and didn't quite know the right way to bring it up. Not that it makes any difference. You're my granddaughter in every sense of the word, and I'd love you just the same if you only came into human form ten minutes ago and all my memories before that were prefabricated.
But you're saying it's happened before? With other Slayers and their sisters?
Giles never told you?
At least three other times that the Council was aware of, going back to the 12th Century. I was the one who stumbled across it in my own independent research before the Council approached me to be their advisor. It wasn't in my original Kolchak Papers, I only passed it on by word of mouth to them. They either weren't aware of it before or wouldn't acknowledge to me that they were aware of it. So it doesn't surprise me that Giles never told you. He probably didn't know himself.
Well, when we found out, Giles was no longer officially my Watcher, and had had a falling out with the council, so it's no surprise that they cut him out of the loop.
So, Grandpa, you mean I'm not the only interdimen--
Dawnie! If you know what you used to be before you became human, don't tell me! It's better for everyone that I don't know!
We know that certain orders of monks in Europe over the centuries were given charge of various supernatural forces and beings, to protect them from the forces of evil. What they did with the two of you is rare; as I said, only three other times that we know of in eight or nine hundred years. Only as a last resort. We're not sure specifically what the other supernatural beings were originally, but all three ended up as the younger sister of the current Slayer.
And did they know? The Slayers and their sisters?
Some did, some didn't. I found my information in ancient records in the ruins of an Austrian monastery that was destroyed during World War II. It was sketchy.
I kind of feel better now. Knowing I'm not so unique.
Well, I see from the other night's little fracas in the cemetery that your powers are developing nicely!
My wha...?/Her wha...?
You two don't know!
I'm supposed to have powers?
The monk who told me said they made her my sister so I'd protect her with my life. Just before he died from wounds inflicted by the hellgod who was after Dawn. He was the last living member of the order.
Then either he died before he got to finish the whole story, or he got the story wrong. Having the Slayer protect the supernatural entity as a younger sister was just the first part. It never made sense to rely on the Slayer on a permanent basis to protect the entity, what with the daily risks that a Slayer... sorry, Buffy!
You mean the short life expectancy. You can say it, Grandpa.
I've been living with that reality for seven years.
Okay. So, anyway, it didn't make sense. But the whole idea of making the entity's human form out of the Slayer's blood, that's so that the entity would have at least some of the Slayer's powers so that she could protect herself. And she would grow up learning from her older sister.
How much of a Slayer's powers?
No way of knowing,
but in your case, somehow the number 99.99 percent feels like a good guess. As a final figure. Yours are still emerging slowly.
Then I am a Potential after all! Buffy, remember when we found Amanda with Willow's locator spell, the cloud hit me first and I glowed before it went through the door.
You're not a Potential, Dawn. You're already something else. Not exactly a Slayer, someone with most Slayer powers and maybe some of whatever powers you may have had before you became human. And you don't have to wait to be called. You're not part of the line of succession.
But you should start training with the Potentials.
No! I don't want them to know! I don't want anyone else to know. I don't want the First to find out. If we don't talk about it anymore, is there a chance the First won't find out?
I don't know, Dawn. Maybe, maybe not.
Grandpa, what happened to the other three who were like me?
I don't know, Sweetheart. Like I said, the records were sketchy. Presumably since the world's still here, nothing harmful became of them. Presumably, they did take care of themselves if their Slayer sisters weren't around.
I still don't want to train with the Potentials. I'm not going to take orders from Kennedy just because she's older and had been working with her Watcher longer than the others. And because she's Willow's new squeeze. She makes me miss Tara even more.
Okay, you don't have to, Dawnie. I started you on the basics before the Potentials started to show up. And you've been watching me all along, as you pointed out when we were fighting Willow's Earth monsters.
Maybe you and Giles can work with me individually. I can trust him to know....
I'll work with you whenever I can, but I don't want Giles to know.
That whole thing with removing Spike's chip?
That may be coming to a head, and until it does, I don't want you caught in the middle.
That's okay. Only the three of us have to know.
We'll keep it in the family.
You'll be my secret weapon until the time comes! My Ace in the Hole!
