Forever Dreaming
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3x13 - Waiting in the Wings
https://foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=154&t=9497
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Author:  bunniefuu [ 02/07/02 17:51 ]
Post subject:  3x13 - Waiting in the Wings

Wesley is sitting in front of a book open to a woodcut of a demon.

Wes: "Honestly, have you ever seen anything lovelier? So - graceful, so full of life. And those eyes... make you feel like you’re the only man in the room."

Cordy: "Plus, six breast. Any man is gonna love that."

Wes: "Fred doesn't have six breasts! - Right?"

Cordy, writing on a notepad: "Sorialus the Ravager. (Looks down at the book) And, yeah, she's the one from my vision."

Wes: "Coming to destroy the humans that killed her mate."

Cordy: "But not for another month or so. I'll file her under 'pending.' - You're gonna ask her out?"

Wes: "The Ravager?"

Cordy: "Fred."

Wes: "Oh. - Yes - but, you know - timing. I'll make my move when I feel the iron is hot."

Cordy: "Well, get it done, Johnny Reb. So I can hear about something else, and you can do something else besides feeling your hot iron."

Wes: "Am I very boring on the subject?"

Cordy smiles: "You know, there was a time when you thought I was the loveliest thing in the world."

Wes: "Well, I... You're an extraordinary woman. (Cordy raises an eyebrow) I..."

Cordy: "At ease, soldier. Just like to hear it every now and then. I was the ditziest bitch in Sunnydale, could have had any man I wanted. Now I'm all superhero-y and the best action I can get is an invisible ghost who's good with the Loohfah."

Turns from filing away her notes to look at Wes. Wes looks at her for half a moment then looks back down at his book.

Wes: "I'm sorry. I missed that last part."

Cordy smiling: "You *are* a gentleman."

Angel: "Who's doing what with the Loofah?"

Wes, getting up: "Not Loofah, Looh-fah. Nooctm... Skumth. It's a demon."

Cordy (to Angel): "So, you went with the dark clothes today."

Angel: "Ask me why I'm smiling."

Cordy: "I will, because it's scaring me."

Angel pulls some tickets out of his back pocket and holds them up.

Angel: "We - are stepping out."

Shot of the Hyperion by day.

Gunn: "You are a remarkable woman. Particularly the way you can shovel a mountain range of food into your mouth. That is some Olympian feat, that much eatin'."

Gunn and Fred are walking into the Hyperion's garden court from the street.

Fred: "Oh, was I a pig? It's just that that first breakfast seems to go so quick, and I'm always still..."

Gunn: "Nah, I was wondering where it all goes in that little stick-figure body you got."

Fred: "Stick? You're a beast."

Gunn: "Ah, come on. You know you're gorgeous."

Fred looks at his back as he walks up the steps into the Hyperion.

Gunn, entering the lobby: "Morning friends and neighbors. Ooh, are those the tickets? You got 'em?"

Angel: "Well, I got to the ticket place and..."

Gunn: "I'm paying you back. This one's on me."

Fred: "Morning."

Gunn: "Mahta Hari is the tightest band in LA. You guys are gonna be trippin' out."

Angel: "The only thing is..."

Gunn puts a hand on Angel's shoulder: "Look, I said I'm good for it, man. Don't have to worry about dippin' in the Connor college fund. (Takes the tickets from Angel) The time I saw the Mahta Hari at the Troubadour they where the (reads tickets) "Blinnikov World Ballet Tour. What's going on?"

Angel: "I was trying to tell you. I got to the ticket place and boom! Tonight only!"

Gunn: "But - you got ballet on my Mahta Hari tickets."

Angel: "This is the Blinnikov World Ballet Corps."

Cordy: "He's been saying that like it has meaning."

Angel: "This is one of the premier companies in the world. And they're going Giselle! It's their signature piece."

Gunn: "This is all like some horrible dream."

Wes: "I think I've heard of them. Very ahead of their time."

Angel: "Oh, yeah. Yeah. I saw their production of Giselle in eighteen-ninety. I cried like a baby. And I was evil!"

Fred: "I-I think it sounds exciting!"

Wes: "Yes."

Gunn: "No. No! This is not Mahta Hari. This is tutus, and guys with their big-ass packages jumping up and down. This is just... (To Angel) I will never trust you again. The trust is gone."

