Buffy closes the eyes of the enemy soldier who has just died.
Xander comes up from behind her and says: "We're gonna need that bed. How about you? Had us worried."
Buffy has her head bent down, back still turned. "I'm... I'm okay."
They walk out of the room filled with injured Slayers and soldiers lying on pallets.
Buffy: "I'm tired of seeing this. I'm tired of causing it."
Xander: "It's a war. You didn't start it."
They stand on the patio outside.
Buffy: "Didn't I?"
Xander: "Not going there again. Willow got her power back."
Buffy turns to him and touches his shoulder with a sense of urgency.
Buffy: "The same as she was before?"
Xander: "All of a sudden."
Buffy: "But not... more power?"
Buffy turns away from him, looking weary and secretive as Xander explains: "She wasn't dark, if that's what you mean. Look, she’s handling our rogue goddesses. You should probably rest. You did what you had to, Buffy. I’m proud of you.”
Now standing in a garden veranda, Buffy grips a railing, her back still to Xander.
Buffy: “That’s what Riley said.”
Xander: “Well, he’s a brainy guy.”
Buffy turns around to face him, leaning her back against the railing.
Buffy: “Since when are you such a fanboy?”
Xander: “Your one boyfriend who wasn’t a psychotic demon? I was always Team Riley.”
Buffy touches her face with her left hand self-consciously: “That’s right, you got all tough love with me about him.”
Xander: “A little too late.”
Buffy: “That’s my motto.”
Buffy leans in close, clasping Xander’s arm by the bicep and looking at him dead-on.
Buffy: “I’m too late again, aren’t I?”
Xander: “For what?”
A close-up of Buffy’s face. Her head is uptilted, eyes swimming with emotion, there is a crinkle in between her eyebrows.
Buffy: “For you.”
Close-up of Xander, head tilted down, his expression is soft.
In the next panel, Buffy stands again leaning against the railing, shoulders hunched, staring at the ground. Xander is now several feet away from her, hands in his pockets, posture looking awkward and insecure.
Buffy: “You and Dawn.”
Xander: “Oh, is that a conversation that’s happening?”
Close-up of Buffy grinning.
Buffy teases: “No, it’s fine. Dawn’s a grown woman and you’re a disgusting pedophile.”
Buffy: “Cradle robber?”
Xander turns his back and walks away. Buffy holds out both hands, entreating him.
Buffy: “Come on! I at least get cradle robber…”
Xander (without turning to face her): “You get to mind your own beeswax.”
Buffy: “It is my beeswax! She’s my sister and you and I…”
Xander turns to face her. Buffy has closed the distance between them.
Xander: “You and I what? Wait—what’s “too late again” mean?”
Buffy: “Nothing! It just… it means… it’s just…”
A panel of Buffy, surrounded by darkness, looking despondent.
Buffy: “What about me?”
Close-up of Xander. His face looks almost inscrutable – suspicion and confusion.
Xander: “Yoooou… have feelings. At me.”
Buffy closes her eyes, head tilted down, lips pouted.
Buffy: “Would that be good?”
Xander raises her up to look at him with a gentle grasp on her chin. His expression is soft and loving.
Xander: “That would be great.”
Close-up of Buffy looking surprised when Xander says: “If it was a bunch of years ago and you actually meant it.”
Close-up of Buffy’s face falling into a scowl.
Buffy: “You don’t know how—”
Xander: “Puh. Leaze.”
Buffy places her hand across her chest, defensively. Xander has his arms crossed – he ain’t buying it.
Buffy: “Feelings develop. People change!”
Xander: “And now you like me. I made the list.”
Xander raises his hands to start ticking off points.
Buffy: “There’s not a--”
Xander: “Hey, that’s a big deal! I’m a potential romantic interest! I’m on the list—right after being gay.”
He points his index finger at his chest with his right hand, raising his left hand’s index finger as he elaborates.
Xander: “I rate almost as good as trying to change your sexual orientation. You went—through gay—to me.”
Buffy throws her arms out, intent on explaining and defending herself. Xander’s hands are raised to hold her off. (and oddly, he’s doing the “Rock on!” hand gesture with both hands where index finger and pinky finger are sticking up while his thumb is crossing the downturned middle finger and ring finger)
Buffy: “I was having a phase! I’m supposed to have that phase!”
Xander: “And now all this comes to you right when I’m kissing your sister. Coincidence?”
Buffy: “No! I mean yes! I mean it’s been… happening! It has nothing to do with seeing you kiss.”
Xander: “Oh, yes it does!”
They stand close, hands now dropped at each other’s sides.
Xander: “It does because even if you felt something before, once you saw us together you should know the decent thing to do would be to keep it to yourself!”
Buffy: “That is the most…”
Buffy looks flummoxed.
She drops her head down, ashamed.
The stand close, Buffy’s back to the audience. You can see her upset expression reflected back in a mirror behind Xander.
Xander: “Dawn has loved me her whole life. It’s not unweird, knowing her since she was little, and I do feel a tad bit Humbert Humbert…or Henry Higgins—I can never remember which is which…but she’s grown. And shrunk. She’s not the same.”
Buffy wipes away at a tear with clenched left hand.
Xander: “I’m kind of in love with her. Sorry.”
Tears run down Buffy’s face.
Buffy: “No, it’s good. I love you both. And I’m sorry I’m the worst person in the universe.”
Xander wipes a tear off Buffy’s cheek.
Xander: “Ah, it’s part of your charm.”
Buffy: “You won’t tell Dawn how I’m the worst person in the universe?”
They hug, Buffy’s head scrunched up against Xander’s chin. Her face is still wet with tears.
Buffy: “And do I still get to make cradle-robber jokes?”
Xander: “Just used up your last.”
Close-up of Dawn looking annoyed, her hand raised like she was coughing into it.
Dawn: “Uh, cough. Noise of cough.”
Buffy jerks herself out of Xander’s arms, smilng awkwardly and looking extremely nervous. Xander looks a little uncomfortable, but less so than Buffy. He still has a bit fo a fond glow on his face (maybe from the hug?).
Xander: “Hey, Dawnie, we…”
Buffy: “Nothing! Friend hug! Because of sad. No subtle bosom-pressing in hug.”
Xander looks sheepish as Dawn glares at Buffy and Buffy raises her hands up.
Dawn: “Buffy, I’m your sister. I know you could never do anything subtle.”
Xander: “Cat’s out, Dawnie.”
Buffy: “And I approve. I’m Buffy and I approve this kissage.”
Dawn tilts her head to the side, attitude in place. Buffy holds her chin thoughfully.
Dawn: “Didn’t ask. But okay, we got bigger problems. There of them goddess-sized.”
Xander puts his arm around Dawn and they turn to walk away, Buffy standing behind them looking awkward and extremely uncomfortable.
Xander: “Will can’t contain them?”
Dawn: “Not alone.”
Buffy: “I think I might have an idea. Just diving right into the P.D.A., there…”