Sunnydale After Dark
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Written by: David Fury & Elin Hampton
Directed by: David Semel

This episode was originally broadcast on May 5, 1998.

~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

Sunnydale State Beach at night. There is a large party going on with about fifty students in attendance. "Mann's Chinese", by Naked, plays in the background. The camera pans from a few parked cars through the crowd of students laughing and celebrating and stops at a fire, where Xander, Cordelia and Willow are warming themselves.

Xander: All I'm saying is, it's a stupid idea to have a victory party at the beach. It's officially nippy. (looks down at himself) So say my nips.

Willow: I think it's festive. A party with nature.

Cordelia: Well, it's the team's choice. It was their victory.

Xander: Team? Swim team. (chuckles) Hardly what I'd call a team. The Yankees. Abbott and Costello. The 'A'. Now, those were teams.

Cordelia: Jealous?

Xander: No. Y-yes, but 'no' more than 'yes'.

A member of the swim team staggers by with a girl under each arm.

Xander: I mean, look at that. (indicates them) Dodd McAlvy. Last month he's the freak with Jicama breath who waxes his back. He wins a few meets and suddenly inherits the cool gene?

Cordelia: Well, all I know is, my cheerleading squad wasted a lot of pep on losers. It's about time our school excelled at something.

Willow: Hmm. You're forgetting our high mortality rate.

Cordelia smiles at that.

Xander: (pumps his fist) We're number one! (looks around) Huh?

He gets a few positive responses from nearby students. The camera pans from them over to Buffy sitting by herself behind a pile of sand and staring out over the ocean with a tuned-out look on her face. After a moment another member of the swim team approaches her from behind.

Cameron: Beautiful. (stands behind her) Isn't it?

Buffy: (still staring at the ocean) Yeah. It's just so...

Cameron: Eternal. A true mother, giving birth to new life and devouring old. (sits behind her) Always adaptable and nurturing... yet... constant... and merciless.

Buffy: (looks at him) Boy. I was just gonna go with big and wet.

Cameron: (laughs) Me and some of the other guys on the team, we come out here once a week to train in it. See, we swim against the current.

Buffy: Funny. That's how I feel most of the time. (turns to him) So, Cameron Walker, you just won the state semifinals. What are you going to do next?

Cameron: I'm going to hang out with Buffy Summers. Get to know her.

Buffy: (looks down for an instant) Hey, pause that tape for a second.

Cameron: Hey. No pressure. I just like being around you. That's all.

They both look out over the ocean for a moment. Then behind them a lot of shouting and laughing starts.

Jonathon: Somebody help me!

Buffy and Cameron both turn to look. Cut into the drink tub looking up through the ice floating on the surface. Jonathon's face gets pushed into the water and shaken around. Cut to Dodd harassing him. He pulls Jonathon's head back out of the tub and holds him back by the hair.

Dodd: Come on, Jonny, you gotta hold your breath longer than that if you ever wanna make the team! Hey, somebody time him!

He shoves Jonathon's head back into the tub. Suddenly a hand appears on his shoulder and pulls him up, raising his short sleeve in the process. He has a tattoo of a mean-faced shark smoking a cigar on his upper arm.

Dodd: Hey!

Buffy: Nice tat. What, they ran out of Tweety bird?

She shoves him down to the ground. Jonathon coughs at the side of the tub.

Dodd: Hey, what's your problem?

Cameron: (chuckles) You had it coming to you, bro.

Dodd gets up and starts to confront Buffy, but Gage gets between them.

Gage: Chill, dude. A bunch of us are gonna take a little night dip down on the beach. You in?

Dodd: Whatever.

They start to go. Buffy turns her attention to Jonathon.

Buffy: Hey, let's, let's get you a towel.

Jonathon: (waves her off) No. Why don't you mind your own business? I can handle this without your help. (leaves)

Buffy: (sighs) See? It's fun to hang out with me.

Cut to Dodd and Gage walking further down the beach.

Dodd: I can't believe Buffy. Man, that girl gives me the creeps.

He lags behind a bit and then stops, staring out over the ocean as Gage continues to walk. He looks back and forth with his eyes between the ocean and Gage walking ahead of him. After a long pause he continues to walk as well.

Cut to Gage. He smells something and stops in his tracks. He takes another sniff of the rank-smelling air.

Gage: Oh! Dude! What is that foulness?

He looks behind him and sees that Dodd has disappeared.

Gage: Hey, Dodd! (looks around the other way) Dude! (gives up) Huh.

He goes on to the group of people gathered under the pier. The camera stops following him and pans up the beach. A muffled scream can be heard followed by some tearing sounds and painful moaning. Finally a deep growl is heard as the camera reaches Dodd, or at least what's left of him. It's just a pile of ripped-up clothes and torn and bloody skin steaming in the cold night air. The camera stops on his shark tattoo for a moment, then pans up to a large storm drain coming out of the hillside. A hunched-over creature walks into it.

Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 1 ~~~~~~~~~~

Computer science class at Sunnydale High School. The camera focuses on a pie chart appearing on a student's screen. Willow walks up the aisle, and the camera follows her through the classroom as she looks around at the students' work.

Willow: Okay! Good pie charts, everyone. (looks at another) Good. (looks at another) All good.

Girl: Thanks.

Willow: (continues on) Nice. (walks around another) Good. (looks at Gage's PC) Gage. Your pie chart is looking a lot like solitaire... (looks closer) with naked ladies on the cards?

Gage: (looks up at her) What's your point?

The bell rings, and Gage gets up to go.

Willow: No point.

Principal Snyder walks into the room past the leaving students. He spots Gage and stops.

Snyder: Nice work in yesterday's meet, son. Now, let's go for it. (pumps his fist)

Gage gives him an acknowledging nod and continues out of the classroom. Snyder turns his attention to Willow.

Willow: Uh, hi there, sir.

Snyder: Rosenberg. How's the class? Everything in order?

Willow: (worried) Well, actually...

Snyder: (interrupts) Great. I've been talking to the board. We've been having trouble finding a competent teacher this late in the term. Do you think you could continue subbing through finals?