I'm also still afraid of the First finding out. If we don't talk about it among ourselves, maybe there's a chance it won't.
I don't know, but at this point it can't hurt to not talk about it. I mean, if it's only between the three of us, there's not much more for us to say about it. Is there, Grandpa?
(turns and winks)
Not much more to say about what?
PARTY MUSIC AND NOISE AS WE CUT TO:
CLOSE ON A LARGE SHEET CAKE decorated in icing with the large inscription: "Congratulations, Buffy and Dawn! It's a Grandfather!"
The camera pulls back to reveal the dining table crammed full with a rather expensive catered buffet setup, but with disposable dishes and flatware.
INT THE HOUSE-- DUSK
A MONTAGE shows the Potentials gathered around the living room and stairwell, and helping themselves to the buffet although the cake remains intact.
INT THE KITCHEN. Buffy, Dawn, Carl, Willow and Anya gather around the breakfast counter as we see, in the background, Andrew, Spike, Xander and some of the Potentials loitering around the dining table and the divider between the kitchen and dining room.
Dawnie, don't you feel like we've just won the Triple Crown? Out of nowhere, our long-lost grandfather turns up, he's a legendary vampire-hunter, and he's loaded!
I'd love you just the same if you were flat broke and a nobody, Grandpa!
I mean, I could quit my day job if it wasn't so conveniently located!
Hey, listen! I still want to give your grandma, your Aunt Pauline and her kids their fair share of the fortune, if they can somehow get it without knowing where it came from! Any suggestions?
Well, I could do a spell and have the money suddenly turn up in their bank accounts--
Spell, schmell! That's called a wire transfer!
Andrew comes up to the counter.
Excuse me, Mr. Kolchak. Could you settle an argument between me and Xander about The X-Files characters? Were the Lone Gunmen based on your papers or people you knew? Because I'd like to meet the real guys someday, unless they really did sacrifice...
The DOORBELL RINGS. In the background we see Xander step over from the dining room to the foyer. The ensuing conversation is initially barely audible amid the background party noise and Andrew's ramblings but gradually becomes louder.
Yes, can I help...
We hear the same female voice Andrew heard over the phone earlier.
So! You're Andrew!
No, I'm Xander.
Xander? Oh, yes. Mom, we met him the last--
What the hell is going on in this house?
Buffy and Dawn look at each other in alarm as THE ENTIRE HOUSE FALLS SILENT (including someone SHUTTING OFF THE STEREO).
Carl's eyebrows raise and his jaw drops in alarm as well.
Speak of the Devil!
[END ACT 2. INSERT COMMERCIAL BREAK.]
Oh, I forgot to tell you. Your grandmother called while you were out this morning.
Carl is frozen in shock. The camera follows Buffy and Dawn as they rush to the foyer, where we see JOAN, their grandmother: the same blonde woman in the picture with the young Carl Kolchak, now aged in her sixties, still extremely attractive and dignified-- and furious. Beside her we see their Aunt PAULINE, a woman in her forties who bears a striking resemblance to Buffy, and who looks around nervously. Xander stands dumbfounded, holding the door open. The partying Potentials remain frozen and silent.
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I picture Carol Lynley in the part of Joan, for reasons which should be obvious to those familiar with the original Night Stalker movie. I picture Pauline being played by Dianne Kay, best known as Nancy Bradford in the 1970s series Eight is Enough, because some people have pointed out a strong resemblance between her and Sarah Michelle Gellar, as well as her being the right age to play Joyce's older sister. Both Ms. Lynley and Ms. Kay are among my all-time favorite actresses, BTW!]
Grandma! Aunt Polly!
They exchange embraces with the other two women, although there is a decided tension.
Buffy. Dawnie. The two of you pack up right now! You're leaving this place with us!
Yes. The two of you are moving in with me and Uncle Matt in Glendale.
Excuse me? I'm twenty-two, I have a job, I'm Dawn's legal guardian until she turns eighteen in another year and a half. We both have lives here in Sun--
Carl Kolchak! If you're in this house, get your ass out here right this second!!!
