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  3x12 - Provider
 Posted: 01/24/02 09:55
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Previously on Angel:

Wesley: "Angel's son is part of the prophecy."

Linwood: "The Nyazian scrolls said the child would never be born!"

Gavin: "Darla died during childbirth."

Darla dusts herself.

Holtz: "She sacrificed herself to save the child."

Angel: "I'm his only family. My job now is to be everything for him."

Gavin: "We have to get that baby."

Gunn: "Boogie at the back door!"

Wes: "Everyone and everything will be coming for him."

Angel: "No one is gonna put their hands on this child."

Cordy gets thrown into the weapons cabinet by a vision.

Cordy: "These visions are killing me."

Skip: "Humans are not strong enough to harbor the visions! Demons are the only ones who can withstand them."

Cordy: "So - demonize me already."

Cordy: "Right now we have to solve my vision. The one I'm having right now."

Angel: "Cordy..."

Cordy, floating a foot above the ground: "What?"

Files and Records: "Holtz, Daniel, vampire killer, ca. Seventeen fifty four."

Holtz shows Justine the obituary of her sister, Julia Cooper.

Holtz: "Justine, I know what it's like to grieve. I want to help you."

Justine: "I want you to stay the hell away from me."

Justine fights the vampire in the cemetery and Holtz stakes it before it can bite her.

Holtz: "I'm here to teach you how to fight."

Justine: "What's in it for you?"

Holtz: "You help me kill a vampire."

Shot of Angel and the gang leaving the hospital with Connor in the stroller Gunn bought.

Justine: "You don't need me for that."

Holtz: "I do. This vampire is strong."

Angel is counting loose change as he puts it into a piggybank.

Angel: "Sixty, seventy, eighty. One, two, three."

Cordy, holding Connor: "Angel..."

Angel raises a hand to stop her as he picks up the piggy and locks it into the picture safe beside the desk. Fred looks up from her laptop.

Fred: "How is the Connor fund?"

Angel: "There was a dollar eighty three in the cushions out there. That's perfectly good money just lying around. (Closes the safe) Now, how's it going?"

Fred: "Moments away."

Angel looks over Fred's shoulder at the new website for Angel Investigations and points at the 'No Case Too Small' under the 'We Help The Helpless" part.

Angel: "Ah. Can you make that bigger? Bold, but, you know, tasteful."

Fred: "Hmm. Tasteful. Sure."

Cordy to baby: "You are so cute! Yes, you are. You are just the best little boy in the whole world."

Angel comes up behind her and smiles down at Connor over her shoulder.

Angel: "How's my little man?"

Cordy: "Oh, he wonders where his father's been."

Angel: "Papa's got mouths to feed."

Cordy: "Ah. I have a mouth, too. Always have had one. Kind of known for it and we've fed it fine for years. Yeah."

Cordy puts Connor down in a baby carry-bed.

Cordy: "Angel - I'm glad you wanna take care of your son. I am. I just wanna make sure we don't lose sight of the mission."

Angel: "Well, we have to earn a living. I mean, not just for Connor, but for all of us."

Cordy: "I agree. But first and foremost we work for the Powers, help the helpless. Promise me we won't neglect that."

Angel: "I promise. (Sees Gunn coming in) I promise. (Turns to Gunn) Well?"

Gunn: "Well, we hired some guys. Six thousand of these babies all over town."

Gunn holds up a flyer with 'Angel Investigations' and their logo on it. 'We help the helpless. No case too small. Paranormal Specialists. 313-555-0126'

Angel: "Nice! (To Cordy) I'd call me, wouldn't you?"

Fred: "Hey! The website's up. We're live."

Angel picks Connor up: "We're live, little guy. Come on."

Angel walks over to the desk and turns the laptop so everyone can see the screen.

Angel: "There, beautiful. We're online. We got flyers, we got yellow pages. Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to a new area of Angel Investigations. All we have to do now is wait - for that phone to start ringing and the money to start rolling in. (To Baby) Because someone's got to clothe and feed and educate this little guy, yeah? (Connor yawns) Yep - all we have to do is wait. - Just a matter of time. (Connor fusses) Don't you worry, this town is full of people who have problems."

A man is running through the pouring rain. He looks back over his shoulder at some looming shadows following him on the wall of the alley behind him, and runs right into a pile of trashcans. As he picks himself back up, he sees one of Angel's new flyers.

AI is still standing around the phone, waiting.

The man, flyer in hand, runs over to a payphone, dials, listens to it ring.

Man: "Come on, come on, come on!"

Split screen - the phone at AI is *not* ringing. Triple split screen, a guy picks up the phone in what looks like a kitchen.

Guy: "Fabrizio's Pizza."

Fred picks up a flyer form the desk and takes a closer look at it.

Fred: "Is this the right phone number?"

Everyone turns to look at Wesley.

Intro

Hyperion, day, Wes walks in, carrying a stack of flyers.

Wes: "That's the last of them. Six thousand new ones."

Wes stops to see what has Gunn's attention so riveted. Fred is out in the lobby cuddling Connor.

Wes: "Adorable."

Gunn: "So sweet."

Wes: "I meant the baby."

Gunn: "I meant the hot mama."

Gunn and Wes look at each other.

Angel comes in.