Willow: (smiles) Oh! Sure! I like teaching.

Snyder: Isn't that nice. You're a team player, and I like that. A team player wants everyone on the team to succeed. Wants everyone to pass.

Willow: Well, yeah. Sure. (goes to her desk)

Snyder: (follows her) I understand there's a problem with Gage Petronzi.

He stops at one of the PC's and looks at it with his back to Willow.

Willow: Oh, good, then you know. Well, yeah. Besides the behavior problem, he won't do homework, and his test scores are...

Snyder looks up exasperated, not wanting to hear this.

Willow: Well, actually, he doesn't have any test scores because he never shows up when we have...

Snyder: (turns to her and interrupts) I'm not interested in any of that. I'm interested in why, when this school is on the brink of winning its first state championship in fifteen years, you slap a crucial member of that team with a failing mark that would force his removal. Is that how you show your school spirit?

Willow: (flustered) Yes. Well, I mean... no. I'm just trying to grade fairly.

Snyder: Gage is a champion. He's under more pressure than the other students. And I think we need to cut him some slack.

He starts to leave the classroom. Willow considers his words for a moment.

Willow: You're asking me to change his grade? (faces him)

Snyder: (stops and turns back) I never said any such thing. (steps over to her) All I'm suggesting is... that you recheck your figures, and I think we'll find a grade more fitting to an athlete of Gage's stature. Perhaps something in a 'D'.

He turns and leaves. Willow is unsure of how to deal with what he just told her.

Cut to the halls. Xander, Cordelia and Willow come down the stairs and walk down the hall.

Xander: Just like that? He actually told you to alter his grade?

Willow: Exactly. Except for actually telling me to. But he made it perfectly clear of what he wasn't telling me.

Xander: That is wrong, a big, fat, spanking wrong. It's a slap in the face to every one of us who studied hard and worked long hours to *earn* our D's.

Cordelia: Xander, I know you take pride in being the voice of the common wuss, but the truth is, certain people are entitled to special privileges. They're called winners. That's the way the world works.

Xander: And what about that nutty 'all men are created equal' thing?

Cordelia: Propaganda spouted out by the ugly and less deserving.

Xander: I think that was Lincoln.

Cordelia: (exhales) Disgusting mole and stupid hat.

Willow: Actually, it was Jefferson.

Cordelia: Kept slaves. Remember?

Xander: You know what really grates my cheese? That Buffy's not here to share my moral outrage about swim team perks.

Cut to Cameron's Mustang pulling up to the school. Buffy is in the passenger's seat.

Xander: She's too busy being one of them.

Cameron: I don't know, a dolphin. A dolphin in the ocean. Because, you know, when I'm in the vastness of the ocean, it's... (they pull to a stop) it's like I'm never alone.

He turns off the engine and leans against his door to face Buffy. She leans her elbow against her door with her head propped up on her hand.

Cameron: You ever hear of a woman named Gertrude Ederle?

Buffy: No. No, I can't say that I have, Cam.

Cameron: First woman to swim the English Channel. (Buffy nods slowly, bored) Same thing. I mean, she would talk to it. I mean, she'd carry on entire conversations with it. Sometimes I do that. I mean, once I was out in...

Buffy: (sits up) You know what, Cam? Thanks. I'd forgotten how nice it is to just talk, or, in my case, listen, without any romantic pressure.

Cameron: Hey... I'm not about pressure. I just want you to be comfortable.

Buffy: (smiles) I'm comfy! I'm so comfy, I'm nodding off actually, which is why...

Cameron: (interrupts) Are you wearing a bra? (looks at her suggestively)

Buffy: (in disbelief) What?

Cameron: (grins) Come on. I mean, tell me you haven't been thinking about this ever since last night.

Buffy: What I'm thinking about is that I should probably get out of this car...

She reaches for the door lever, but Cameron quickly hits the master lock button, locking her in.

Cameron: Relax. I'm not gonna hurt you.

Buffy: Oh, it's not me I'm worried about.

Cameron: (snickers) You like it rough!

He reaches over to put his arm around her, and she grabs it and pulls him down toward her.

Cameron: Ow!

With her other hand she grabs the back of his neck and jerks him up.

Cameron: Oh!

She smashes his head into the steering wheel. The horn honks.

Cameron: Oh!

He sits up and holds his nose in pain.

Cameron: Ah!

Buffy notices Principal Snyder outside of the car. He walks up to the front and looks in through the windshield at her.

Cameron: Oh, you broke my nose!

Buffy cringes at the sight of Principal Snyder.

Cameron: Ah!

Snyder raises his hand and motions with his finger for her to come with him. Cameron groans in pain.

Cut to Nurse Greenleigh's office. She slams a cold pack onto a table to start the chemical reaction and kneads it a little before holding it up to Cameron's nose and gently laying it on.

Cameron: Ow!

He takes hold of it, and the nurse leaves him alone. The camera pans over to Buffy.

Buffy: I wasn't the attacker, Principal Snyder. I was the attacked.

Snyder: That's not how it looked from where I was standing.

Cameron: I don't know what happened. I mean, first she leads me on, then she goes schizo on me.

Buffy: (steps over to him) Lead you on? When did I lead you on?

Cameron: Oh, come on. (to Snyder) I mean, look at the way she dresses.

She looks down at herself. The door opens, and the swim team coach, Carl Marin, comes in. Buffy steps back and leans against a table.

Snyder: Coach.

Coach Marin: How we doing, Cameron? (goes to him)

Snyder: (follows) Coach Marin, how bad does it look?

Coach Marin: Well, luckily, it's not broken, but sure as hell it's gonna sting for a few days.

Snyder: (leads the coach away from Cam) I mean our chances of winning the state championship.

Coach Marin: Oh.

Snyder: Can we still do it?

Coach Marin: I'm gonna need Cameron back at a hundred and ten percent. Uh, he's my best swimmer, now with Dodd, uh...

Buffy: What happened to Dodd?

Snyder: That's none of your concern. You'd better hope that boy's nose heals before the meet this Friday.