A long moment of silent tension, and then Carl slowly steps into view in the dining room. The tension continues to mount as he and Joan stare at each other. Neither is quite prepared for this moment, and both are close to tears. We also see Spike in the background in the dining room, obviously fighting to keep from bursting out laughing.
Joan's lips quiver for several seconds, then her expression hardens again.
Kolchak! You get out of this house and you stay away from my granddaughters!
Well, that's a fine how-do-you-do from the mother of my children!
Whom I haven't seen since Kennedy was President. I've missed you, too, Joanie!
I mean it, Carl! Get out of here and stay away from Dawnie and Buffy!
Excuse me, Grandma. This is Dawn's and my house. Mom left it to us and left me as Dawn's guardian, and Dawn's... almost... a legal adult any...
Her voice trails off as she realizes she's spitting into the wind. More silent tension, and then the camera zooms in on Pauline, who has been blinking and quivering her lips increasingly.
She rushes forward, and they both burst into tears as they wrap their arms around each other.
I never forgot you, Daddy! It's been forty years and I never forgot you! Joyce was too young to really remember, but I do!
Mom! Why did you lie to me and Joyce and tell us he was dead?
It's okay, Sweetheart! Your mother did the right thing. My life was far too dangerous for the three of you to be any part of it.
Then what in God's name are you doing here with Joyce's children?!?
Hello! Everybody? Can we air the family laundry someplace a little less public?
INT THE KITCHEN. The family members sit around the counter, Buffy, Dawn and Carl on the outside, Joan and Pauline facing them on the kitchen side. Spike guards the back entrance. Willow, Xander and Anya guard the dining room entrance while passing food and drink to the Potentials in the living room. The PARTY NOISE AND MUSIC have resumed, but at a much lower volume.
Joanie, the first thing you need to know is that I came back here to Sunnydale to do the exact same thing you came here to do. Get Buffy and Dawn out of here.
Really! And since when is "Congratulations, it's a Grandfather" synonymous with "Bon Voyage"?
Well, since arriving back here, I've learned something that changes the whole picture. Buffy and Dawn belong here.
Well, I learned a few things too, today. Like they have some boy staying here.
It's not what you think, Grandma. It's a long story.
Yeah, Grandma, I've never even been on a real date.
And I suppose all these girls are your friends from school. That my little Dawnie is now the most popular girl in Sunnydale High.
Well, Grandma, it's been nearly a year since you've seen us. And you haven't been up here in Sunnydale since Mom's funeral...
Wait. Daddy. You said you came back to Sunnydale. You've been here and seen Buffy and Dawnie before?
I never met them until four days ago. I haven't been back here in over thirty years.
Pauline, what has your mom told you about me?
Until today, nothing except that you were a reporter, and that we left Las Vegas because you died and she had to find work somewhere else. Now on the drive up here she tells me that you were alive all this time and that your real name is Carl Kolchak, and that they once made a TV show about you and vampires.
Mom, you sounded like you thought the vampire stuff was real.
It is real, Polly! That's one thing I never disagreed with your father about. That's the real reason we left him and Las Vegas. He killed a very powerful vampire, and I wanted to protect you and Joyce from the wrath of any evils that he may have loosened by doing that.
Daddy, is that true?
Yes, Sweetheart. As I said, your Mom did the right thing.
Oh, my God! I find my father after over forty years thinking he was dead, and find out both my parents are crazy!
Mom, you sacrificed Joyce's and my childhood and happiness because of some crazy vampire story?
Polly, you just heard: your mother agreed all along that the vampires were real, even before anybody else believed me. It was painful for me to accept her decision at first. It was the most painful thing I've ever done, even more painful than what happened to me the last time I was here in Sunnydale.
This is where the Hellmouth is. Evil gravitates here. Vampires and demons and other sorts of evil beings gravitate here.
Pauline continues to stare incredulously.
Which brings us back to what we're all doing here. If you're telling the truth about why you're here, then what are you doing partying it up with Buffy and Dawnie and all these strange people when you should be helping them pack up?
Because we're not going anywhere, Grandma!
Buffy has a calling, Joanie. At any given time, there is one young girl in the world who is chosen to battle the evils that gather here.