Cordy: "Oh, get over it. Do we get dressed up?"

Angel: "Of course."

Cordy: "I'm in."

Angel: "Guys, seeing real ballet live it's... (sighs) it's like another world. Gunn, these guys are tight, and you're gonna be trippin' out."

Gunn: "Don't be usin' my own phrases when we lost the trust."

Cordy: "Come on, guys. Working day, cases to solve."

Gunn: "Okay. But I'm not still paying, right. Because this is... (Looks at the tickets) this is... It's like a nightmare."

The director of the ballet company, wearing a Russian cross with a red stone in the middle on his tie and another man are walking backstage at the theater.

Man: "It's such an honor to have the company here, I have to say. All of LA is buzzing. To have the Blinnikov performing Giselle... I can't imagine what's tonight's going to be like."

Director: "It will be the performance of a lifetime."

The camera angle changes so that we are looking down on them from the rigging past some gray-skinned hands while hearing some strange giggling.

Director: "I guarantee it."

Intro

Cordy and Fred are in a fancy clothing store.

Fred: "Are you certain this is the place for us?"

Cordy: "Well, we could always get our outfits at 'Cave-girl's House of Burlap,' but that's just so last season. The guys are all renting tuxes. We gotta step up."

Fred: "But aren't we - you know - poor?"

Cordy: "There is a custom amongst my people. It's called 'buying a dress, wearing it once, and returning it the next day.' It's all about hiding the tags while it's on."

Fred: "Oh. Okay. I'm very excited about tonight. I love the ballet! I mean, I haven't seen that much, but my family used to go to the Nutcracker every Christmas, and I had my first sexual dream about the Mouseking."

Cordy gives Fred a look and half nods before holding up a dress.

Cordy: "Face me."

Holds the dress up against Fred then shakes her head and puts it back on the rack.

Fred: "Can I ask you something?"

Cordy, looking at another dress: "I think you guys are perfect for each other. (Turns to smile at Fred) I have magic powers, remember?"

Fred: "It -it's not like we've said anything or... but he's so sweet... and commanding, and I feel so comfortable around him...(Looks down) I mean, I don't even know if he feels..."

Cordy: "He feels."

Fred, looking up: "Feelings?"

Cordy: "Oh, there is definite feelings. We find the right outfit for tonight, there may be actual feeling."

Fred: "And then we have to find a dress for you. Something that will make Angel crazy."

Cordy: "Fred, sweetie. Angel *is* crazy."

Fred: "Well, I know he's gonna wanna look his best for you."

Cordy: "That's right. The world's champion is gonna spend all day worrying about his outfit!"

Lorne is wiping at the back of Angel's tux jacket with a rag.

Angel: "Is it gonna to be alright? Is there a stain?"

Lorne: "Oh, relax, crumb cake. I've got the soda water working overtime. Man, little Connor burps like a champ."

Angel: "At least he's sleeping."

Lorne: "Who wouldn't? With that sweet Irish lullaby you crooned. Just a hair flat on the bridge, but - more to the point - Cordelia?"

Angel: "What about her?"

Lorne: "I read you while you were singing, you big corn muffin, and uh, can't say as I blame. I mean, what a woman she's become."

Angel: "You're not supposed to be reading me. Anyway, you read me wrong."

Angel sits down on the edge of his bed and starts to put his shoes on.

Lorne: "Sorry, strudel. It's not just when you're singing. We got a little term back in Pylea. Kyrumption?"

Angel: "I know it."

Lorne: "Okay. When two great heroes come together..."

Angel: "There will be no coming together, okay? Everything we've been through together and all anybody wants to talk about is..."

Lorne: "Can't fight Kyrumption, cinnamon buns. It's fate. It's the stars. Kyrumption is..."

Angel gets up: "Stop saying that. And stop calling me pastries."

Lorne after watching Angel for a moment: "You're a man of many limitations, Angel. But you're a man. You got a heart. And Cordelia is a hell of a lady. I mean, if I thought she'd like to wear green, I'd be elbowing you out of the way. But she's out of my league. She's a champion, Angel, old school. And besides, we all know you got a thing for ex-cheerleaders."

Lorne drops into a chair, chuckling, but Angel only looks down.

Angel: "What have I got to offer her?"