Coach Marin: (goes to Cam) Walker, I want you to hit the steam room as soon as you're done here and try to keep those sinuses clear. (to the nurse) Take care of my boy, Ruthie.

Nurse Greenleigh: I always do.

Coach Marin: (steps over to Buffy) And you... try to dress more appropriately from now on. This isn't a dance club.

He leaves the office. Snyder gives Buffy a look and follows the coach out. Cameron looks over at her and grins.

Cut to the library. Buffy stands between the cage and the table and talks toward the table behind the camera.

Buffy: So I'm treated like the baddie just because he has a sprained wrist and a bloody nose. (considers) And I don't have a scratch on me, which, granted, hurts my case a little on the surface, but meanwhile he gets away with it because he's on the 'aren't we the most' swim team...

The camera cuts to show Xander, Giles and Willow studying a number of books at the table. They all look up at her.

Buffy: ...who, by the way, if no one's noticed, have been acting like real jerks lately...

She notices their expressions of impatience and tries to find some sympathy there. They have none to give.

Buffy: So, (giggles nervously) anything new with you guys? (sits)

Giles: Thank you for taking an interest. Apparently, some remains were found on the beach this morning. Some human remains.

Willow: Dodd McAlvy's remains.

Buffy: Vampire?

Giles: No. No, he was eviscerated. Nothing left but skin and cartilage.

Xander: In other words, this was no boating accident.

Buffy: So something ripped him open and ate out his insides?

Willow: Like an Oreo Cookie. (Xander shoots her a look) Well, except for, you know, without the chocolatey *cookie* goodness.

Giles: Yes. Um, Principal Snyder has, has asked the faculty to keep the news quiet for now, um, so as not to unduly upset the students.

Xander: For 'students': read 'swim team'.

Willow: So, we're looking for a beastie.

Giles: That, uh, eats humans whole... except for the skin. (looks into his book)

Buffy: This doesn't make any sense.

Xander: Yeah. The skin's the best part.

Buffy: Any demons with high cholesterol?

Giles slowly turns to her and gives her a look.

Buffy: (points at Giles) You're gonna think about that later, mister, and you're gonna laugh.

Cut to the steam room in the boy's locker room. Cameron sits in it alone. Cut to another view of the locker room. The camera pans around it. The place is deserted. Cut to the steam room. Cameron feels his nose and groans. Cut to the locker room. The camera slowly moves through it and looks around. Cut to the steam room. Cameron hears a noise and looks up and around. Cut to the locker room. The camera has reached the steam room. On the adjacent lockers a shadow can be seen approaching the door. Cut inside the steam room. Cameron ignores the noise and goes back to relaxing. Suddenly the door to the room opens, and he looks up startled and sees the coach come in.

Coach Marin: Okay, son, I think you've had enough. Time to hit the shower. (walks off)

Cut to the student lounge. Xander walks down the hall counting out change in his hand.

Xander: Too much research. Need beverage.

He walks through the doors to the lounge area and is practically run over by Cameron coming down the other hall at a fast pace, knocking Xander's change onto the floor.

Cameron: Hey! Watch it.

Xander: Oh, forgive me, your Swim Teamliness.

He makes a bowing gesture as he bends down to pick up his change. Cameron turns to go.

Cameron: Loser.

Xander: Likin' the nose, Cam. Good look for you. (stands back up)

Cameron: Meaning what? (faces Xander)

Xander: (steps over to Cam) Meaning Buffy must not be on your list of privileges after all. (chuckles while Cam crosses his arms) Man, I love it when you guys mess with her.

Cameron: (shakes his head) You're lucky I'm hungry.

Xander: (in mock sympathy) Oh, the cafeteria's closed.

Cameron: Not to me. (leaves)

Xander guffaws as he watches him go.

Cut to the cafeteria. The camera pans past the empty steam table. Cameron walks in the door and starts toward the kitchen. Halfway through the dining area he stops and sniffs the air.

Cameron: God, what is that?

Cut to the hall. Xander stands in front of the vending machine and contemplates his choice of beverage, pointing at the buttons on the front panel.

Xander: Grape, orange. Orange, grape.

Suddenly he hears screaming and loud crashing noises coming from the cafeteria and turns to look, then starts to run.

Cut to the cafeteria. Xander comes rushing in. He slowly walks through while looking around. The place is a shambles, with tables and chairs knocked over everywhere. He sniffs the air and looks down as he passes a table. There he sees Cameron's remains, just a pile of torn clothes and steaming skin.

Xander: Oh, my God.

He puts his hand over his mouth in shock and fights back his urge to vomit. He straightens back up and turns to go. Standing there blocking his way is a dark green humanoid sea monster with catfish whiskers, sharp teeth and three scaly ridges across the top of its head, roaring loudly. Xander screams and backs away.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 ~~~~~~~~~~

The library. Xander is standing behind Cordelia sitting at the table and watches her sketch the monster he saw.

Xander: No, no, no! The mouth's a lot bigger! And downward. Like this.

She looks at him make a face with the corners of his mouth turned down, and she sighs.

Xander: With more teeth!

She's had enough. She puts the sketchpad down, gets up and goes over to Giles at the counter.

Cordelia: I'm doing the best I can.

Giles takes off his glasses and looks up from his book over at Xander.

Giles: Is that what you saw, Xander?

Xander: (picks up and looks at the sketch) Y... yeah! (considers) I think so. (considers some more) Pretty much.

Giles: Aaaaare you sure?

Cordelia faces Xander and crosses her arms.

Xander: Well, it was dark! And the thing went through the window so quick, and I was a... little shocked when I saw it, and...

Cordelia: Go ahead. Say it. You ran like a woman. (grins)

Xander: Hey, if you saw this thing, you'd run like a woman, too.

Willow and Buffy come into the library and head for the counter.

Willow: Buffy was right. According to the statistics, Dodd and Cameron were the best swimmers on the team. (hands Giles the figures)

Buffy: First and second, actually. Which means if my theory's correct, Gage Petronzi, the third-best swimmer on the team, would be the next item on the menu.