Wes: "Sorry about the mix up last night."

Angel: "It's not important. But we can't afford any more mistakes. Making mistakes cost money, and making money right now is our number one priority. (Lorne comes down the stairs in a silk housecoat) Hey, Lorne."

Lorne: "If this is about the baby formula that I snagged from the fridge last night - sorry. I was feeling a little peckish and it was that or a glass of pig's blood. By the way, baby formula and Kaluha? Not as bad as it sounds."

Angel: "Lorne, I need you to use your contacts to find out what Holtz is up to. He's out there somewhere. We can never forget that. Finding him is our number one priority."

Gunn: "I thought you said..."

Angel: "Finding Holtz and making money are our two number one priorities."

Cordy walks by behind him and clears her throat.

Angel: "Helping the helpless, finding Holtz, and making money are out *three* number one priorities."

Cordy: "Hey, look! We got some hits on our website."

The phone on Cordy's desk rings and Wes picks it up.

Wes: "Angel Investigations, may I help you?"

The phone on the counter rings and Gunn picks it up.

Gunn: "Angel Investigations, can I help you?"

Yet a third phone rings somewhere.

Angel, smiling: "We're in business!"

Justine is sitting at a small table in Holtz lair with Holtz pacing behind her.

Justine: "You should be thanking me."

Holtz: "For disobeying an order?"

Justine: "For dusting two vamps!"

Holtz: "Two vampires from whom I had told you to walk away."

Justine: "Guess I misunderstood."

Holtz: "Which is why we're here."

Justine: "And speaking of here, would a couple of light bulbs and indoor plumbing kill you?"

Holtz: "We are here to determine whether or not - you - have the commitment necessary for the work at hand."

Justine: "At hand? -That's a joke, right?"

Holtz: "Why are you wasting my time?"

Justine: "What do you want from me?"

Holtz: "I just told you: commitment. Something you must now convince me you have."

The camera pans down from Justine looking up at Holtz to reveal that her left hand is pinned to the desk with an awl.

Holtz: "So I've explained why I'm doing this. Why are you?"

Justine: "Let's just say, feeling something - is better than feeling nothing."

Holtz: "Take it out any time you like. If you're still here when I return, we'll consider the next phase of our - partnership."

Justine watches Holtz walk out and slide the grate shut behind him.

The Hyperion lobby is full of people (not all of them human).

Fred takes a clipboard from one of the non-humans. Angel, holding Connor, walks up beside her.

Fred: "Welcome to Angel Investigations Mr. (looks at the clipboard) Blee - Lee - Shushngrung. Uhm, please have a seat and one of our associates will be right with you."

Angel: "Hey, Lorne. Non-human on deck."

Lorne: "Coming."

Lorne is talking to three gray aliens, wearing long robes and silver facemasks in a language that seems to be mostly clicks, whirrs, and popping sounds. He leaves them to talk to Angel.

Lorne: "Hey, the guys with the chrome faceplates, they're called Nahdrahs. I speak their lingo, sort of. If I understand them correctly they've got a job for our leader and a great deal of money."

Angel: "Oh, let's not keep them waiting, huh?"

Lorne: "Well, our leader in this instance being Wesley. They saw his web articles on DNA fusion comparisons in Tri-ped demon populations."

Angel sees Wes coming out of the office with some other people and flags him.

Angel: "Hey, Wes. Wes, talk to the Nahdrahs."

Gunn comes up to Angel leading a young blonde.

Gunn: "Hey, office free? It's kind of personal."

Angel: "Yeah. Go. (To Connor) If this keeps up, little guy, we may have to incorporate, huh?"

Cordy is sitting at the counter, phone in hand.

Cordy: "We're getting stretched a little thin here, Angel."

Angel: "Come on. Nonsense. We can handle it."

Cordy: "Really? Well, then why don't you handle it by picking up lines two, three and four?"

Angel shrugs and walks towards the phones.

Angel: "Angel Investigations, your problems are our problems. - Okay. How urgent is it? Uh-huh. And what do you do for a living? That's a good company. You own it? Okay, hold on. (Puts down the receiver) Pen, paper, quick."

Gunn is pouring some tea for the Blonde in the office.

Ally: "I don't sleep. I'm afraid to go out or answer the phone."

Gunn: "Yeah, I hate stalkers. Look, don't worry. We'll put a stop to it. (Hands her the tea) Have a seat."

Ally: "Thank you."

Gunn: "So, do you know who this guy is?"

Ally: "Yeah, well, it's- it's Brian, my ex-boyfriend."

Gunn: "Have you - been to the police?"

Ally: "Yeah. They act like I'm some kind of nut. Just - like I'm making it all up."

Gunn: "Yeah, you go to the cops for help they don't do a thing until somebody ends up dead."

Ally: "Somebody *is* dead."

Gunn: "Who?"

Ally: "Brian. (Holds up the flyer) Isn't that the kind of stuff you guys deal with?"

(The number at the bottom of the flyer now ends in 0162)

Gunn: "Yeah. All the time. So - Brian, your dead boyfriend, is stalking you?"

Ally: "Well, I mean, he's not my boyfriend *now.*"

Wes is talking to the Nahdrahs with Lorne translating.