Lorne: "Do I even have to answer that? You just have to act, Angel. You gotta let her know what's brewing inside. 'cause, man, it's real and - and you don't wanna miss that shot!"

Angel shaking his head: "Lorne, Cordelia, she's..."

Cordy: "She's what?"

Both of them turn to look at Cordy standing in the doorway, showing off her dress.

Angel after a beat: "I-I was just saying that you're not much of an ballet fan."

Lorne aside to Angel: "You - you know, disregard everything I said. I forgot how homely she was."

Angel: "You - you look like..."

Cordy: "Like a ballet fan? (Comes swaying into the room) An aficionado? A devotee, in fact? (Reaches up to adjust Angel's bow-tie) Tonight I've decided that we don't have to be our incredibly dreary selves. (Smiles at Angel) Tonight we're just a couple of young sophisticates enjoying an evening of classical dance. How does that sound?"

Angel: "Sounds just right."

Gunn: "You got to promise not to laugh."

Fred: "I promise."

Gunn: "It's gotta come from the heart."

Fred: "Will you stop being such a little girl? I said, I promise."

Gunn steps out into Fred's view and spreads his arms so she can get a look at his tux, not looking at her. Fred's eyes go wide. After a moment she bursts out laughing.

Gunn: "This is what your promises are worth? I'm having a lot of trust issues at this time in my life."

Fred: "It's just - my god, you're so pretty."

Gunn smiling: "You know there's not a lot of people could say that to me and live. But - the way you look - there is no way I can fight you."

Fred: "Tonight feels... I don't know - kind of magical. Is that stupid?"

Wes comes up and drapes Fred's stole over her shoulders.

Wes: "Not at all. (Notices Gunn) Finally came out of hiding."

Gunn motions towards Fred: "And look at my reward."

Wes: "Yes. Isn't she a vision."

Gunn: "A lot of that going around."

Cordy is walking down the steps on Angel's arm.

Cordy: "Thank you, but no thank you. There will be no visions tonight."

Angel: "How can you be sure?"

Cordy: "I had a vision."

Wes drapes her jacket over Cordy's shoulders.

Cordy: "Thank you. (Whispering) The iron is hot."

Wes looks from Cordy to Fred. They all walk out of the lobby.

Fred looks around the theater lobby with a big smile on her face.

The gang settles into their seats. Wes, Fred and Gunn are sitting together in one row. Angel and Cordy have seats in the row just behind them.

Angel: "Sorry they're not closer. Getting five seats together..."

Wes: "Don't be silly. Best place. We get the whole panorama from here."

Cordy: "Besides, back here we stand less chance of setting off the 'under seventy' alarm."

Angel: "Back in the day I'd always get box seats. Or I'd just eat the people who had 'em.'

Cordy: "Don't lets reminisce. We're here. Enjoy."

The camera pans down to the stage as the curtain opens. As the ballet begins we pan up to a box, where the Russian director is watching the performance.

We get a shot of Cordy snoring in her seat. She jerks and moves, without waking so her head is now lying against Angel's shoulder, still quietly snoring away.

In the row in front of them Wes glances at Fred, while Gunn is leaning forward, intent on the stage, a smile on his face. Fred looks over at Gunn and smiles. Angel, Cordy still snoring, is watching the performance, a frown spreading over his face.

The act comes to an end and people begin to applaud.

Gunn clapping: ""Bravo! Bravo!"

Cordy jerking upright: "I loved it."

Angel: "It's just intermission."

Cordy, wiping at her face: "Oh."

Gunn: "Bravo! Bravo!"

Cordy looks at Angel's jacket where her head was resting.

Cordy: "That isn't drool, is it?"

Angel: "It's okay. Matches the back."

The group is walking out in the lobby.

Gunn: "I say it once, and gloat all you want: these guys are tight, and I am trippin' out."

Wes: "They certainly live up to their reputation. Has the choreography changed much since..."

Angel: "No. Nothing's changed."

Wes: "Well, it's wonderful they're able to..."

Angel: "No. I mean, nothings changed. These are the same dancers I saw before."

Fred: "That's impossible. We're watching the exact same troupe you saw in nineteen-ninety?"

Gunn: "I think he said eighteen-ninety."

Fred: "Oh. Okay, that's much more impossible."

Angel: "So, somebody wanna tell me how we're watching a show starring people who should have died sixty years ago?"