And I'm her! I don't know if it's because my grandfather was a legendary vampire-hunter or if that's just a coincidence, but I was chosen. I've been at it for seven years now. And right now, there's a big fight brewing up that I don't know if we can win.
Buffy, you too? Oh, God!
Dawnie! Please tell me you don't believe any of this madness. Tell me I'm not the only sane person left in this family!
Sorry, Aunt Polly. I can't lie to you. I've known about the vampire stuff almost since we moved here to Sunnydale. Willow and Xander and Anya have been slaying vampires and demons alongside Buffy all that time, and I've just started doing my share of it within the last few months myself.
That's it! I'm calling child protective services! Buffy, you may be a legal adult and I can't do anything for you, but Dawnie's still a minor and I can have them take her out of here. Mom, you can either drop this delusion and back me up on this or you can get out of the way!
I guess we have to show her.
ON SPIKE as he turns to face them with the back door in the background.
Could you give my daughter a little dem--
CRASH! The back door comes flying inward as several BRINGERS kick it in, come barging in and knock Spike to the floor.
INSERT THE LIVING ROOM AND FOYER as more Bringers come crashing through the front door and window. The Potentials and Andrew flinch back away from them, screaming.
Spike vamps out and comes up swinging.
In the kitchen and dining room, Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Xander and Anya galvanize into action. Joan and Pauline are paralyzed with shock and fear.
Carl jumps over the counter, pulls Joan and Pauline down to the floor and throws himself protectively on top of them.
A SERIES OF FIGHT SCENES.
Three Bringers at the front of the house draw their knives and drive the Potentials and Andrew against the wall opposite the kitchen and dining room, although the more experienced Potentials (Rona, Vi, Molly, Amanda and Kennedy) put up some token resistance.
Four more Bringers enter the front door and drive Willow, Xander and Anya into the back of the dining room. The table is knocked over. Food goes flying, and the three Scoobies put up a more respectable fight, using pan lids, platters and other utensils as shields and weapons.
Three Bringers gang up on Spike and keep him occupied at the back of the living room as eight more come into the kitchen from the back door.
Four of them make a grab for Buffy and Dawn, trying to drag them to the back door, but they begin fighting back readily.
The remaining four go around the counter and grab Carl. Two of them pull him off Joan and Pauline and start to drag him off. The remaining two grab at a paralyzed and hysterical Pauline, but Joan starts to kick at them (maternal protective instinct kicking in). They shove her away against the stove and grab again at Pauline, and Joan starts kicking again.
At another corner of the kitchen, the two Bringers with Carl start to drag him off, but he draws his stake and starts flailing at them. They let go of him and join the two who are going after Pauline. This time, one of them pins Joan back against the stove while the other three drag Pauline off, shoving Carl out of the way.
Buffy kills her two attackers after a struggle, but two of the others in the dining room break off from attacking the other Scoobies and hit her from behind.
Dawn wrestles free of her attackers and starts punching and kicking at them successfully.
Spike kills one of his attackers and continues struggling with the other two, who pin him to the floor.
Dawn's two attackers lunge toward her again and she kicks them back.
INSERT DAWN'S POV looking past her attackers at the four Bringers dragging Pauline out the back door, again shoving Carl back into the kitchen.
Dawn's two attackers lunge at her again. This time, she puts up only token resistance before the two Bringers grab her by the upper arms and drag her out the back door as well.
Spike sees this as he kills a second of his attackers, but the third continues to keep him occupied.
EXT THE SUMMERS HOME BACKYARD-- NIGHT as the first four Bringers carry a struggling Pauline off. The other two Bringers yank Dawn along by her upper arms, moving at a slower pace behind them.
INT THE LIVING ROOM. The Potentials and Andrew sit icing bruises and bandaging wounds as Buffy and Spike stand before them. Several of the Bringers lie dead on the floor.
Nobody needs to go to the hospital? Nobody missing besides Dawn and my Aunt Polly?
Everyone shakes their head and/or mumbles "No".
Buffy, I should be able to follow their scent. There's no time to lose.