Wes: "The Internet article I'm currently writing posits a formula for the genome mapping of creatures who don't have genes. - It's an exciting arena."

Lorne: "One I'm sure we can all download at 'I'll never know the love of a woman dot com.' (Wes gives him a look) Ah, can we get down to business? They want to buy your head. - Little rusty with the language. I should probably clarify that."

Lorne clicks away at the Nahdrahs. One of them holds up a metal suit case.

Lorne: "They want your mind. They're celebrating their prince's, uh - it's - it's like a birthday, only they're not born so much as disgorged. They - they need you to solve one of their traditional puzzles so they can give it to him. It's quite an honor."

Wes: "Could be interesting."

Fred has come up and looks at the Nahdrah's robes.

Fred: "Sure. These are puzzle people. Did you notice the designs on their tunics? (Traces the design) Geometric shapes. Each a prime number, if you count their edges, arranged in ascending order of exponential accumulation."

Wes, smiling at her: "Yes, I did - not - notice that at all."

Fred grins back at him, while the Nahdrahs start clicking away at Lorne.

Lorne: "Ah, they wanna know why your girlfriend was pointing at them. I better tell them what she said before we have an international incident."

Wes: "Ah, she's not my..."

Lots of excited clicking going on by the Nahdrahs.

Wes: "Silly."

The Nahrdahs leave in a hurry.

Fred: "Did I say something wrong?"

Lorne: "No. No, they liked *you.*"

Fred: "So much they ran away?"

Lorne: "They either have to consult with their prince or go eat a cheese monkey. Did-did I mention rusty with the lingo?"

Gunn: "Wes? I think I'm gonna need you on this one."

Angel on phone: "Great. I'm on my way."

Angel hangs up the phone and picks up the piece of paper from the desk. Walks over to Cordy and thrusts Connor into her arms.

Angel: "Big case. Got to run."

Cordy: "Oh..."

Angel, already leaving: "I think he needs changing. Oh, and bottle, three o'clock."

Cordy to Connor: "Well, hi there."

Shot of a car driving down a street at night.

A man dressed in a suit is talking on a hands-free phone headset of a large office as Angel enters through the glass doors. The side wall of the window are large windows overlooking a manufacturing floor.

Harlan: "Yeah. Okay. That's good for us. Tell him a six month million dollar guarantee and we'll cover the extra cost. Yeah. No, I get that, but we got to get a decision by tomorrow. Listen, somebody just walked in my office. I'll call you back. (Takes the headset off) Mr. Angel."

Angel: "Just Angel."

Guy gets up to shake Angel's hand

Harlan: "Harlan Elster. Thanks for coming to meet me."

Angel: "No problem. I know what it's like when your name's on the letterhead..."

Harlan: "Hmm. I got to say, you're not exactly what I pictured."

Angel: "No?"

Harlan: "You're pretty well coifed, I guess. You're not afraid to get a little mussed, are you, Mr. Angel? Because 'mussed' you're gonna be just by stepping foot in there."

Angel: "In where?"

Harlan: "Eighty third and Vermont. (Hands Angel a folder) Used to be low-income housing. Now it's a nest. Boarded up windows. No Electricity. Sewer access. They like it dark."

Angel: "Vampires."

Harlan: "A whole gang of them. Those photos were taken by the last guy I had on this job."

Angel: "What happened to him?"

Harlan: "He got mussed. You have much experience dealing with vampires?"

Angel: "Some."

Harlan: "Yeah, well, not like these. They're not out for blood. They want money."

Angel: "Money?"

Harlan: "Yeah. I know. Whoever heard of a vampire out to make a buck, right?"

Angel lets out a half-hearted laugh and drops into a chair.

Harlan: "Anyway, they've been putting the squeeze on some local business men. We pay them a protection fee and they don't eat our employees. They're demanding five thousand dollars by midnight."

Angel: "Whoa."

Harlan starts to make out a check: "Now, I'm prepared to pay you ten to make this problem go away. Five thousand now (rips out the check) the remainder when the jobs finished."

Angel: "That'll make ten - which is more than they're asking you for."

Harlan: "But this isn't about money."

Angel: "No, no, of course it's not - about - that. (Takes the check) Money. (Lets out a short laugh as he looks at the check) I'll get right on this."

Harlan shakes Angel's hand again: "Thanks."

Angel: "Sure."

Harlan watches the doors close behind Angel. A door behind Harlan opens and an older man walks in.

Man: "What the hell are you doing in my office?"

Harlan: "Mr. Elster."

With that the imposter hauls back and knocks the real Harlan Elster out.

Break

Justine's head is resting on the table in Holtz' lair, her hand still pinned to the table by the ice pick. Holtz walks in, crouches down and lays his head on the table, so their eyes are on a level.

Justine: "Decided to stick around."

Holtz: "You asked me what I wanted from you. (Wraps his hand around the handle of the ice pick) I want you to go out and find others like you. People who have suffered as we have, people with the same rage, the same fire. You'll know them when you see them. Their eyes - will look like this feels."

Justine lets out a scream as Holtz pulls the ice pick free.

Holtz hands her a handkerchief.

Holtz: "Are we clear? Have we learned our lessons, Justine?"

Justine wraps the handkerchief around her hand.

Justine: "We're clear."

