Bronze. Anya and Cordy are talking to a few guys. Anya looks great in a simple black cocktail dress. Cordy, on the other hand, has gone for the horrifying exacta of crimped hair and a red dress, with what looks like a vinyl boob area that many ladies of the evening would blush to behold. Cordy is laughing loudly, clearly aware that Xander, Buffy, and Willow are on a nearby couch. Shout-out? Speaking of which, have I ever told you the story of how I got the moniker Couch Baron? It's really the funniest story ever -- pure hilarity. And here's Sars to tell it. ["Oh, brother. Well, strictly speaking, it's just your moniker from Tomato Nation, but back in college, the two of us used to sit on this one grotty taproom couch every night and crack on people. I don't even remember where the 'Baron' part came from. Damn, that's not funny at all, is it?" -- Sars] Xander fake-laughs even harder in return, and tries to get Willow and Buffy to join in. One of the guys at Cordelia's table bears more than a passing resemblance to James Van Der Beek. Cordy, I know I've harshed on Xander in the past, but this is a huge downward move, trust me. Buffy says she's "supporto gal." Okay. Personally, I think we've seen way too many instances of females on this show being decidedly deficient in the way of "supporto," if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Anya, I'm looking at you. And also, "gal"? No wonder she started dating Riley. Buffy goes on that she feels weird about the "us versus Cordelia" thing, as she was a wronged party, and Willow agrees. Xander counters that he's through with "Guiltapalooza," and that they should enjoy themselves. Buffy and Willow see the merits of his argument, and they all smile and look around dorkily. Buffy, after about five seconds: "That didn't work. Who wants chocolate?" Willow and Xander raise their hands. Heh. Buffy leaves. Xander babbles about Cordy, and for emphasis, grabs Willow's hand, for which she chastises him. He wonders why that's a problem, as they used to engage in friendly touches all the time, but she rightly points out that things are different now, and if she hopes to get Oz back, "my hands...all my stuff has to be for him only." Xander sulks so hard that his lower lip almost decapitates a passing extra.
Buffy, in line at the counter, sees Cordy kiss Anya good night. Cordy clutches her stomach and winces slightly, then leaves. Buffy grabs her purse and follows. Outside, she catches up with Cordy, who demands to know if Xander sent her. Buffy says she's a "free agent," and asks how she is. Cordy says she's fine, and turns to go, but Buffy tells her she knows what it's like to be badly emotionally hurt, and suggests they talk about how she's feeling. Cordy, at least realizing that Buffy's been there before, seems ready to do just that when a vamp jumps out of nowhere behind Buffy. They fight. Buffy kicks him, sending him flying into Cordelia. They both fall into a pile of trash. The vamp gets back up, but Buffy quickly stakes him. Cordy gets up disgustedly. To add insult to injury, Harmony and the Harmionettes choose this moment to walk by. Cordy, apparently not caring that Buffy just saved her life, says a question has been on her mind a lot lately, namely why all these bad things happen to her. "I think I've finally figured it out! What my problem is? It's --"