Okay. Wait. Take Dawn's cell phone with you. It should be in the recharger in her room, on her bedside table.
Spike starts up the steps.
INT THE DINING ROOM. The table has been uprighted. As Buffy enters, Willow and Anya help Joan into one chair as Xander helps Carl into another. Joan is still in shock, trembling and downcast.
Damn you, Carl Kolchak! You come back into my life after forty-one years, and within eight hours our granddaughter and our only living daughter are kidnapped by God knows what!
Not just God. I know what those bastards are too. The worst evil I ever faced.
And you brought them here to Buffy's and Dawnie's house!
Grandma, that's not fair. That's not true. They've been here before. They've trashed the house like this before.
Then why did they take Polly and Dawnie?
Spike reappears in the foyer, waving Dawn's cell phone.
Buffy, I'm off!
He goes out the front door as Buffy nods in acknowledgement.
We'll explain later.
Wait. That is a good question. They didn't want any of the Potentials, didn't really hurt any of them too seriously. Or Xander or Willow or Anya or Spike. But they tried to take me and Grandpa too, but we fought 'em off.
But they didn't try to take you. They held you back, but they didn't try to take you.
They tried to take me and my direct descendants! They want my blood! They want people who have my blood.
They must be trying to open the seal again. The one they tried to open with my blood the last time I was here.
Joan looks at him in horror but says nothing.
Then we don't need Spike to follow their scent! We know where it is!
Xander, you're driving. We can pick up Spike on the way.
Can you two do a locator spell on Dawn and Aunt Polly just to be sure?
It'll take a few minutes for me to get the stuff together.
Do it, then call me on my cell if they're not at the seal. Let's go, Xander!
I'm going, too!
Dammit, Buffy! This is no time to argue!
Then I'm going, too!
Joan, it's too...
Dammit, Kolchak! This is no time to argue!
EXT SUNNYDALE HIGH SCHOOL-- NIGHT. Xander's car pulls up to the main entrance and he, Buffy, Joan and Carl all pile out. Xander has the crossbow, Buffy the axe and Joan and Carl each have a broadsword. Buffy pulls out her key ring and unlocks the front door.
No sign of Spike. Not even he can run fast enough to beat us here.
Maybe the Bringers didn't know about the shortcut we took.
Then maybe we actually beat 'em here.
INT THE SEAL OF DANZALTHAR CHAMBER IN THE HIGH SCHOOL BASEMENT. Buffy kicks in the door. Xander steps in behind her, dropping to one knee and aiming the crossbow into the center of the room. Joan and Carl stand back in the hallway.
The camera zooms back to reveal the exposed seal, the torture wheel with its rope and pulley system-- and nobody present inside.
INT THE SUMMERS HOME DINING ROOM. Willow and Anya sit facing each other across a map of Sunnydale on the table. There are multicolored points of light at the high school on the map. Willow's cell phone RINGS next to the map and she picks it up.
Buffy, did you find them?
INTERCUT THE TWO SCENES AS BUFFY AND WILLOW CONVERSE.
Did your spell work?
I'm showing all six of you over the seal. You, Xander, your grandparents, and Dawn and your aunt. Are you there?
We're at the seal, but there's no sign of Dawn or Aunt Polly.
Your aunt should be right there in the room with you, and Dawn's moving toward you.
They're not here, Willow. Is it possible the Bringers have some kind of invisibility spell?
Behind Buffy, Carl looks around the room.
Buffy, this can't be the same seal they tried to open with my blood.
Wait a sec, Willow.
Are you sure, Grandpa?
We're just in the school basement. The seal I was in was at least fifty feet below ground level. In a natural cave. This place is laid out the same with the torture wheel and everything, but the seal itself is a little different. I remember the other one. This isn't it!
Willow, your locator spell. It's only two-dimensional, right?
Yeah, it's a two-dimensional map.
Then they've got to be below us somewhere. Is there any way to get three-dimensional?
No, I can't think of any.
Do you have a location on Spike?
We hear a CALL WAITING TONE. Buffy looks at the display on her phone.
Never mind. He's on call waiting. Wait a second, Wil.
