Buffy walks in the front door at the Summers home. Dawn's waiting for her, with an arch, pissed-off look on her face. She kicks Buffy in the shin. Hee. I know the feeling. And those pointy-toed boots she's wearing must've hurt. Hee. Dawn calls Buffy a "dumbass." I know that feeling too -- I think Dawn is my stand-in at the moment. Buffy's boggled and then realizes that Xander is back too, sitting in the dining room with Anya petting his hair. He shrugs off Dawn's kick as a violent "Summers thing." "If you get killed, I'm telling," is Buffy's response to Dawn, and another conflict gets brushed under the carpet. Impending apocalypse is a wonderful way to get off the hook for annoying behavior, isn't it? I wonder how much Buffy will actually enjoy her normal life after this episode, when people around her won't have such a pressing reason to forget her snitty conduct. No! I take it all back! I'm happy! I love Buffy! Willow and Giles are also in the dining room, and Willow wants to know what Buffy has discovered about the axe. Wow, I forgot that that little mission is what led up to all the Angel-dorking. Buffy shares that she "julienned" Caleb, and the gang is excited. "Hey, party in my eye socket and everyone's invited," enthuses Xander, and if you've ever read that one James Ellroy novel, your mind just went to a very bad place. In fact, even without the Ellroy, that line's no picnic.
Spike's in the basement, punching on the boxing bag. Buffy comes downstairs to join him, and Spike sulks at her about kissing Angel. When she tells him that Angel's gone, Spike sulks at her about whether Angel "popped by for a quickie then." That's our Spike -- never passes up an opportunity to be crude. Spike tells Buffy that Angel wears lifts, which is really, really rich coming from the original wee one himself. I wouldn't be calling attention to my shortcomings that way, Spike. Geddit? "Shortcomings," 'cause he's short? Oh, fine. Buffy wanders about, complaining about "jealous vampire crap," and I'm thinking, hey, she's the one who won't stop hanging out with them. If they bug you so much, Buffy, just quit it. The less said about her Angel 'n' Spike oil-wrestling fantasies as described here, the better. As she walks by the training bag, we see a little drawing Spike has stuck onto it. The pictured face has fangs, and stupid hair that sticks straight up, so I suspect it's supposed to be Angel. Looks a lot like Butthead, though! If he were a vampire. Spike wants to wear the Pretty Princess Pendant, because he's found the perfect little black outfit and he fancies adding some sparkle. Nah, he says he wants it because he's someone with a soul "but more than human." Ah, just hold on a second there, puppy. I believe Angel said "stronger than human," not "more than human." Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Buffy bestows the Pretty Princess Pendant upon Spike, calling him the "c" word in the process. He shows some good taste in being a little reluctant to accept that title. Buffy obliquely asks to spend the night in the basement, and Spike sends her away on account of her "Angel-breath," saying he has his pride. She starts to leave, and he darts in front of her, blurting out, "The whole 'having my pride' thing was just a smokescreen." Oh, Spike. We know you don't have any pride. I suspect it's one of the things Buffy loves about you. She's relieved she can stay, and Spike tells her, "I don't know what I would've done if you'da gone up those stairs." Huh. Probably followed her in under three minutes. But honestly, that was a romantic Spike moment that actually felt romantic to me. Rock on, Joss. Buffy reaches out to gently touch his face.