As Justine gets up she hits Holtz hard across the chin with her wrapped left fist, knocking him back.

Justine: "You son of a bitch."

She drops back into her chair, breathing hard, as Holtz watches her, fingering his chin.

Angel walks into the lobby of the Hyperion, which is deserted, except for some papers strewn here and there and Cordy and Fred sprawled on the settee next to Connor's bassinet.

Angel: "Is this country great or what? Five thousand smackeroos and all I have to do to collect five thousand more, is clean out a vamp nest downtown. Where's Wes and Gunn? I wanna show 'em this."

Cordy: "Out on a case."

Fred: "There's a young woman whose dead boyfriend is stalking her."

Angel: "That's terrible. Did you..."

Cordy: "I ran her credit. She's solvent."

Angel: "Nice. (Crouches to look into the bassinet) Hey, how's my little magnum cum laude, Notre Dame, class of two thousand twenty?"

Cordy: "Angel - I don't think it's such a great idea to be working on so many cases at once. I mean, what if we're all out making money and some poor devil stumbles in here and needs our help?"

The doors open and Lorne stumbles in.

Lorne: "Bon giorno, everybody, bon giorno."

Angel: "You've been drinking?"

Lorne: "Oh, I can hold my liquor, Mister. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my firewater."

Lorne giggles.

Fred: "Aren't they the same thing?"

Lorne: "Hey, Fred-girl! No, this is special firewater, used to loosen the tongue of my Gar-wak snitch. They light the water on fire and there's chanting and a bong, and look out, Houston!"

Angel: "Did you learn anything about Holtz?"

Lorne: "Oh yeah. He is *really* not fond of you. I'm led to believe that he and his Grapplar demons had plans to (makes sound and cutting motion across his throat) you. (Angel leans back a little closing his eyes for a moment) Is my breath stinky?"

Lorne exhales into Angel face.

Angel: "Yeah."

Angel fans the air in front of him with the check in his hand and backs away.

Angel: "Holtz is using the Grapplars as soldiers."

Lorne: "Not anymore, Bucko. He poisoned them and he's looking for replacements. Humans."

Angel: "Do we know where he is?"

Lorne: "Bro, I'm on it. I've got rats looking all over this town. Well, not actual rats - except two of them. Ooh, I don't feel so good."

Cordy picks Connor up out his bassinet.

Cordy: "Uh, we've got company."

Angel turns to see the Nahdrahs walking in, clicking away as soon as they enter.

Cordy: "Lorne? It's all snap, crackle, pop to me."

Angel: "Ah, these are the guys that wanted Wesley."

Lorne: "Not anymore. Now they want Fred."

Angel: "For what?"

Lorne clicks away to the Nahdrahs then turns back to Angel.

Lorne: "Her enormous brain. They're convinced she can solve the puzzle they wanna give to their prince. (To Fred) They weren't offended by you before, they were impressed."

Fred: "Really?"

Angel: "Where would she have to go and how long would it take?"

Lorne after clicking to the Nahdrahs: "They live on a barge, currently docked in the marina. And a day or two, depends no how long it takes her to solve it."

Angel to Fred: "You game?"

Fred shrugs: "Sure.'

Angel to Lorne: "You'll have to go with her to translate. Tell 'em it won't be cheap. They're getting two of our top employees. That's salary, per diem, overtime..."

Lorne: "Okay, okay."

Clicks and pops away at the Nahdrahs. One of them lifts the metal suitcase up.

Lorne: "They apologize for their paltry offering and hope you'll accept (the Nahdrah opens the case revealing bundles of cash) Fifty thousand dollars!?!"

Angel: "Fifty..."

Cordy: "...thousand..."

Fred: "...Dollars?"

Angel reaches out and grabs the suitcase, a big smile on his face: "We accept."

Gunn and Wes are guarding the Blonde from earlier at her home.

Ally: "You know, I consider myself independent and it's hard for me to ask for help, but - it really feels good for you guys to be in the house. You know that woman you work with was right. You inspire confidence."

Wes: "Which woman?"

Ally: "Brunette, really cute, Texan maybe?"

Gunn and Wes smile: "Fred."

Turn to look at each other.

Gunn: "Said I inspire confidence."

Wes: "Actually, I-I believe the comment was directed at me."

Gunn: "Really? 'cause I don't think so."

Ally holds out a photograph: "Here, this is Brian. Not exactly a rocket scientist, but, ah, he's so sweet. You ever meet somebody and you just know that you belong together? It just feels..."

Gunn and Wes: "Comfortable."

They look at each other.

Wes: "You read all the same science journals."

Gunn: "You laugh at the same dumb jokes."

Ally: "And the sex. Oh, god, do I miss the sex."

Gunn to himself: "Tell me about it."

Wes: "Hmm."

Ally: "So, explain something to me. How can Brian be stalking me if he's dead?"

Gunn opens his mouth but Wes, looking out the window answers before he gets a chance to say anything.

Wes: "There are any number of explanations. Witchcraft, black magic, voodoo, zombiefication, demon possession, even vampirism."

Ally: "But why? Why is he hanging around here? What does he want?"

Gunn tries to answer, but Wes beats to it again.

Wes: "Perhaps there is something he left unfinished, something he wants to tell you."

