And the previous chapter is here, now on with the show.
[CUT TO: Watcher's Academy Dormitory. POV is from behind Willow and Buffy as they are watching the news. They sit up when they recognize the topic is the missing Miss Cordelia Chase. The camera tightens in closer on the TV screen.]
TV Newscaster: When the local police found a slip of silk material on the asphalt next to Miss Chase's vehicle, they knew - (long, dramatic Newscaster-type pause) - they were dealing with a monster. Cordelia Chase is the only daughter of US Senator Wesley Wyndam-Pryce...
[CUT TO: image of handsome, yet stuffy junior Senator]
While not thought of as politically motivated, the President of the United States has remarked,
[CUT TO: White House Press Room, podium]
"I'm sorry, but I have not read that." When explained that there was nothing to read, only to hear, President Bush yukked and put on his Serious Face and replied, "This is most disturbiting. We will not tolerate Tara."
[CUT TO: Newscaster]
Later when questioned, it was revealed that Mr. President was referring to "terror" and not an antebellum estate from a popular movie.
[CUT TO: Sofa where Buffy and Willow are watching]
Willow: Well, don't look at me - I voted for Kerry.
[CUT TO: Exterior of "Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop." Buffy checks an address in her hands and then walks inside.]
Giles: (Voice Over while Buffy walks up steps) We have a lead. That particular lip-gloss was in fact drawn into the hand of that picture. We need to find out what it signifies.
[CUT TO: Interior. Two "men" are playing a board game, oblivious to the hot blonde who has entered their shop. The board game appears to be Risk: Lord of the Rings Version]
Jonathon: Quit arguing. You drew an Adventure Card. You know your Orcs are no match for my Elven Archers. Roll the friggin' dice.
Andrew: You know, this game is no fair. It doesn't even have Mordor. Or Gondor. How can my Orcs and Dark Riders ever feel like they have a real home?
Jonathon: Just roll, dumbass.
Buffy: Now, do you roll all three red dice, or is that just on a challenge?
Andrew: (still looking down) Duh. Yeah, unless you want to lose. (Looks up, jerks and tosses the dice against the wall.)
Jonathon: (jumping up and smiling) Miss Summers. (Shakes her hand) Nice to see you after talking on the phone.
Andrew: You talked on the phone with her? You were supposed to be looking up back issues of Sailor Moon!
Jonathon: (out of the side of his mouth) Shut up, dork. So, Miss Summers-
Buffy: Buffy. Just call me Buffy.
Andrew: Seriously? (Jonathon elbows him) Ow. Watch it.
Buffy: You said you two were the foremost experts on pop culture?
Andrew: Oh, yeah. I totally rock the Trivial Pursuit 80s game.
Buffy: (drops the tube of gloss on the counter) Tell me what you can about this.
Jonathon: (moving towards it slowly, with reverence) Oooh. My sisters had this. Sometimes I'd put some on and think of what it would be like to finally ki-. Yeah, I've seen that before.
Andrew: (stares at the wall - a serene expression on his face) The elusive Lip-Smacker. Beloved tool of beauty by all pre-teens from the eighties - reviled by home room teachers everywhere. Cool.
Buffy: But the question is - where can you still get this stuff? And I mean a lot?
Jonathon: Let's crank up Firefox and see what we get.
[CUT TO: Close up of computer monitor - Jonathon is doing a web search for the Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers and its vendors]
Jonathon: (to Buffy in what he takes to be a seductive tone) So what do you do when you aren't detecting, Miss Summers?
Buffy: (with a nervous laugh) I, uh, train with the Watcher's Council.
Andrew: Cool!! Do they have laser pens and gun-shoes?
Buffy: WATCHER's council. Not James Bond school.
Andrew: That would be so cool.
Andrew: James Bond school. I would so totally own the Bond-Babe class.
Jonathon: No, you wouldn't. You cried when Marissa Jones accidentally held your hand at the Planetarium in high school.
Andrew: I did not! I just... that whole thing about the Greek Gods and the chariot across the sky used to freak me out.
Jonathon: I got something. Not local, I can tell you that much.
Buffy: So there is no way that a bunch of local girls in Sunnydale, California would happen to restart a trend of Dr. Pepper flavored lip-gloss?
(The two men look at her with incredulous faces.)
Buffy: Right. Gotcha. I'll need that location.
[CUT TO: Giles and Buffy in WC company car, driving. Giles is hastily putting together a file and speaking]
Giles: If we can convince him that we are moving him to a better facility, do you think he'd cooperate?
Buffy: I really do. And if he could get a TiVo and the Game Channel on Satellite? Yeah, I think he'll tell me. Don't you think we should tell the Senator what we're up to? Can you back up the move with paperwork?
Giles: Whenever I am under the pressure from the higher ups, I always second guess everything, but ultimately will side with you. I'm getting the paperwork now.
[CUT TO: Interior of Asylum where The Mayor is located. Buffy is trying to shake-off Mr. Snyder and speak to The Mayor. Snyder is vibrating with short-man rage.]
Snyder: What you are attempting to do is come into MY facility for a third time and without my permission. And did you even wipe your shoes? Tuck in that shirt.
Buffy: Mr. Snyder, I told you that this is just a follow up with The Mayor for thoroughness.
Snyder: You can't just barge in here! This is my facility! Mine!! I'm not even supposed to be here. (Whines) I had a ticket for Holidays on Ice.
