We begin in the waiting room of Sunnydale Memorial. Dawn is napping with her head on Buffy's lap. Riley sits beside her, wearing a gray turtleneck to cover up the scars on his neck. Giles approaches the duo nervously and wonders if he can get them anything. They decline. Meanwhile, Willow and Xander, seated next to each act all fidgety and banter about the time. Everyone's nervous. Got it? Buffy is worried that Joyce's surgery is taking too long, but Riley does a good job of reassuring her that it probably means the doctors have been able to excise the tumor. In the distance, Buffy catches sight of Dr. Doom, who has a really funny mushroom-head in his scrubs. He doesn't at all look like he's been performing brain surgery for the last few hours. Not a speck of blood. Buffy rouses Dawn and stands expectantly while the doctor approaches and evil Marti Noxon makes us wait through the credits.
We're back, and the doctor tells Buffy that the operation was a big success. Yay! Everyone hugs everyone else except Xander and Giles, who engage in a man hug. You know, they pat each other's biceps and backs effusively. But they can't hide their overjoyed grins. Buffy thanks the doctor and surprises him with a rib-cracking hug.
Over at Xander's new digs -- which will be known as the Non-basement of Non-debasement, at least until I can come up with a catchier name -- Xander, Dawn, and Anya sit near the remains of what once was Chinese takeout. Dawn tells an adorable anecdote from her childhood involving her running around with chop sticks in her mouth like vampire fangs while Buffy would give chase and pretend to stake her. Aw. How nice of the monks to plant such charming fake memories. You can't beat that old-world craftsmanship, I'm telling you. Xander clears away the containers and asks Dawn what she'd like to do now, "keeping in mind that [he] won't chase [her] because [he] is old and stuffed full of Moo Goo Gai starch." Heh. Xander suggests a movie. At the mention of a chimp-playing-hockey movie, Anya becomes excited. "That's hilarious. The ice is so slippery and monkeys are all irrational. We have to see this." I totally agree. Monkeys are comedy gold. Dawn doesn't want to see it because it looks sad, and I for one would really like to know how one goes about making a sad movie about a chimp who plays hockey. Monkey + Ice = Laughter. Maybe the chimp has a brain tumor? I guess a terminally ill chimp would be pretty sad. But it might lack a bit of punch since monkeys aren't exactly aware of their own mortality. ["I beg to differ; I sobbed all the way through Project X." -- Sars] Sorry. Back to Buffy. Xander tells Dawn that she gets to choose the movie since it's her celebratory night. Anya tries to swing the odds in her favor by whispering, "Go monkey. Choose monkey." Heh. Dawn protests that she doesn't care, since the only reason she's at Xander's is because Buffy and Riley need time alone, "which always translates to 'get Dawn out of the house so we can have loud obnoxious sex.'" Count your blessings, sister.
Because I for one have to sit through it. Back at the Summers', Buffy and Riley stand in the candlelit living room, swaying slowly to the music. At Riley's mention of impending seduction, I find myself focusing on the wooden crate that I can't see but that I'm sure that SMG is standing on, since she appears a mere (potato) head shorter than Riley. Okay. So they kiss. Riley compliments Buffy's fortitude in the face of adversity: "You never even cried." Buffy corrects him that she cried "so hard [she] didn't think [she'd] be able to stop," and rests her head on his shoulder. Riley clenches his jaw, because how dare Buffy…I mean, it was so selfish for Buffy to…er. How could Buffy be so insensitive as to…oh, heck. I can't justify it either. They kiss some more, and then we fade out and pan up on SMG's overly oiled leg. She and Riley are…um…wow! The hollow in SMG's throat when she makes her gasping-fish orgasm face is so deep. You could lose your keys in there. Okay, whew! Now I'm out of the woods as we hop outside to see Spike smoking outside by the stalker tree. He's gazing dolefully up at Buffy's window, fully aware of the goings on within. Back inside, Riley and Buffy are entwined and sleeping peacefully until Buffy rolls away from him. He notices and clenches his jaw, upset that even in sleep Buffy turns away from him. I can't even comment on how much this pisses me off. So he gets up and slips out the front door. Spike notices from his place near the stalker tree as Riley walks down the street. Spike follows him. Riley walks past a chain link fence and then not even a SECOND later Spike comes into the frame. And Graham is the one who got a D in covert ops? Spike is so close behind Riley that he could reach out and tap him on the shoulder. Couldn't they have just waited two seconds? Nope, we have to conserve as much time as possible for the extended remix of the Buffy heartache marathon. Spike stays behind the fence and watches as Riley enters a nondescript building.