The gang exchanges looks but no one volunteers any ideas.

Cordy: "Well, it's a puzzler. Are there snacks?"

Break

Wes: "So what are we thinking? Vampires?"

Cordy: "Well, they're not a deeply tanned bunch."

Gunn: "That would explain the precision and the athleticism. I mean, some of those jumps were... (Sees the others looking at him) You know, I was cool before I met you all."

Cordy: "Dancing vampires. Who's not scared?"

Angel: "Not it. I'd know. I'd sense it."

Wes: "Even all the way back there... (Angel looks at him) ...with the - panoramic view?"

Angel: "We should check it out."

Fred: "Maybe after the show we should head backstage?"

Angel: "I was thinking now. You guys should go back. I'll snoop."

Cordy: "I'm with snoopy. The magic of the ballet - not really getting to me."

Wes: "How will the dancers keep time without your rhythmic snoring?"

The lights flicker and a soft chiming sounds to indicate the end of the intermission.

Cordy to Wes: "Don't think that's not coming back to haunt you."

Angel: "Go."

Gunn: "Hurry."

Angel and Cordy are descending some stairs and spot a big security guard standing in front of the door at the bottom.

Cordy: "Check out the zeppelin."

Angel: "Awful lot of muscle for a ballet company."

Cordy: "You want I should distract him? Make with the nice, nice while you slip by?"

Angel: "Don't be stupid. I'm that guy and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen is making eyes at me? It's either bachelor party or a scam."

Cordy: "What did you just call me?"

Angel: "I'm sorry. You're not stupid."

Cordy: "No. After that."

Angel: "I think I'll just have to go with my patented sudden burst of violence."

Cordy: "Hey, hold on. I think I might have an approach that is a little more subtle."

Cordy to guard: "Hey! Do you like bribes?"

Guard, smiling: "Do I ever."

Cordy holds up some money: "Well, we *really* wanna go backstage."

Guard, taking the money: "Yeah, okay, but this isn't so much a bribe as it is a tip. And since I'm not parking your car, there's really no way that..."

The guard is handing the bill back to Cordy when he is knocked out by a sudden cross from Angel.

Angel: "Okay. That's how we do it."

Cordy as they walk through the door: "Okay. You saw the building as we drove by. Do you remember it going on forever?"

Angel glances past her down a corridor that stretches on without an end in sight.

Angel: "It's clearly a spell, or a time flux, or something. I don't think we wanna be rushing in here."

Cordy: "Well, lets get the others and talk options."

They turn back to the door they just came through, but instead there is just another corridor, stretching on forever.

Angel: "Works in theory."

Wes, Fred and Gunn are watching the dance. So is the director up in his box.

Angel and Cordy are walking down the corridor. Angel opens one of the doors and they enter.

Angel: "This is her dressing room."

Cordy: "The prima ballerina."

Angel: "It's unchanged."

Cordy sits down at the dressing table and picks up a little chain with a cross on it.

Cordy: "She would wait for him here."

Angel: "It's warm. It's very warm."

Cordy turns to look at him: "I feel it."

Angel: "Something happened here."

Cordy stands up: "Angel?"

Angel: "Yeah?"

Cordy: "I want you - to undress me."

Angel: "You what?"

Cordy: "It's just another costume. I want you to see who I really am. You're the only one who can."

Angel shaking his head slightly: "I... - This isn't us. Cordelia (licks his lips) we're acting this out. Someone is..."

Cordy: "Whoa! - Did - did I actually just ask you to undress me?"

Angel steps closer: "Is that what you want?"

Cordy: "Please... I..."

Angel: "You want me to make love to you right here?"

Cordy: "You know I do."

Angel caresses her cheek and leans in closer.

Angel, whispering: "But you're afraid."

Cordy: "What if he finds us?"

Angel: "I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid of anything."

Cordy, whispering: "I'm only alive when you're inside me."

They start kissing.

Break

We see the prima ballerina dancing with the lead dancer.

Cordy and Angel are still kissing passionately. Suddenly there is a hissing sound and Angel jerks away, putting one hand up against the side of his mouth and cheek.

Angel: "Ah! Cordelia."

Cordy: "Yes."

Angel: "I'm sorry."

Cordy: "No. We so need to be out of here."

Angel: "Yes."