EXT THE CHRISTMAS TREE LOT FROM "AMENDS" AND "BRING ON THE NIGHT". Spike stands over the hole in the ground leading to the underground chambers, speaking into the cell phone.
Buffy, I'm still on the scent. I'm at the hole in the Christmas Tree lot. I wanted you to know before I went in, since I'll probably lose the cell signal.
[CONTINUE INTERCUTTING SCENES]
Spike! Wait for us! We'll be there in three minutes!
Everyone back to the car!
They head back out and down the hallway, Buffy last and still on the phone.
Buffy, you still there?
Yes, we're on our way.
I didn't have time to tell you earlier, but I don't think they got the Niblet.
What do you mean? Where is she?
I mean, she's probably with your auntie and the Bringers. Her scent is still on the same trail as theirs. But I don't think they really got her.
INT A CAVERN. It is laid out nearly identically to the chamber where the Seal of Danzalthar is located, except that it is a natural cavern lit with torches. A pentagram seal with a goat's head, very similar to but not quite identical to the Seal of Danzalthar lies in the center of the cavern, sticking perhaps an inch or two out of the solid rock floor. A large wooden torture wheel rigged to overhead ropes and pulleys hangs vertically off to one side as in the high school basement.
The four Bringers drag Pauline into the cavern from its only access tunnel. She is exhausted, no longer resisting but not walking along either. They bring her up to the seal, pull her right arm out over it. One of them uses its knife to make a shallow cut across her forearm as she squeals.
Her blood drips from the cut onto the seal. As one point of the pentagram rises to open with a shaft of light projecting from it, the other two Bringers drag Dawn into the cavern where she sees the opening seal. They remain on either side of her, holding her by the armpits while holding up their curved knives in their respective outside hands.
[END ACT 3. INSERT COMMERCIAL BREAK]
The first four Bringers pull Pauline away from the seal and push her up against the wheel. The pentagram closes back up as her dripping blood is taken away. As the Bringers start to tie her wrists to the wheel, she sees Dawn and the other Bringers.
Oh, God, Dawnie! They've got you too!
It'll be okay, Aunt Polly. I'm sure Buffy's on her way.
What can Buffy do? When we were driving up, your Grandma told me that Grandpa was involved with vampires. I thought the whole thing was crazy, until now!
These aren't vampires. They're something much eviler.
The Bringers finish tying Pauline's wrists and crouch down, starting on her ankles.
Dawnie, if you get out of this alive, tell Colette and Cyndi and Eric and Uncle Matt I love them very much.
You'll be able to tell them yourself, Aunt Polly. Because these bastards don't have me....
She reaches up and grabs the outside hands of the two Bringers, then pulls them across her, using their knives to slash each others' throats.
... I've got them!!!
As the two Bringers drop dead, she grabs their knives in either hand, throws one knife into the back of one of the other Bringers at Pauline's feet, then leaps into the remaining three with a flying kick, bowling them over.
[NOTE: Dawn is not nearly as smooth and graceful as Buffy in this sequence, but she gets the job done!]
Dawn uses the other knife to slash the rope binding one of Pauline's wrists, then gives her the knife. As Pauline cuts her other wrist free, Dawn pulls the first knife out of the back of the dead Bringer, then drives back the other three Bringers with kicks and knife slashes.
Run, Aunt Polly!!!
Pauline drops off the wheel and scrambles for the tunnel, then turns around to look back at Dawn, who is continuing to hold the Bringers at bay.
I can't keep holding them! Go!!!
Pauline disappears into the tunnel.
Dawn continues kicking and slashing, trying to block the three Bringers from getting to the tunnel. She succeeds for several seconds, and then one Bringer slashes her in the abdomen just below the ribcage, but the Bringer's follow through motion exposes its back to her and she stabs it. As she does so, the other two Bringers get past her and start up the tunnel.
INSERT CLOSE SHOT of the slash in the fabric of Dawn's blouse, as blood starts to soak through it.
Dawn pulls the knife out of the Bringer's back as it falls dead, and she takes a step toward the tunnel before collapsing on her belly right on top of the seal.
ANOTHER ANGLE looking down as Dawn's blood flows onto the seal, and then it starts sparkling with green electricity.
