Previously on Buffy, Spike is having nasty thoughts about Buffy, Tara flubs a spell to reveal demonic energy, and Marci needs to find "the key." "The key is...energy," rasps a brutally beaten Monk. Yes, it's true that if we could find a viable energy source, we could eliminate fossil fuels and save the planet! Oh, he's talking about Dawn. Dawn's the key. Check.
"Tell me a story," burbles Willow from off-screen. Tara obliges her with a story of a kitty that nobody wanted while we watch Miss Kitty Fantastico worry a toy on the floor. Is Tara's secret that she's trapped Miss Kitty in an unnatural state of permanent adolescence? That cat hasn't grown a bit. Willow indicates that she's upset by the story so far (at least, I think that's what she's saying -- I can't quite make it out through all the gurgling baby-talk) so Tara says that "one day...a man came and swooped her up and took her to the pound," as she swoops Miss Kitty up onto the bed, where Willow is nestled under the covers and Tara sits at the foot. Nice Mission-style headboard you've got there, Willow. I hear that's a very popular style of dorm-issued furniture this year. Not. Tara continues, "And at the pound there were lots of other kitties and puppies and some ferrets." Ah. This pound is not in California, then. Ferrets are illegal here. Also, pounds tend to kill kitties that nobody wants. Except in San Francisco. Willow coos that she's sleepy, but Tara wants to keep the light on to research spells. "That's fine," says Willow, "I don't need to be snuggled." "Vixen," shoots back Tara with a smile. Hmmm, yes. I see that chemistry set I ordered hasn't arrived yet. Willow comments that Tara has been spending a lot of time burning the ritual candle at both ends, and Tara replies that she wants to keep up with Willow and be useful to the gang, because she doesn't feel like she brings anything to the group. Willow reassures her that she's "essential," and with a smile Tara climbs under the covers to snuggle in the crook of Willow's arm.
"I don't know what to say," is Giles's reply to Buffy informing him about Dawn's identity in the Summers' living room. They discuss strategies to keep Dawn safe -- mainly, sending her away. Giles suggests sending her to live with Hank, but Buffy shoots that down with the news that he's in Spain with his secretary, "living the cliché." Buffy pontificates a bit on how odd it is to remember feelings and experiences that she's never had. Buffy resolves to keep Dawn safe, and she and Giles agree to keep it a secret for the rest of the gang. Because that's worked so well in the past and all. Giles: "If she comes after you..." "She'll come," replies Buffy solemnly. "She'll come for us."