They're both breathing rather fast as they move back together.

Cordy, not trying to get away: "This isn't out of here."

Angel: "I know. - Right."

Remaining on the verge of another kiss they move across the room. Cordy turns so that her back is to Angel, snaking one of her arms up behind his neck.

Cordy, breathless: "Open the damn door."

Angel: "Kinda hard."

Cordy: "Kinda noticed."

Never losing touch with Cordy's body, Angel reaches around and twists the door handle. Breaking apart, they hurry through the open door, and Angel slams it shut behind them.

Cordy: "Whoa!"

Angel, leaning with his back against the door: "That's a fair assessment."

Cordy, points at the door: "What the hell is that place?"

Angel: "There's spirits in there. Energy trapped in time. It took us over."

Cordy: "Yee. Scary. - Well, it's a good thing it wears off right away."

Cordy laughs as both of them look down. Angel takes off his tux jacket and folds it over his arm, strategically positioned in front of his body.

Angel: "Yeah. Good thing."

Lorne places Connor into the crib in Angel's room singing softly.

Lorne, singing: "Go to sleep, lullaby, you've been fed and you're sleepy. You'll be with uncle Lorne, who in no way resents not being asked to go to the ballet."

Lorne sits down by a desk and picks up a magazine.

Lorne, singing: "And is certainly, not thinking, of selling you to the first vampire cult that makes him a decent offer..."

The camera moves through the lobby, and up the stairs. Turns down the hallway.

Lorne is reading the magazine, humming to himself. He stops and glances towards the door. Puts the magazine down as he gets up.

Lorne: "Hey, you just sleep on, little nipper. Uncle Lorne is gonna make sure we're alone."

Lorne picks up Angel's fighting ax, leaning against the nightstand next to the rubber ducky, and heads for the door.

Lorne: "Won't be gone a moment."

The door opens as Lorne reaches it and his eyes go wide.

Lorne: "Oh my god."

Angel and Cordy are wandering down a hallway.

Cordy: "Are you sure this is the way?"

Angel: "I'm sure it's *a* way. Place is a maze. I'm just hoping there's another room. We can just go..."

Cordy: "Damn it!"

Angel: "What?"

Cordy: "I said something. Back in that room. Something important. Do you remember?"

Angel: "Uhm - you-you're only alive when I-I'm..."

Cordy: "Not that."

Angel: "No. Of course. I-I was just... Oh. Hey! I said you were afraid."

Cordy: "And I said - what if he finds us?"

Angel: "She had a secret lover."

Cordy: "They were afraid of someone. And I'll bet you anything that someone is the reason why we're stuck here! We left too soon."

Angel: "We... who? The room?"

Cordy: "It's a clue! Those spirits or - or energy or - or whatever are still in there. So we can figure out what happened. We have to go back in!"

Angel: "I'm marveling at the wrongness of that idea.'

Cordy: "You wanna wander around backstage like Spinal Tap for the next - ever?"

Angel: "I'm sure there are other rooms that..."

Cordy: "All we have to do is play the scene. Get in, get out. No one gets happy."

Angel: "What if there is - no more talking in that scene? - Look, I've been possessed by the spirits of old lovers before. Never goes well."

Cordy pulls out the necklace with the cross and holds it up.

Cordy: "Well, I've got my little cross if things get out of hand. (Angel won't look at her) Hey - it's awkward, but it's not *us.* So long as nothing is removed or - inserted it's all forgotten."

Angel: "It is us - Cordelia. It's you and me. - Kissing you, it's... - It's not something I can just..."

Cordy: "Oh, come on. It's not *that* horrible. (Turns to walk down the hall) Up to his ass in demon gore - fine! But ask him to mack on a hottie and he wigs. (Turns back to indicate Angel) My champion, ladies and gentlemen."

Up in the theater, Fred is watching the ballerina and the lead dance. Wes' hand slowly moves towards Fred's hand, resting on her knee - just as Gunn's hand does the same.

Fred, whispering: "Angel!"

Wes and Gunn jerk their hands back.

Gunn: "Huh?"

Fred: "And Cordy. They've been gone way too long."

Wes after a beat: "You're right. Come on."

Gunn, even as he gets up with them: "We're gonna miss the end!"

Wes: "I'm sorry."