Gunn: "Or maybe he just wants to eat your intestines."

Wes: "Gunn. We don't know that he's a zombie, and besides the flesh eating is a myth. Zombies merely mangle, mutilate and occasionally wear human flesh. So there is no reason to be frightened until we have a better idea..."

The door, beside which Wes is standing, cracks open and a pale hand grabs a hold of him. Wes throws himself against the door, trying to force it shut again.

Wes: "Gunn!"

Gunn runs over and starts to beat on what's visible of Brian with his baseball bat. Brian retreats and they slam the door shut.

Wes: "Right then. Zombie it is."

Lorne moans as he and Fred climb on to the Nahdrah's barge.

Fred: "Are you okay?"

Lorne: "I was feeling seasick when we were still on dry land. Do I look greener than usual?"

Fred: "A little."

They are lead into a big open room on the deck of the barge.

Lorne: "Oh, nice d├ęcor! It's sort of a Jules Verne meets Leona Helmsly."

The Nahdrahs click away as they lead them further into the room.

Lorne: "Oh, great! They wanna take our picture."

He and Fred pose and one of them takes the picture.

Lorne: "Terrif. Hey, this is the puzzle they want you to solve."

There are irregularly shaped hunks of glass, softly glowing from within, spread out on a table.

Fred: "I'm guessing it fits together in some sort of algorithmic sequence? Any hints?"

Lorne clicks at the Nahdrahs.

Lorne: "Yeah, just one. He said if they knew how to do it themselves you wouldn't be here."

Fred sits down at the table, opens her laptop and takes a closer look at the pieces.

Fred: "So. Causation. Corollary. Causatu Corollary. Are we talking a closed curve of finite length in a simply connected domain of zero? - That would be too easy, wouldn't it?"

One of the Nahdrahs comes over with a tray.

Lorne: "Oh, hors d'oeuvres. (Sees that they are Eyeballs and insects on round crackers) Oh, really I couldn't. I had eyeballs and insects for breakfast."

Angel walks into the vamps' lair, looking around.

Angel: "Ooh, aren't we just the scary serial vamps - with the spooky lair -and the taking of trophies of our victims?"

Angel picks up some of the stuff (like watches, wallets, purses, etc) on one of the tables then drops it back down.

Angel: "Lame."

Angel pulls out a stake and flattens himself against the wall next to the door as footsteps approach. A man comes in, carrying more loot, and Angel attacks him from behind. The guy drops the stuff and turns on Angel, revealing his vamp face and the two of them fight. Angel gets thrown around a bit. He lands on the floor and picks up a broken table leg.

Angel: "Next time you hit the yard sales, I'd avoid the wooden furniture. (Angel stakes the vamp as it charges him again.) I hear Wicker is nice."

Angel gets up to see two other vamps standing there.

Angel: "Oh, great. Two more."

Vamp1: "Dibs on the coat."

Angel walks back into Harlan Elsters office. The real Harlan Elster is looking through some papers.

Angel: "Excuse me."

Elster: "What do you want?"

Angel: "I-I'm looking for Harlan Elster?"

Elster: "I'm Harlan Elster."

Angel: "That's bad."

Elster: "How's that bad?"

Angel: "Well, because the Harlan Elster I'm looking for (pulls out the check) gave me this."

Elster steps up to take a closer look at it, then points at his chin.

Elster: "Really. Well, he gave me this. (Hands the check back to Angel) At least mine's real. The man who forged my name, about your height, less beat up?"

Angel: "Yeah, that's him."

Elster: "Sam Ryan. Used to work for me. Press Foreman. Fired him six months ago. He kept coming to me to bankroll his kooky scheme."

Angel: "Kooky scheme?"

Elster: "The guy's been a little bit off his nut ever since he lost his friend. Wanted me to pay some charlatan ghostbuster to clean out an abandoned rathole in midtown. He was convinced *vampires* were nesting there. Some people would take advantage of a guy like that."

Angel: "Yeah. (Holds up the check and rips it in two) Yeah."

Starts to leave.

Elster: "Immortal creatures living in a rat infested building, guarding their treasure. Right."

Angel turning back: "Treasure?"

Fred is putting some of the glass hunks together.

Fred: "There is a ascending and descending causation instantly proved by (the pieces stick together) - that! (Giggles) I think I'm on to something here."

Lorne: "Yeah, me too. Unfortunately it requires a vomitorium."

Fred: "Oh - I'm sorry.

Lorne clicks to the Nahdrah watching Fred's progress. The Nahdrah points and clicks in answer.

Lorne: "I'll just go use the facilities. Keep up the good work."

Lorne leaves as Fred slides another glass piece into place, causing the Nahdrah to hurry away.

Lorne is walking up some stairs and turns down a gangway. He hears some soft whirring and clicking and turns the other way. He traces the sounds to a curtained off alcove. Parting one of the curtains slightly he sees a sick looking Nahdrah without a mask sitting in a chair, attended by several others. Lorne watches as one of the Nahdrahs turns a laptop so the big one in the chair (and Lorne) can see the screen. It shows a picture of Fred's head sliding over onto the shoulders of the guy sitting in the chair.

Subtitles: "She is solving the puzzle, sire. We have found a head worthy to rest upon your noble shoulders."