Buffy: (looks at him with pity and disgust) I'm just following orders. Take it up with my boss.
[CUT TO: The Mayor's cell. Buffy sits on a chair provided.]
The Mayor: Hey, there, kiddo. You're just in time for Card Sharks. And there's something that bothers me. It's Card "SHARPS." When I was a boy, people cared about being right. But I do like it when the contestant is wrong and the cartoon shark comes and eats their money! (laughs) And not to say that I'm not happy to see you, you look lovely, by the way, and I wish you'd pull your hair back more, show off that pretty face of yours, but why isn't the Senator here?
Buffy: I can leave, you know. Maybe you'd rather Snyder came down here? I can tell him you want him to tell you all about the rules and regulations for purchasing cleaning products...
The Mayor: (smiles, sits, leans back, and taps thumbs together.) Tell me, Miss Summers. How'd you feel when you saw the latest from our Penny's fella? Was the girl attractive?
Buffy: She had been at one point, yes.
The Mayor: From money? Nose job?
Buffy: Yes. And one more thing the papers don't know about. We found something in her hand. Lip gloss.
The Mayor: (looking down at his hands) Was it Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers?
Buffy: How did you know that?
The Mayor: I'm waiting for your offer. Gifted I may be at glib conversation, I'm guessing you came back here to make an offer. There's a gold star if someone remembered the TiVo....
Buffy: If you help us find the JC Penny's Killer, we've made arrangements for you to have a new room with a window, and if you cooperate in time to rescue Miss Chase - you will have your own TiVo and the Game Network and the History Channel will be added to your available lineup.
The Mayor: What about one of those outdoor flags? You know - the ones that have tulips for spring, and fireworks for the Fourth of July? Just charming. No? Well, a man has to try, right? Tell you what. I'll help you, if you tell me stories. Nobody tells stories any more... I want to hear about picnics, church- You...do go to church, don't you? Backbone of this great nation. Where else are the kids today going to learn about morals and charity and service?
Buffy: Uh... From "Who Wants To Marry My Dad?"
(The Mayor blinks several times then clears his throat.)
The Mayor: So, Buffy. This Mr. Giles sure has taken a shine to you. You like him, don't you?
Buffy: He's okay. He's... Giles. We're not buddies or anything.
The Mayor: Nor should you be. He's a father-figure. You shouldn't pal around with him. You know, that's the heart of what's wrong with people today. Parents trying to pal around with their kids. Good for you, pumpkin. What's your worst childhood memory?
Buffy: Segue much? Uh, my father.
The Mayor: Your father is your worst memory?
Buffy: Well, just trying to be with him. We... weren't close.
The Mayor: (learning back, fingertips under his chin) Go on.
Buffy: He worked a lot. And when he was home, he didn't have much time for me. Queer Pro... Whatever. Tell me something.
The Mayor: The lip-gloss is traditionally used by the type girls I don't want you to ever be. You're a good girl, aren't you, Kitten? No, flavored lip gloss is trashy, and really gross. Are you supposed to eat it? One time I saw some in the gas station that looked like a chocolate chip cookie. You twisted off the little top cookie and there was brown goo for your lips. Just nasty stuff. My mother used to keep honeycomb from our bee hive in a jar on the windowsill. Excellent for chapped lips, and-
Buffy: Can we get off Memory Lane and back on to the main road? Why Lip Smackers? Why not Blistex™ or, god, real lipstick?
The Mayor: There's something about the cheapness of the Bonnie Bell™. You are so close to how you are going to catch him... Gee, this is fun! It's like that old board game, Clue. I used to love playing Sherlock Holmes with my brothers. Why didn't your dad have time for you?
Buffy: He was just...busy.
The Mayor: Too busy for a spitfire like you? Bet you wore two braids down the sides of your head. Little cutie.
Buffy: He had... things he did after work. I think I was just too noisy.
The Mayor: Well... Kids can be noisy. That's just part and parcel of parenthood.
Buffy: I wasn't loud like other kids. I liked to imagine things.
The Mayor: What kind of things? Did you pretend you were a ballerina? Cowgirl?
The Mayor: Lots of kids play that game. Oh. Were you one of those tiresome children who make their parents watch every little step and hear every note of their songs?
Buffy: Quid pre..that thing! Tell me something.
The Mayor: Don't you kids learn Latin in school anymore? I know it's a Dead Language, but you can learn so much hidden meaning in things when you know the Classics. It's Quid. Pro. Quo. Say it back.
(Buffy sighs and rolls her eyes.)
The Mayor: Now, what would happen if your eyes froze that way? Look pretty silly, wouldn't you. Say "quid pro quo."
Buffy: (evenly) Quid pro quo.
The Mayor: Now that wasn't so hard. Okay, try this one: Hoc fabula bardus.
Buffy: Mr. Mayor, we don't have time for this.
The Mayor: If you don't make time for education, well, gee... Then where would we be? I think that's enough for today. You run along. A young girl like you needs to have her time in the sun and, how do you kids say it? "Hang" with your friends? (Laughs) That always reminds me of a poster I had in my office of a baby orangutan hanging by the tips of his fingers to a branch. "Hang in there!" it said underneath. (Laughs) Cute little thing.
(Buffy gathers her things and makes to leave)
The Mayor: Oh, and Buffy - Our William didn't make time for learning. Look how he turned out.
~~~TBC Here! It continues right here.