Cordy and Angel are back in the dressing room of the ballerina, standing a few feet apart.

Angel: "Anything coming?"

Cordy: "Uhm..."

Cordy paces a little circle, then turns to face Angel.

Cordy: "Okay. Let's take it from the middle. - I want you to undress me."

Angel: "You want me to have sex now with you here."

Cordy: "Yes, but I'm scared."

Angel: "But you're afraid."

Cordy: "And afraid. What if we-he! - finds us?"

Angel awkwardly takes a hold of Cordy's shoulders and pulls her closer.

Angel: "Well, I'm not afraid of anything."

Cordy: "Only good inside, blah, blah, blah..."

Cordy squints her eyes closed and leans in to give Angel a quick smooch. Then they both look around the room.

Angel: "Maybe it only works the one time. You know, when the energy..."

Cordy reaches up and pulls Angel into a passionate kiss. The cross necklace drops from her fingers behind Angel's back.

Fred and the guys come across the unconscious security guard.

Gunn: "At least Angel left us a trail."

We hear mixed laughter and crying and two shapes move away as Gunn, Fred and Wes step over the downed guard and through the door.

The director is up in his box, watching the ballerina dance. We see two pairs of white-gloved hands on the back of his chair and hear the same mix of laughter and crying.

Director: "Deal with them. I can't be bothered right now."

The two shapes move away.

Angel is laying Cordy back on the lounge in the ballerina's dressing room, covering her neck with kisses.

Cordy: "This is wrong."

Angel: "Hush."

Cordy: "You don't know him. - He has power."

Angel: "The power to do this?"

Cordy gasps, takes a deep breath - and another.

Cordy: "Stephan, his power is unnatural. He could..."

Angel: "What? Kill us?"

Cordy: "Worse."

Angel: "Kurskov owns the company. He doesn't own you."

Cordy: "He doesn't know that. He thinks I'm his. (Sits up as a Russian accent enters her speech) That I dance for him. He is nothing but a deluded fan. He thinks I love him."

Angel: "Come away with me. Now. Tonight. We'll disappear. Even *he* won't find us."

Cordy: "I... - Stephan, everything I worked for is here."

Angel: "You can still dance."

Cordy: "Can I? I don't... Not yet. - Maybe when we're..."

Angel: "Don't. Don't make promises."

Cordy: "Help me. - Help me be not afraid."

She sinks back onto the lounge and Angel goes back to kissing her neck.

Fred, Gunn and Wes are walking the corridors.

Gunn: "This is very not right."

Fred: "Do you hear it?"

Wes: "There is something."

Two shapes flit across the corridor behind them, unnoticed. We can hear low moaning.

Wes: "Someone's in pain."

Fred: "Either that, or someone's in fun."

Angel is working his way south of Cordy's belly button, covering her bare skin with kisses.

Cordy, moaning: "Oh, no. (Suddenly her eyes widen and she sits up) Oh, no!"

Angel straightens up just in time to get knocked to the floor by one of the director's minions. Cordy peeks over the back of the lounge and watches as the minion, wearing a gray 'comedy mask' hits Angel across the chin with a hard right.

Cordy: "Oh, thank god!"

Angel hits back, knocking the minion to the floor.

Cordy, pulling the straps of her dress up onto her shoulders: "Okay. So. Good. They were probably interrupted by this Count Kurskov, or his lackeys, right? So we're done with the..."

Cordy throws up her hands to shield herself as Angel charges at her. Cordy lets out a scream as Angel launches himself over her, tackling the minion set to attack Cordy from behind.

The others out in the corridor follow the sounds of the fight.

Gunn: "Now that sounds less like fun."

One of Kurskov's minions, wearing a gray 'tragedy mask' come up behind Gunn. Gunn lets out a scream as the minion stabs him from behind with a sword.

Fred, spinning around: "Charles!"

Break

Another sword wielding minion is confronting Wesley.

Wes: "Fred, stay between us."

Gunn: "I need to..."

Fred picks up a prop and wallops the tragedy minion as Gunn drops to his knees with a groan.

Fred: "Wesley!"

Wes catches the tragedy minion's sword as Fred tosses it to him and engages the 'comedy' minion.

Wes: "Can you handle the other?"

Wes glances back to see Fred continuing to wallop on the sobbing 'tragedy' minion, before turning back to face his own foe.