Cordelia: God, this is so sad. We're never gonna win the state championship. I think I've lost all will to cheerlead.

Xander: (goes to the counter) Raise your hand if you feel her pain.

Cordelia gives him a disgusted look.

Giles: If you're saying these killings aren't random, it would suggest someone's out for revenge.

Buffy: And raise the possibility that someone brought forth this sea monster from whence it came to exact that revenge. (reconsiders her words) 'From whence it came'? (Willow smiles) (to Giles) I'm spending *way* too much time around you.

Xander: Who would hate the swim team that much, though? (gets looks from Buffy and Cordelia) Besides me, I mean.

Willow: (raises her hand) Ooo!

Buffy: Willow?

Willow: Jonathon! He was bullied by Dodd the other day on the beach, remember?

Buffy: He did say he could take care of things himself. It's a good call. You should question him.

Willow: (smiles) Really? Me? (menacingly) I'll crack him like an egg.

Giles: Meanwhile, I think, uh, swimmer number three might benefit from your... watchful eye and protection. Discreetly, of course.

Buffy: I'm on it. (leaves)

Xander: What about me? What can I do?

Cordelia: Well, you could go out to the parking lot and practice running like a man.

Xander hugs his arms around himself to protect against the sting of her words.

Cut to the student lounge. Gage is sitting and playing with his GameBoy on one of the couches with his feet up on the table. The camera pulls back until Buffy is also in view, sitting in a chair and watching him while pretending to read a magazine. Gage can feel her eyes on him and shoots her a glance. Buffy quickly jerks her head back to stare into her magazine. Gage shakes the feeling off and goes back to his GameBoy. Buffy slowly turns her head to watch him again.

Cut to Willow's classroom. Jonathon is sitting in a chair at the front of the room. Willow aims a reading lamp at him. The camera pans from it up to her face, determined to get what she wants out of him.

Willow: So, Jonathon. (crosses her arms) You tried out for the swim team twice and never made it?

Jonathon: (fidgets) I'm asthmatic. I couldn't keep up.

Willow: You resented it, didn't you?

Jonathon: Maybe.

Willow: (approaches him) You hated being pushed around by Dodd and the others.

Jonathon: So?

Willow: (walks around to his other side) So, you wanted revenge. Didn't you? (leans in suddenly) (sternly) Didn't you?!

Jonathon: (nervously) Yeah! Okay? I did!

Willow: (smiles and straightens back up) So... You delved into the black arts and conjured up a hellbeast from the ocean's depths to wreak your vengeance.

Jonathon: Huh?

Willow: Didn't you?

Jonathon: (confused) What? No! I snuck in yesterday and... peed in the pool.

Willow: (disappointed) Oh. (disgusted) Eww!

He looks down in shame.

Cut to the halls. Principal Snyder and Coach Marin walk in from outside and walk into the student lounge.

Coach Marin: This is such a blow. Sooner or later, the rest of my boys are gonna find out. How can I ask them to swim?

Snyder: (quietly) It's a terrible, terrible tragedy. We all feel your pain, coach. I don't know two finer boys than Cameron and... that other one. (they stop) But I know they'd want their friends to go on and win that state championship. It's time to think about the team.

Coach Marin: Well, I don't have a complete team as it is. If we don't find someone by this afternoon's tryouts, we won't be eligible to compete.

Snyder: You'll find someone. (they continue) All he has to do is wear a bathing suit, right?

The camera follows them for a moment and then stops on Xander. He overheard, and he looks back and watches them go.

Cut to the Bronze. There's a DJ tonight and no cover charge. People come and go. Cut inside. The DJ is playing "If You'd Listen", by Nero's Rome. Buffy is at the bar sucking on a drink and watching Gage at a pool table practicing shots by himself.

Lyrics: If you'd listen, we wouldn't have to go through this

Gage takes a shot and makes it. He walks around the table for his next one.

Lyrics: If you'd just let me finish / Stop cuttin' and jumpin' ahead

Gage bends down and makes his next shot.

Lyrics: Yeah, if you'd just shut your pretty mouth / You'd save yourself some tears

Buffy is bored at the bar, and gets up. She looks around nonchalantly and walks closer to the table, then gets behind a pillar and peeks out from behind it at Gage. Her change of position is not lost on Gage, and he stiffens up, frustrated at being watched so closely. He shoots her a look, and she quickly looks away. Gage has had enough. He puts down his pool cue and walks around behind the pillar.

Lyrics: You came back from the bathroom

Buffy peeks back at the pool table and sees he's gone. She steps around to the other side of the pillar to look around and practically runs into Gage.

Lyrics: With somethin' on your shoe

She steps back over to the pool table side of the pillar, and Gage follows her around the other way and leans against it.

Lyrics: Yeah, draggin' it behind you

Gage: This me-and-my-shadow act? It's getting old. What do you want from me?

Lyrics: Lookin' kinda foolish

Buffy: Well, um... (exhales nervously) It's a little embarrassing. You see, I'm a swim groupie.

Gage: (unconvinced) Aha.

Buffy: Oh, yeah. (smiles and exhales) You know, there's just something about the smell of chlorine on a guy. Oh, baby.

Gage: (disbelieving) Hmm. (turns to go)

Buffy: (runs around him) Uh, okay, okay, okay. (stops him) Obviously, my sex appeal is on the fritz today, so I'll just give it to you straight. There's something lurking out there, and it's making fillets of the populace, and I think you might be next.

Gage: Uh-huh. And you think that because?

Buffy: Well, it's already attacked. It's already killed some people.

Gage: You're one twisted sister, you know that? Cam told me about your games. Go find someone else to harass.

He bumps her as he walks past her and out of the Bronze. Buffy sighs and looks down in defeat.

Cut outside the Bronze. Gage comes striding out.

Gage: What a psycho bitch, man.

Angelus comes out from behind a pile of crates.

Angelus: Gotta be talking about Buffy.

Gage: (stops and faces him) How'd you know?

Angelus: Uh, she and I... had this thing once. Biggest mistake of my life.

Gage: Yeah. My condolences, dude. (turns and goes)

Angelus: (follows) She's a real head-tripper.