The prince in the chair nods. Lorne turns away - only to get hit over the head with a metal bar from behind.

Subtitles as we zoom in on the picture of Fred's head on the prince's body: "We will sew it on this very night."

Break

Cordy is hopping up on her toes and dropping back down in front of Connor's bassinet. She gives up after a few tries and bends down to pick Connor up.

Cordy: "Hmm. Well, I figured it was a long shot. But I really can float, you know. Well, I did that one time during my last vision. Who-ee - somebody needs a change. (Puts him back down) But before that, believe me, there was no floating up piece of mind destiny to my visions. No there was just - killer pain. And unfortunately, that's not an exaggeration. They really were killing me. (She moves the tea tray and puts a cloth down) So, the Powers That Be put a little demon in me, and as far as side effects go (Picks Connor back up) The visions are a breeze now. (Puts him down on the cloth and starts to change him) I don't know what else might be in store. I'm keeping an eye out for horns and a tail. Wow. It just occurred to me what a weird life you're in for, little guy. Your aunt Cordy gets visions and your daddy is a... - Well, you won't see him aging whole lot, or catching surf and sun in Malibu. But he is a good man, a champion, and he loves you very much. Plus, he's quite the natty dresser. (The change done, she picks Connor up) And your daddy is out there right now fighting evil - for money."

Sam Ryan walks into the vampires' nest and looks around. He picks up a watch off one of the dressers and looks at it. Angel grabs Sam's arm from behind and takes the watch away from him.

Sam: "Give it back."

Angel: "No, I think I earned it, don't you? What is it? Rolex?"

Sam: "Timex."

Angel: "Oh. (Twists Sam's arm a littleharder) What is it, really? Considering all the trouble you went through to get it, we both know it's not just a watch."

Sam: "That's true. It's not."

Angel: "Probably worth more than ten grand, too."

Sam: "A lot more."

Angel: "What's it do? Open a portal? Raise an army?"

Sam: "It glows in the dark. Probably about all of them do now. Looks like they cracked it when they took it off him. (Angel lets go of Sam and Sam turns to face him) I told him to let them have it, but - he wasn't about to give it up. It was the first thing I ever bought him."

Angel: "These vampires killed your friend."

Sam nodding: "Look. I'm sorry about what I did. I needed help. I didn't know what else to do."

Angel: "So you lied to me."

Sam: "I'm sorry."

Angel: "I didn't kill three vampires for nothing. Ten grand - that was the deal."

Sam: "Seven."

Angel: "Okay. Fine. I'll take seven."

Sam: "No, no, no. You said three vampires. There were seven."

They both look around.

Angel: "Which would make four more."

Sam: "Four more."

Cordy bending over the bassinet: "You're gonna discover there's a lot of cool things in this world. (Holds up two handful of the Nahdrah's money with a big smile) Fifty grand - way up there on the list."

Cordy goes to put the bills back into the suitcase with the other ones.

Cordy: "We're just gonna lock this up in the safe and... "

The camera zooms in close as Cordy kind of freezes, a wide-eyed expression on her face.

Cordy: "Right after this vision."

We get blurry shots of Fred solving the puzzle, of the prince and the laptop screen, then of a knife blade coming at Fred.

Cordy: "Oh god. Fred, don't solve that puzzle."

Fred puts another piece of glass into place, smiling: "Shouldn't be long now."

Ally: "Do you guys know how much longer we're gonna be? I've got plans this evening."

Wes: "We've taken every precaution, secured every entrance..."

We hear glass breaking and Gunn and Wes stand up, weapons at the ready.

Gunn: "With the possible exception of the skylight in the kitchen."

Brian walking in: "Ally! - Ally - baby, I just..."

Ally flinches as Gunn hits Brian over the head with the baseball bat.

Wes: "Into the bedroom."

Brian pushes Wes and Gunn away from him, as Ally runs for the bedroom. They pick themselves back up and Gunn clubs Brian again before they hurry after Ally.

Cordy hangs up the phone.

Cordy: "Well. Your uncle Wes and uncle Gunn not picking up either. And your daddy, he doesn't know how to work his voicemail (Picks Connor up) or keep a promise. So we'll go down to the Marina, return the money and explain it was all just a big mistake."

Cordy, holding Connor in one arm, picks up the money case with her free hand and heads out.

Gunn and Wes are sliding a dresser in front of the bedroom door as Brian pounds on it.

Brian: "Ally, why won't you talk to me?"

Ally: "Because you're dead. Now, go away! (To Wes and Gunn) You know, I'm paying good money here. Can you please get rid of him?"

Gunn and Wes try to brace the dresser, but it is slowly pushed back to the point where Brian and stick his head in through the crack in the door.

Brian: "Just give me another chance, baby. (Looks at Gunn and Wes) Who are these guys?"

Wes: "We are here to protect her from you, actually."

Brian: "Protection? (Lets out a deep breath and smiles at Ally) I thought you were dating them."

Ally: "You know, this is exactly why I broke up with you. You're suffocating me! Now, get lost!"

Ally tries to help push the dresser. Gunn lifts his bat one handed and bashes at Brian's hand and head with it. They manage to shut the door. They all wait and listen for a moment, then Wes motions for Gunn to take a look as he slides the dresser back.

