She hears a noise behind her and flips up onto her feet, whirling to encounter Riley. Uch. Give me a big nasty demon any day. Riley condescendingly comments on Buffy's flip, and she agitatedly asks him if he saw where the demon went. He's pretty nonchalant about the demon getting away and says, "You don't go after a demon that size by yourself." Buffy says that she does, and Riley bitchily gets out his walkie-talkie to confer with his other soldier-playing buddies. For some reason his code name is "Lilac," which might refer to the color of the sweater he has on. Buffy asks what Riley's doing there, and he says, "Duh, stalking you, silly." Well, that's what he should have said. Really, he says he was looking for her. Buffy is very distracted (end of the world to avert and all) and tells him she has to go after the demon. Riley assures her that the Initiative will get the demon, and Buffy haltingly explains that she cannot date Riley. She starts to mention dating Angel but thinks better of it, so she just tells him that he can't understand her life. Risk, doom, stress, blah blah blah. Riley is confused and insists that they like each other, so he doesn't understand why they can't date. Buffy mentions that going to high school on the Hellmouth was terrible and that he and she don't have as much in common as he thinks. She plays the Slayer card by explaining that he thinks demon-hunting is an adventure, while for her it's destiny. Sad music plays. Riley protests that Buffy "can change things," and he seems awfully sure considering that he knows nothing about Buffy and didn't even know what a Slayer was until that morning -- although, in Riley's defense, Buffy could have at least attemptedto explain it. Buffy tells him that her answer is no and walks sadly away. Riley stares after her with his jaw clenched.
The next few scenes cut between the Initiative labs and the Ex-Watcher Tower (tm Kisle), with each group trying to ID the demon du jour. In case the editing doesn't drive the metaphor of art vs. science home, Giles and Buffy read some fey poetry from their book to make the contrast even more obvious. Of course, the Scooby Gang discovers that the Vahrall demon is performing a world-ending ritual that requires a man's blood, child's bones, and a ward of Valios. At the ward's mention, Giles does that head-cocking deep-in-thought thing. Over at the Initiative, Forrest explains the pheromone tracker he's invented and dispatches the troops. Then we're back at Giles's so Buffy can do the same.
Cut to the Basement of Debasement, where Spike has rigged a stake on the coffee table; after saying his good-byes to Dru, he swan-dives off the couch. He's interrupted by Willow and Xander, who have come to get supplies. "What are you doing?" exclaims Willow, but Spike tells them it's none of their business. Xander points out that it is, since Spike is about to dust his shirt, and offers to help. Trust me, Xander, he's doing you a favor there. Willow protests the ookyness of the situation. Spike mourns his lost machismo, asking, "Am I even remotely scary anymore?" To prove his point he rushes at Willow with claw hands and growling, but she just stands there and doesn't flinch. Meanwhile, Xander is loading up weapons and has changed into an unfortunate burgundy-and-tan naugahyde jacket. If that's how Xander is going to dress, I might start rooting for the Vahrall demon. Xander threatens Spike with making him sleep in the garage if he breaks anything while they're gone, but Willow says that they can't leave Spike unattended. Spike protests that he's better now, but Willow and Xander exchange a look and lead him out. As they walk through the door, Xander tells him to look on the bright side -- that if they "don't find what [they're] looking for [they're] facing the apocalypse" -- and Spike perks up at the prospect.