Gage: Tell me about it. Girl acts like she's God's gift or something.

Angelus: Who is she? The Chosen One?

Gage: Exactly.

Angelus: You know, what she really needs is for someone to really knock her down off her notches.

Gage: Yeah, that'd be sweet. Anyone in mind?

Angelus: You're in luck, my friend.

Gage turns to look at Angelus and sees that he has disappeared.

Angelus: Just so happens...

Gage turns back quickly and sees Angelus standing there in front of him in his game face.

Angelus: ...I'm recruiting.

Gage looks horrified as Angelus grabs him and bites his neck.

Gage: No!

Buffy strolls out of the Bronze and hears Gage's screams.

Gage: Ah! Somebody! Help! Ah! Help! Ah! Ah! Get him off me! Help! Ah!

She rushes to his aid. Cut to Angelus. He drops Gage and begins to spit out his blood. He wipes his mouth and spits some more. Buffy comes running around the corner, and just as he looks up she does a roundhouse kick to his face. He isn't fazed, and just looks at her. She pulls out the stick holding her hair up and holds it ready to stake him as her hair falls down around her face.

Angelus: Why, Miss Summers! You're beautiful!

He quickly bends down, picks Gage up and throws him at her, knocking her to the pavement. He spits a few more times and leaves smiling.

Buffy scrambles to her feet and watches him go. Gage gets up also and rubs his neck.

Gage: Oh. Was that the thing that killed Cameron?

Buffy: No. That was something else.

Gage: (confused) S-something else?

Buffy: Yeah. Unfortunately, we have a lot of something elses in this town. Good night. (goes)

Gage looks back and forth between Buffy and the direction Angelus went.

Gage: Hey!

Buffy stops and looks back at him. He goes over to her.

Gage: (laughs nervously) Walk me home?

She motions for him to follow, and they leave.

Cut to the pool at Sunnydale High School. Six members of the swim team are on the blocks ready to start a heat.

Coach Marin: Swimmers! Take position!

They all bend down to dive in. The coach blows his whistle, and they're off. He walks along the edge of the pool past the stands as they swim. Willow, Buffy and Cordelia are watching from the stands. In the middle of the pool Gage stops, stands up and lifts off his goggles.

Coach Marin: Keep the stroking up. Alright. Keep it going, keep it going all the way to the end. All the way to the end. Breathe deep.

Gage sees Buffy in the stands and waves to her. The coach blows his whistle. Buffy waves back to Gage discreetly, but Willow notices and gives her a smile. Buffy looks back at her with a smile.

Coach Marin: Gage! You with us or not? (Gage swims off) C'mon, let's go!

Cordelia: (to Buffy) So he spit it out? I thought Angel liked blood.

Buffy: He used to.

Willow: Maybe his eyes were too big for his stomach.

Buffy: Or maybe there was something in Gage's blood that Angel didn't like. Say, for example, steroids.

Willow: That would explain all their behavioral changes.

Cordelia: And their winning streak.

Willow: So maybe whatever's in their blood is what's attracting this creature to them.

Buffy: Any luck researching our fish monster?

Cordelia: Zippo. We couldn't find any sea demon that matched the description that Xander gave us. Not that Chicken Little's much of a witness, but...

Her eye is caught by a swimmer coming out of the locker room.

Cordelia: Oh.

The camera cuts to a shot of the swimmer's knees and pans up along his athletic legs, past his crimson Speedo's and tight abs and up to his hairless chest.

Cordelia: Oh! Oh, my! Now, that, girls, is my kind of...

The camera reaches the swimmer's face.

Willow: Xander? (stares in wide-eyed shock)

Cordelia: (shocked) Xander?!

When he hears their voices he scrambles over to a pile of kickboards, grabs the one off the top and hides himself behind it. The girls all get up and come down from the stands. Xander scrambles over to them.

Cordelia: What the hell are you doing here?

Xander: Shh! I'm undercover.

Buffy: Not under much. (grins)

Cordelia: Get out of here before someone sees you impersonating a member of the swim team!

Xander: I don't do impersonations. I tried out for the team last night. I made it.

Cordelia: (intrigued) Really?

Xander: Yeah. I figured I can keep an eye on Gage and the others when Buffy can't.

Willow: (eyes wide) When you're nude? (gets a nudge from Buffy) I-I meant to say 'changing'.

Coach Marin: Harris! You can flirt on your own time!

Xander: Okey-dokey, coachie.

He backs away and goes to join the rest of the team, covering his butt with his free hand. He lamely tosses the kickboard back onto the pile, but it just falls off. He reaches the others and listens in on what the assistant swim coach is saying.

Cordelia: (smiles proudly) I'm dating a swimmer from the Sunnydale swim team!

Buffy: You can die happy.

She and Willow watch as Xander gets up on a starting block and puts on his swim cap.

Buffy: (to Willow) What about Jonathon? Is he involved?

Willow: Oh, no. He just... sort of... peed in the pool.

Buffy: Oh.

The girls look back at Xander to watch as he dives in. His dive is a bit sloppy, but not at all bad. The girls all look on in wide-eyed shock as they realize what he just dove into.

Buffy: (cringes) Oh!

Cut to the steam room after practice. The camera looks in through the window from the locker room. Xander joins the others and finds an available spot.

Xander: Don't you guys get claustrophobic in here? (sits) I mean, what's the deal? You perspire a lot. You can't breathe. O-or read. I mean, I guess you could, but the pages would probably get all wet.

The camera pans down from the window to a grate in the floor of the locker room. Several green, clawed fingers poke through and lift up the grating.

Cut to the halls outside of the locker room. Buffy waits for Xander and Gage to come out. She leans against the wall and exhales. A moment later Xander comes out with a towel over his head, rubbing his hair dry.

Xander: You gotta love this undercover deal. Twenty minutes in a hot room with a bunch of sweaty guys...

Buffy: Where's Gage?

Xander: I don't know. He was right behind me, putting his sneakers on. But it's not the Velcro kind, so give him a couple of extra minutes. (taps her on the shoulder) Tag. You're it. (leaves)

Buffy sighs and resigns herself to waiting.