Wes: "What's he doing?"

Gunn: "Pouting."

Ally: "Okay. That's it."

She walks past Gunn out into the living room, where Brian is sitting, hunched over.

Ally: "You know, this is so typical of you. You're all bluster and then you pout."

Brian: "I thought we had fun together."

Ally: "We did, but you're so - needy."

Brian: "Needy? Because I cared?"

Ally: "Caring didn't entitle you to read my diary, follow me to work..."

Brian: "I never... Okay, I read your diary once or twice. Does that give you a reason to poison me?"

Ally notices Gunn and Wes looking at her.

Ally: "What? You're gonna believe everything a zombie says?"

Wes: "Are you saying *she* killed you?"

Brian: "I'd forgive her if she'd take me back."

Gunn: "You're kidding, right?"

Brian: "No. (To Ally) Baby, I've seen the guys you've been going out with. You're not having any fun! Come on. Lets give it another shot."

Ally stays silent, just looking at Brian. Brian gets up, smiling.

Brian: "What do you say? Me and you?"

Ally, half smiling: "Eew, I-I can't. It's creepy."

Brian: "Come on. I miss you."

Gunn shakes his head.

Ally: "Oh. I don't know. - Maybe I was a little - hasty."

They grin at each other then hug.

Gunn and Wes look at each other, as Brian gives Ally a kiss.

Wes, turning back: "Will that be cash or charge?"

Sam is bracing his back against the door of the vampire nest as someone is pounding on it from outside.

Sam: "Alright. You're kidding me, right?"

Angel, sitting on a table across the room: "Sorry. I don't get paid I can't fight."

Sam: "I don't think I can hold this by myself."

Angel: "Yeah. I see that."

Sam: "They're coming through."

Angel gets up: "Okay. You know what, I'll help barricade, but that's it."

Angel leans his back against the door beside Sam.

Sam: "I'm sorry I lied to you. I shouldn't have."

Angel: "No. You did the wrong thing. But your heart was in the right place. Your motives were noble."

Sam: "Thank you."

Angel: "It's not as though I haven't been accused of nobility myself once or twice."

Sam: "Then you understand."

Angel: "Yeah. But being a champion is not all good deeds and happy endings. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes. People don't seem to consider that."

The thudding on the door gets harder.

Sam: "I think - I think we're in real trouble here."

Angel: "All right. Maybe we can work something out. You own a car?"

Sam: "The bank owns it."

Angel: "House?"

Sam: "I rent."

Angel: "How's your credit. Can you borrow?"

Sam: "I'm kind of out of a job. Spent all I had tracking these guys."

Angel: "I don't know what to tell you, Sam. I can't kill on deferment. Sets a precedent."

Fred slides the last piece of the puzzle into place the glass pyramid she has formed lights up. The Nahdrahs around her click away in excitement. Fred takes off her glasses, a big smile on her face.

Fred: "Oh, it was nothing. (The Nahdrahs take a hold of her and pull her along) Oh. Are we going somewhere to celebrate? Say, has anyone seen my friend with the horns? He wasn't feeling so good and I'm a little worried about him."

They enter another room and Fred sees Lorne lying tied up on the floor.

Fred: "And me now."

Lorne: "Yeah, I know. We're in a bit of a situation here."

The Nahdrahs push Fred down in a chair across from their prince and close the clamps to hold her in place.

Fred: "Oh god. I don't have to marry him, do I?"

Lorne: "In fact, no. And that's something we can be grateful for."

Fred: "What are they gonna do?"

Lorne: "Well it seems the prince's head or heads, I should say, wear out every so often, and they uh..."

Fred: "Cut off someone else's and give him a new one?"

Lorne: "Uh, ah..."

One of the Nahdrahs his holding a blade up.

Fred: "Lorne, help. Help!"

A sharp whistle sounds and everyone turns to look at Cordy standing in the door, holding the money and Connor.

Cordy: "Hey! I'd just like a word here."

Lorne: "Oh-ho-ho, you guys are *so* gonna get your butts kicked!"

Cordy: "Lorne."

Lorne: "Sorry. I yield the floor to the person *not* tied up on it."

Cordy: "Translate. There's been a terrible misunderstanding. And I know you're men of honor and I know we can make a simple exchange - in a - a civilized manner."

Cordy looks at Lorne and he starts to click away at the Nahdrahs. Cordy sets down the suitcase.

Cordy: "We return your gracious gift and you return Fred. Sorry about the confusion, but we kind of need her head at work."

Fred: "Firmly attached to her body."

Cordy: "That goes without saying. (Lorne is staring at her) Say it!"

Lorne: "Ah, uh..."

Clicks away to the Nahdrahs, who answer back and raise their weapons.

Lorne: "I told them what they had to do, and told them what would happen if they didn't do it."

Cordy: "Lorne, we're in no position to be threatening these nice people."

Lorne: "Oh, sure we are. Angel, Wes, and Gunn can take 'em! Can't see them from down here. Where are they anyway?"

Cordy: "Out making money."

Lorne: "Oh. So, when I told the Nahdrahs that they were surrounded by killer warriors I was stretching the truth a little?"

Cordy: "Just enough to get us all killed."

Cordy gives the Nahdrahs a big smile.