INT THE TUNNEL. The camera leads as Pauline runs, occasionally SCREAMING FOR HELP. As the tunnel winds and twists (generally heading upward), we occasionally see the two remaining Bringers several seconds behind her and slowly gaining on her.
INT AN UNDERGROUND CAVERN. [The same one where the First and the Ubervamp had kept Spike in captivity in "Bring On the Night" and "Showtime".] Spike leads as Buffy, Xander, Carl and Joan follow. In addition to their weapons, Buffy and Carl hold flashlights. All are rushed but with increasing apprehension. Spike and Carl in particular glance around nervously.
They pass the spot where Spike had been tied to the cave wall when Buffy rescued him (at the end of "Showtime"), then go a few feet further where the cavern narrows and curves.
I've never been past this point.
They go around the curve a few more feet.
Down here is where we blew up the tunnel to close it off after I escaped.
They go further and find the opening to a tunnel with rocks and rubble piled on either side of it.
And they've opened it back up! Looks pretty recent too.
Buffy and Carl shine their flashlights down the tunnel.
We see Pauline running up the tunnel toward them, with the two Bringers close behind. As she reaches the mouth of the tunnel, the Bringers dive for her ankles and trip her, then start dragging her back. Pauline SCREAMS.
Spike vamps out as he and Buffy grab the two Bringers and yank them into the cavern. As the Bringers now start to fight for their lives with Buffy and Spike, Pauline scrambles free and into the arms of both Carl and Joan, sobbing hysterically. By both of them hugging Pauline, Carl and Joan end up hugging each other as well.
Both Bringers draw out their knives, but Spike simply picks up the Bringer he faces and throws it up against the cave wall, then grabs it again and snaps its neck.
Buffy dodges the knife of the remaining Bringer, grabs its wrist, flips the Bringer to the ground, kicks it a couple of times, then takes the knife and stabs it in the back.
Buffy, Spike and Xander gather around Carl, Joan and Pauline. Pauline and Joan watch in disbelief as Spike morphs back to human face.
Aunt Polly! Where's Dawn?
Somewhere back there. Maybe back in the cave. She killed a couple of those guys and cut me loose, then she tried to fight the others off so I could get away.
INT THE SEAL CAVERN. Dawn lies motionless with eyes closed in the same position she fell, surrounded by the dead Bringers, but there is no longer a seal underneath her, only solid rock which has a slightly greenish glaze. In the distance, we hear the VOICES of Buffy, Xander, Carl, Joan and Pauline taking turns calling out "Dawnie!", punctuated with Spike calling out "Niblet!"
As the voices get louder, Dawn opens her eyes and slowly rolls on her side so we see her slashed and bloody blouse, but no blood on the rock underneath her. She slowly pulls up the front of her blouse and looks down at her midriff, where we see sparkles of green electricity over the slash just below her ribcage.
INSERT CLOSE SHOT of the green sparkles dissipating and leaving only a pink, superficial scratch.
Dawn tries to push herself up, but collapses weakly back on the rock surface.
The others enter from the tunnel. Pauline now has a bandage on her arm improvised from a handkerchief.
Oh, God! Dawnie!
Buffy reaches Dawn first, the others close behind, all horrified.
Buffy kneels next to Dawn, sees the slashed and bloody blouse and lifts it to see the wound. Dawn opens her eyes.
Buffy? I'm okay. Just a little weak....
Dawnie! Thank God!
The others gather and kneel around the two as Buffy helps Dawn sit up and then hugs and kisses her, then everyone takes a turn at hugging Dawn (including Spike) ad lib. After hugging Dawn, Carl starts looking around the cavern.
Dawnie, thank you! You saved my life!
I'm just glad you're okay, Aunt Polly.
Dawnie, you did all this?
I'm just learning, Grandma. You should see what Buffy can do!
This is the place. There's no mistaking it. This is where I was. Thirty-two years ago.
Except... the seal's gone!
It was right here, Daddy! The big round metal thing with the star and the goat head. Dawnie, do you know what happened?
I don't know, Aunt Polly. It was right here.