Cut to the locker room. Gage is tying his shoes on a changing bench. He sniffs, smelling something foul. He sniffs at his own armpits to see if it isn't himself he smells. It's not, and he gets up to investigate. He walks through the locker room looking around, passing the steam room and the whirlpool bath. The smell gets stronger as he goes down a row of lockers. He sniffs deeply outside of one and opens it.

Cut to the hall. Buffy is still waiting for Gage to come out. Suddenly she hears him scream.

Gage: OH, MY GOD!

She wastes no time running into the locker room.

Cut to the locker room. One of the monsters stands before Gage. It roars as he screams.

Gage: Help me! Help me! Ah! Help me!

Buffy comes rushing in and pushes the terrified Gage away from the monster. The creature roars, and Buffy confronts it with a look of disgust, but it just stands there and doesn't move to attack her. Behind her Gage has collapsed to the floor and continues to scream, not in fear anymore but instead in agony, and writhes on the floor in pain. Buffy looks back at Gage, concerned.

Buffy: Gage?

He reaches out to her for help, but can't get up and continues to convulse. Buffy takes a step closer, but then stops and stares at him in shock. He has managed to get to his knees and pulls open his shirt. Then he grabs at his chest and begins to tear open his skin. Beneath is the chest of another monster. Gage holds up his hand and watches as the skin tears along the back and a green, clawed hand emerges. Buffy takes a quick look behind her at the other monster, but it's not advancing, so she turns back to Gage and continues to watch, dumbfounded. The monster that was Gage now stands up, and what's left of Gage's clothes and skin fall away from him. Buffy stares up at it in horror and starts to back off. It roars, advances on her and takes a swipe at her with its sharp claws. The first monster advances on her from behind now, and she finds herself trapped between them.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 3 ~~~~~~~~~~

The boys' locker room. Buffy is trapped between the two sea creatures. She does a roundhouse kick to the one behind her and uses her angular momentum to follow up with a high kick to the other one, knocking it to the floor. She grabs a trashcan and throws it at the first one, but it just deflects the can. Buffy grabs a mop leaning against the wall and thrusts it at the second monster as it gets up, spins around with it to hit the first one in the face, knocking it down, and then jabs the other one again in the side. It is momentarily stunned, and Buffy follows up with another swing of the mop to its back and a kick to its chest, making it fall to the floor. The first creature is back up, grabs Buffy from behind, turns her around and sinks its sharp teeth deeply into her arm. She screams out in pain. The monster shoves her away into a bank of lockers, and she falls to the floor. Coach Marin suddenly appears and quickly helps her to her feet. The two monsters give up the fight and launch themselves across the floor and slide one after the other into the still-open grate.

Cut to the school nurse's office. She finishes bandaging Buffy's arm. Giles and the coach are standing behind her by the window.

Nurse Greenleigh: I don't think that this is going to need stitches, but you might wanna have your family physician take a look at it. (walks off)

Giles: (approaches Buffy) How are you?

Buffy: I'm definitely feeling the burn.

Giles: (to Coach Marin) Well, the, uh, good news is that it would appear that none of your team actually died.

Buffy: But the bad news is... they're monsters.

Coach Marin: How could this happen?

Giles: Are you saying you don't know?

Coach Marin: Well, you work so hard, you start to win suddenly. You think it's just you. You're inspiring the boys to greatness. But in the back of your mind, you start to wonder.

Giles: You never asked any of the boys if they were taking anything?

Coach Marin: Maybe I was afraid to.

Buffy and Giles exchange a look.

Cut to Willow's classroom. She, Buffy and Xander are at the computer surfing through the school medical files.

Buffy: There.

Willow: Dodd McAlvy: torn tendon. Gage Petronzi: fractured wrist, depression, headaches.

Buffy: It's all there in the school medical records.

Willow: All symptomatic of steroid abuse.

Xander: But is steroid abuse usually linked with, 'hey, I'm a fish'?

Willow: There must be something else in the mix. But the point is, these boys were obviously drugged.

Buffy: And Nurse Greenleigh treated every one of them. She must have known.

Willow: If steroids are that dangerous, why would they do that to themselves?

Buffy: They needed to win. And winning equals trophies, which equals prestige for the school. You see how they're treated. It's been like that forever.

Xander: Sure. The discus throwers got the best seats at all the crucifixions.

Buffy: Meanwhile, I'm breaking my nails every day battling the forces of evil, and my French teacher can't even remember my name.

Xander: So what's the drill? Get Nurse Greenleigh?

Willow: (stands up) (sternly) Let's throw the book at her!

Buffy: She probably went home for the day. I think it can wait. Xander, why don't you see if you can find out what these boys are taking, or at least how they're taking it? Powders, pills, syringe?

Xander: I'm Lookin'-Around Guy.

Willow: What about you?

Buffy: Giles loaded up the tranquilizer gun. We're going fishing.

Cut to the sewers. It's dark and very wet. Buffy comes around a corner with a flashlight, scanning as she goes. Behind her Giles follows with his dart gun held ready. They hear a noise ahead of them, and Giles raises the gun to take aim. Buffy shines the flashlight, and they see it was only a rat. She puts her hand on his arm to stop him, and he lowers the rifle. They continue on and come to an intersection in the tunnels. Buffy shines her light down one of them, and gestures to Giles that they should go that way. She takes another quick look in the other directions and begins down the adjacent tunnel. Giles looks around again also, and then follows Buffy. They both walk down past the camera, then it focuses on the tunnel opposite the direction they came, and one of the creatures pokes its head around the corner to watch them as they go around a corner further down the tunnel.

Cut to the boys' steam room. The entire swim team is relaxing in the fog.

Xander: I feel good! Lovin' the swimmin'. Had some carrot juice this morning... A little wheat germ mixed in with it. Woke me right up. Nothin' like it, huh? Breakfast of state champions. You betcha. Okay. So... when do we get our next dose?

Sean: What do you mean?

Xander: Who's carrying? I need a little something to improve my performance. Give me an edge. Rrr! (chuckles)

Sean just looks away.