Break

Back at the vampire nest Angel steps away from the door.

Sam: "Uh, yeah, hello? What happened to the complimentary barricading?"

Angel throws a chair up to break a window high up in the wall.

Angel: "It's gonna give. I'm getting you out of here. Lets go."

Sam closes his eyes for a moment: "No. You go."

Angel: "What?"

Sam: "I'm not leaving. I can't."

Angel: "You think you can take on four vampires by yourself?"

Sam: "Probably not. But these things killed Jack. If I run now, I'll be running the rest of my life."

Angel rubs his eyes: "Yeah, that's noble, Sam, but do you really think that's what Jack would want?"

Sam: "No. I think Jack would probably wanna be here with me. But that's never gonna happen."

Angel sighs and picks up a wooden chair leg. He goes over to the door and pulls Sam away from it, talking to him.

Angel: "You take on a job in good faith - you expect to be compensated. You provide the best service you can offer."

The door behind Angel burst open and four vampires rush in. Angel stakes one of them without even looking around, throwing another to the side, never taking his eyes off Sam.

Angel: "A quality service. - But you know, there's overhead."

The vamp in the doorway hesitates as Angel grabs another one and stakes it off hand, still ranting.

Angel: "There's rent, three phone lines, advertising, it adds up."

The remaining vamps run as Angel pulls out the watch and throws it at Sam.

Angel: "Here."

Angel starts to leave.

Sam: "Thank you. I can't even begin to express my..."

Angel throws the chair leg to the side on his way out the door. We hear some beeping. Angel pulls out his phone.

Sam calling after him: "I owe you. - You're a real - champion."

Angel: "Yeah whatever. (To phone) Hello? (Beeping continues) Hello?!"

Sam: "Hey - I think - I think that's your voice mail."

Cordy: "Lorne - do these guys have groins?"

Fred: "Is that really important right now?"

Cordy: "Work with me here, kids."

Lorne: "I think so. I never knew one intimately."

Cordy steps forward and kicks one of the Nahdrahs between the legs. We hear a metal clang, and Cordy hops back on one foot.

Cordy: "Oh. Ow! Ow! Ow!"

Cordy hops backwards through the curtain, only to come back in, bracketed by Wes and Gunn, who proceed to attack the Nahdrahs.

The Nahdrah standing next to Fred holds the sword blade against her throat and Fred begins to scream.

Cordy: "Fred! Help her!"

Wes and Gunn pop up out of the fight: "Fred!"

Gunn grabs a metal rod, while Wes grabs the suitcase, and hurl them. The rod knocks the Nahdrah with the sword backwards, away from Fred. The suitcase decapitates the prince before bursting open against the wall. All the fighting and screaming stops as the Nahdrahs stare at their headless prince.

Gunn: "Well, I guess you cut off the snake's head..."

All the Nahdrahs start clicking and raise their weapons.

Wes: "You piss the other snakes off."

Wes and Gunn go down under the assault. The skylight burst and Angel drops in on them joining the fight.

Wes and Gunn are working on freeing Fred. There are Nahdrah bodies littering the floor.

Angel to Cordy: "I should have listened to you."

Cordy: "Well, yeah."

Angel takes Connor from her: "I should never have left you and the baby alone like that."

Cordy: "Well - yeah."

Wes and Gunn help Fred up out of the chair.

Fred: "If you can keep your head when those about you are losing theirs guess you're pretty lucky. I could kiss you both."

Wes and Gunn both move closer. Lorne clears his throat, and they all look down at him.

Lorne: "Uh, still tied up down here."

Fred: "Oh..."

The three of them proceed to untie Lorne.

Lorne: "Yeah, come on. My hands are turning pink."

Angel: "Guys, can I say something? (Angel looks at the spilled money) Money's important but it - it isn't everything. - I got - I got carried away. - I just (looks down at Connor) I never had a life that was totally dependent on me before. (Looks at the money again) But that's no excuse. (To Cordy) Where was I?"

Cordy: "Money's not the most important."

Angel: "No, it's not. What's - important is (looks from Connor to the other) family - and the mission."

Cordy after a beat: "They tried to cut Fred's head off. We earned every penny."

Angel: "Hold the baby."

Cordy takes Connor from Angel as everyone but her rushes over to the spilled money and starts to stuff it into their pockets.

Gunn: "Spending money..."

Hyperion, night, Cordy is singing a lullaby.

Cordy: "Go to sleep, my baby peep..."

She and Angel are falling asleep lying on top of Angel's bed with Connor in between them, feeding from a bottle.

Cordy: "I'm just saying a boat."

Angel: "No. College fund."

Cordy: "Yes. College fund - and pay our bills - and put a down payment on a boat."

Angel: "We're not getting a boat."

Cordy: "Hmm, they're fun."

Angel: "They're expensive. And when would I go on this boat, hmm?"

Cordy: "Moonlight sails. - Okay. - College fund - pay our bills - and rent a ski condo in Aspen."

Angel: "Ski condo?"

Cordy: "There's got to be some fun in our lives."

Angel: "Hmm - I like a ski condo."

Cordy: "Sure. Snow. Trees. Chipmunk robots on ice..."

Angel: "Chipmunk robots... - on ice..."


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