They all start patting their hands or stamping their feet on the rock floor, determining that it's solid.
I was bleeding pretty bad when I passed out right on top of it.
I thought that blood was supposed to open the seal.
Especially Kolchak blood.
DAWN'S POV of Carl smiling at her: silent, but loving, knowing and proud.
You're not a Potential, Dawn. You're already something else. Not exactly a Slayer, someone with most Slayer powers and maybe some of whatever powers you may have had before you became human.
Come on. Let's get out of here.
She and Xander help Dawn stand, and then support her with her arms around their shoulders as everyone starts back up the tunnel. The camera follows.
Dawnie, are you sure you're all right? I don't understand how a scratch like that could bleed so much.
I'll be okay, Grandma!
Ma'am, if you haven't learned this about your granddaughters yet, there's a lot of questions that you're never gonna get the answer to!
Joan nods. All her anger, tension and anxiety have drained away, and she is almost high with relief.
Yes, Xander. I guess it runs in the family.
She puts her arm around Carl, who is taken by surprise and then reciprocates.
So, Carl Kolchak! We have a lot of catching up to do. A lot's happened since John F. Kennedy was President!
Yes, and speaking of John F. Kennedy...
I think we can safely say that the torch has been passed on to a new generation!
So Buffy and Dawnie tell me you never remarried or got involved with anyone all these years.
It just never felt right. I never forgot you or stopped caring about you.
I was just furious tonight because I thought you were placing Joyce's girls in danger.
Oh, no! They appear to do that quite well on their own without me.
A beat as they continue walking.
Excuse me, Spike. Maybe I shouldn't even be asking, since you saved my life, but was I imagining things or...
No, you weren't. I am a vampire.
But he has a soul!
A vampire with a soul?
It's a long story!
INT DAWN'S ROOM-- DAY. Dawn sits up in bed as Buffy and Willow sit on the edge of the bed with her.
Giles and Althenea both think it was probably a combination of that particular seal, plus the fact that they tried to use your grandfather's blood to open it the last time, plus your having his blood, plus your being the Interdimensional Key. A million to one shot.
So you can forget about trying to bleed on that other seal in the school basement. Not gonna risk your life or an apocalypse on "maybe".
Oh, good. I really wasn't looking forward to cutting myself.
But you would if it meant saving the world.
Of course! I take after my big sister!
Buffy kisses her.
Thanks! I'm proud of you, Dawnie!
INT THE FOYER/LIVING ROOM. Xander supervises as a crew of his WORKERS put the finishing touches on the repaired windows and door. Carl, Joan and Pauline stand around. Pauline's arm is more properly bandaged.
I've set up the account already. So, if this ever happens again, you pay for the materials and labor courtesy of royalties from The Night Stalker and The X-Files.
What do you mean "if"? This arrangement's gonna keep my company solvent indefinitely.
Buffy, Dawn and Willow come down the steps, Dawn still in her sleeping clothes and a robe.
Buffy, Dawnie, you sure you girls don't want to spend the rest of your Spring Break with us? We can wait for you to pack up and change.
Thanks, Aunt Polly. But we've got a lot more to do, right here in Sunnydale.
Besides, Grandpa needs to get to know his other grandkids without us tagging along.
In the meantime, you know where to reach me. Either Glendale or La Jolla.
I'll be riding with Grandma and Aunt Polly in her van. Quality time on the road. So you kids have fun with my Mercedes until we come back for it. When we do, I'll do a little stuff with the Potentials.
And tell Giles I'm ready to restart the Council whenever he and Robson are up to it.
There is an exchange of hugs and kisses ad lib, and then Carl, Joan and Pauline leave.
Xander returns to supervising the workers. Buffy, Willow and Dawn pass through the living room toward the back door. The camera follows them partway and then stops at the ledge on the stairwell wall, zooming in on the pictures. We see a new framed snapshot of Carl and Joan with their arms around each other, next to the portrait of Joyce.
FADE TO BLACK
To my other Buffy the Vampire Slayer spec script, Normal Again Again
To my other Buffy the Vampire Slayer short story, It's a Wonderful Resurrection
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