Xander: The steroids. Where are they?

Sean: (chuckles) You're soakin' in it, bud.

Xander: Huh?

Sean: (inhales deeply and exhales) Aromatherapy. It's in the steam.

Xander gives him a stunned look.

Cut to the pool. The nurse follows the coach at a brisk pace.

Nurse Greenleigh: This has *got* to stop, Carl. Those poor children.

Coach Marin: What, are you a quitter? We got no room for quitters on *this* team.

Nurse Greenleigh: Do you even understand what's happening? Listen to yourself.

Coach Marin: I'm very close to perfecting this. We just need to adjust the mix.

They head down some stairs to the pool equipment room below.

Nurse Greenleigh: Carl. You can't be thinking of continuing to expose these boys.

Coach Marin: They're gonna be the best. I don't accept anything less.

Nurse Greenleigh: They're gonna be monsters. Carl, please. Don't make it any worse. You've already lost three.

The coach stops and looks at the nurse.

Coach Marin: Lost? Why, they're not lost.

He grabs her by the arms, pulls her around and shoves her down into a hole to a pool of water in the sewers below. She screams as she falls. The water is not deep, and she quickly gets to her feet, wipes the water from her eyes and looks up at him through the hole.

Nurse Greenleigh: Carl! What are you doing?!

Coach Marin: I'm just lookin' after my boys. They may be out of the game right now, but they're still a team. And a team's gotta eat.

He lifts the grating back into place.

Nurse Greenleigh: Carl!

Coach Marin: You quitter.

He stands there to watch. Nurse Greenleigh looks around and begins to panic. Suddenly she screams and gets pulled under the water.

~~~~~~~~~~ Part 4 ~~~~~~~~~~

The library. Xander paces. Giles gets up from cleaning his glasses and heads for the table, where Willow and Buffy are sitting. Cordelia is on the stairs to the mezzanine level behind the table.

Giles: They're absorbing the steroid mixture through the steam.

Xander: (follows him) Not they. We. Me! We have to find an antidote, don't you think? The clock is ticking, people!

Buffy: I wouldn't break out the tartar sauce just yet. I mean, it's not like you were exposed more than once. (gets a worried look from Xander) Twice?

Xander: Three times a Fish Guy. (crosses his arms)

Buffy and Willow: Oh...

Cordelia: Whoa.

Xander: What am I gonna do?

Cordelia: You, you, you. What about me? It's one thing to be dating the lame unpopular guy, but it's another to be dating the creature from the Blue Lagoon.

Xander: (paces over to her) Black Lagoon. The creature from the Blue Lagoon was Brooke Shields. And thank you *so* much for your support! (sits by her)

Buffy: (quietly to Giles and Willow) I think we'd better find the rest of the swim team and lock them up before they get in touch with their inner halibut.

Giles: Yes. Yes, good. Uh, we also need to know exactly what's in this, this steroid gas so that the hospital's toxicology lab can develop an antidote.

Willow: (stands up) Well, I'll talk to Nurse Greenleigh.

Buffy: You're really getting into this interrogation thing.

Willow: The trick is not to leave any marks. (leaves)

Buffy: (gets up) On that note, I think I'm gonna go have a little talk with our coach. Somehow, I doubt all he's been giving these boys is inspiration. (leaves)

Cut to the pool equipment room. The coach leads Buffy to the same hole through which he shoved Nurse Greenleigh.

Coach Marin: You got some imagination, missy.

Buffy: Oh, well right now, I'm imagining you in jail. You're wearing a big, orange suit, and, oh, look, the guards are beating you up.

Coach Marin: You don't have any proof.

Buffy: (stops following) (sternly) Tell me what's in the steam.

Coach Marin: (faces her) After the fall of the Soviet Union, documents came into light detailing experiments with fish DNA on their Olympic swimmers. Tarpon... mako, shark... But they couldn't crack it.

Buffy: And you did... sort of. Why?

Coach Marin: What kind of question is that? For the win! To make my team the best they could be! Do you understand we have a shot at the state championship?

Buffy: Do you understand that I don't care? It's over. There's not gonna be any swim team.

Coach Marin: Boy, when they were handin' out school spirit, you didn't even stand in line, did you?

Buffy: No. I was in the line for shred of sanity.

The coach reaches into the desk behind him and pulls out a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol. He pulls back the hammer and points the gun at Buffy.

Buffy: Which you obviously skipped.

Coach Marin: Get in the hole! (indicates with the gun)

Buffy looks down at the hole and back up at the coach.

Coach Marin: In! Now!

She sits down on the edge with her legs dangling in and looks up at him.

Buffy: This isn't over.

Coach Marin: In!

She gives him one last look and drops herself into the water below. It's about a fifteen-foot drop, so she submerges completely and comes back up soaked through and wiping the water from her eyes. She looks up at the coach leaning over the hole.

Coach Marin: You think I don't care about my boys. But I do. They count on me.

Buffy understands now, and looks around for the monsters. When she turns back around she screams at the sight of what's left of Nurse Greenleigh's body as it floats by. She looks back up at the coach.

Buffy: So, what, you're just gonna feed me to 'em?

Coach Marin: Oh, they've already had their dinner. But boys have other needs.

Cut to the pool. Xander and Cordelia come walking in looking for other members of the swim team. Xander is rubbing his neck, expecting to find gills growing there.

Cordelia: No one. Willow and Giles must've rounded up the rest of the swim team.

Xander: Does my neck look scaly to you?

Cordelia: Well, of course it looks scaly, the way you've been rubbing it dry like an idiot.

Xander: I need to look in a mirror. Wait here. But feel free to come in if you hear me scream.

He runs off into the locker room. Cordelia keeps walking around the pool. She hears a door close and glances behind her, but sees no one. She continues along the side of the pool. She hears a door open, and assumes it's Xander.

Cordelia: Any gills yet?

Behind her a creature comes in and jumps into the pool. She looks into the pool, but at first can't make out the monster because of the splash on the surface.

Cordelia: Xander, what are you doing? (giggles) Xander?

The creature swims beyond the splash, and Cordelia can see it clearly now.

Cordelia: Oh, my God! Xander!

She walks along the edge of the pool, following the monster as it swims under water.

Cordelia: (very upset) It's me, Cordelia? I know you can't answer me, but... God, this is all my fault. You joined the swim team to impress me. You were so courageous. And you looked really hot in those Speedo's. (chuckles) And I want you to know that I still care about you, no matter what you look like. And... and we can still date. Or, or not. I mean... I understand if you wanna see other fish. (crouches by the edge) I'll do everything I can to make your quality of life better. Whether that means little bath toys or whatever.

Xander walks up behind her.

Xander: Uh, Cordy?

Cordelia spins around quickly, startled, and draws a frightened breath.

Xander: (points into the pool) That's not me.

They both look at the creature. It suddenly makes a lunge for them from the water, and Cordelia screams. Xander pulls her up and away, and they run from the pool area.

Cordelia: Oh, my God!

Cut to the library. Giles leads the other swim team members into the cage.

Giles: I-in you go.

They are all a bit confused, but obey none the less.

Giles: Stay calm, chaps. (closed the door) Either we'll find an effective antidote, or, or, uh... S-stay calm. (goes to Willow)

Willow: Everyone's accounted for except Sean.

Xander and Cordelia come into the library.

Cordelia: I think we can safely say we've found Sean. He was in the pool skinless-dipping.

Xander: Where's Buffy?

Willow: She hasn't come back yet.

Cut to the sewers. The camera pans around the pool of water. One of the monsters pokes its head out of the water behind a pillar and observes Buffy. The camera continues until it stops on her.

Buffy: Great. This is just what my reputation needs: that I did it with the entire swim team.

Another one of the creatures pokes its head up to look at Buffy. She makes a tentative jump to see about getting out of there. She hears them growl, and looks around. The one by the pillar submerges again and begins to swim. Buffy looks into the water to try to see where they are. Cut underwater. One of them swims right past her legs. She sees its head emerge further away from her, and draws a frightened breath.

Cut to the pool equipment room. Xander walks in and spots the coach leaning over the hole and gloating.

Xander: What's up, coach?

Coach Marin: (looks back, startled) Oh! Harris. Uh... (stands up) how you feelin'?

Xander: Little dry. Nothing a lemon butter sauce won't cure.

They both chuckle nervously.

Xander: Where's Buffy?

The coach's eyes focus on his gun laying on a barrel just behind Xander.

Cut to below. Buffy keeps looking for the sea monsters. One suddenly rises up behind her and lunges at her. She quickly grabs it and throws it aside. Another one comes for her, and she deflects it into the wall, but loses her balance and falls underwater. One grabs her leg, and she kicks out. She grabs it and throws it off of her. Standing again, she grabs another one's arm as it attacks her and flips it over into the wall.

Cut above. Coach Marin makes a grab for his gun, but Xander grabs his arm, pounds it into the barrel and makes him drop it. He elbows the coach in the face, who falls over unconscious.

Cut below. Buffy knocks and flips the monsters away as they each come for her in turn. Soon they've had enough, and the three of them surround her and slowly close in.

Cut above. Xander steps over to the hole and looks down. When he sees what's going on below he quickly lies down and reaches into the hole with his arm.

Xander: Buffy, hurry! Your hand!

Buffy looks up and sees him there. She takes a breath, crouches down into the water and leaps up the ten feet to grab Xander's hand.

Xander: Hold on!

He starts to pull for all he's worth. Below the creatures paw at Buffy's legs, trying to pull her back down. Two of them grab hold, and she kicks and flails to shake them off. The monsters can't keep hold of her, and fall into the water.

Buffy: Pull!

Xander: Hold on!

He pulls again, but he's not as strong as he thinks and it goes slowly. One of the monsters leaps up and grabs Buffy's leg again. She kicks it with her free leg and it goes tumbling down. Xander pulls again as Buffy raises her legs up out of the creature's reach. Slowly she emerges from the hole and climbs onto the floor, coughing and panting.

Buffy: Thanks.

Xander: Just doin' my part for our team.

Behind him the coach has regained consciousness, and hits Xander across the back with a large pipe wrench.

Buffy: Oh!

He starts to take a swing at Buffy with it, too, but she ducks away and trips him with her leg. He falls and screams as he rolls into the hole. Buffy reacts fast and grabs his ankle.

Coach Marin: Don't let go! Don't let go of me! Hold me!

Buffy can't maintain her grip, and he falls into the water below. The coach stands up in the water, shaking it out of his face and coughing.

Buffy: (reaches down) Grab my hand!

He's too busy being worried about his sea monsters surrounding him to listen to what Buffy is saying.

Coach Marin: Boys! Boys, uh, now, now, boys! No! I...

They attack him.

Coach Marin: No, boys!

He screams and struggles as they pull him under. Buffy pulls her arm back up.

Buffy: Those boys really love their coach.

Cut to the school lounge. Willow and Buffy are sitting on one of the couches opposite Xander and Cordelia on the other.

Xander: Let's see. I gotta take a make-up chem test at three. And then I'm meetin' some of the guys for plasma transfusions at five. It's turned into quite the busy afternoon.

Buffy: The fun never stops with you, does it?

Willow: Giles seems pretty confident that the treatments are gonna work.

Xander: Well, turning into a creepy-crawly wasn't on my top ten list of things to do before I turn twenty.

Cordelia: (to Xander) I want you to know that you've really proven yourself to me. And you don't have to join the new team next year if you don't want. I'd be just as happy if you played football. (smiles)

Buffy and Willow exchange an amused look. Giles comes up the steps to them.

Giles: The... people from animal control have just left. Our creatures have apparently made a, a dash for it. Um... so to speak.

Willow: Does that mean we're gonna have to hunt them again?

Buffy: No, I don't think so. I don't think we'll be seeing them anymore.

Giles: Where do you think they'll go?

Buffy: Home.

Cut to the beach. The camera pans over the waves rolling in. The three monsters are in the surf and begin to swim out to sea.

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