Wes: "Well, then. Just us."

Cordy is throwing cushions and whatever else comes to hand at a laughing 'comedy' minion, while Angel has the 'tragedy' minion on the floor, choking it. The 'comedy' minion slashes at Cordy with its sword. Cordy picks up a short stick, decorated with swaths of ribbons. Looks at it as she dodges another swing, then over towards Angel.

Cordy: "A little help!"

The 'tragedy' minion pulls out a stiletto and stabs Angel through the heart with it.

Angel: "Thank you."

Angel pulls out the stiletto, knocks the 'tragedy' minion across the chin, then stabs it through the heart with its own sword, at the same time throwing the stiletto to skewer the 'comedy' minion through the throat.

Cordy watches the minion drop to the floor then hurries over to Angel.

Angel: "You alright?"

Cordy: "Yeah. We gotta move."

Angel looks from one minion to the other.

Angel: "You think they're not dead?"

Cordy: "You just looked *really* hot doing that."

Angel: "Oh."

Cordy nods: "Yeah."

Angel: "Run."

They jump up and run out the room, Angel taking the minion's sword with him.

Wes is fencing with the 'comedy' minion out in the corridor. The minion, with its grotesque comedy mask, is laughing the whole time. After some fancy sword and curtain work, Wes manages to run it through with his blade.

Wes: "Who is laughing now?"

The minion lets out a weak laugh.

Wes: "Well, you. But I still win."

Fred is performing some impromptu first aid on Gunn's wound.

Gunn: "That's good. That should hold. (Fred lets out a shaky breath) You okay? You hurt?"

Fred: "I'm fine. I just thought... (Takes a deep breath and looks away) I'm sorry. I shouldn't fall apart like this."

Gunn with a slight smile: "You scared I'm gonna die on you?"

Fred: "Charles, don't even..."

Gunn looks up at the ceiling and starts declaiming: "And all I ask - is one last kiss - as the light is dimming."

Breaks up in laughter.

Fred: "You think that's funny?"

Gunn: "It's just a scratch!"

Fred: "I thought it was... - I..."

Gunn: "Hey. (Gunn carefully reaches out and pulls Fred against him) Hey. (Gunn strokes Fred's shoulder then pulls back and tries to look into her eyes) You really that worried about me?"

Fred, not looking at him: "You probably think I'm an idiot."

Gunn, quietly: "I think if you care that much - the wound is definitely deep."

Fred raises her eyes to look at him: "The light is dimming?"

Gunn: "And all I ask (looks at her lips) is one (slowly leans forward) last..."

They kiss softly. The camera pulls back and we see Wesley standing a little way away watching them, his face reflected in a polished brass mirror. Wesley slowly turns and walks away.

We hear the sound of a sword tip dragging along the floor, see black clad legs shambling into view. Their owner drops to his knees and we see that it is Wesley. He bows his head, then turns it to look at the camera as and ominous music begins to play. The shot of Wes' face blends into a shot of Kurskov watching the prima ballerina dance on stage.

Gunn and Fred are getting to their feet as Angel and Cordy come up a branch of the corridor.

Angel: "You guys alright?"

Fred: "Charles got stabbed."

Gunn pulls up his shirt as Cordy hurries over to take a closer look.

Gunn: "Yeah. A couple stitches worth."

Angel looks at the dead minions.

Angel: "The same guys that attacked us."

Fred: "Cordy - your tag's showing."

Fred tucks the tag back away.

Gunn: "Any idea where we are or what the hell?"

Angel, shifting on his feet: "Yeah. Cordy and I hit kind of a mystical hotspot back in one of the dressing rooms."

Cordy: "Well, it seems the prima ballerina had a lover back in the day. And there was this Count Kurskov, who owned the company, and I guess he had a thing for the girl and - they were mightily afraid of him."

Angel: "He had powers of some kind."

Wes: "He was a wizard."

They all turn to see Wes standing on the threshold of one of the corridors archways, sword carried loosely by his side.

Wes: "He was obsessed with the girl. - When he found her with the other man, he went insane with jealous rage - pulled her out of time (slowly walks towards them) out of any reality beyond *his* theater, his company. He swore she would dance for him forever."

Fred: "How did you..."

Wes: "I - ah, - I hit a hotspot, too."

Gunn: "And now we're stuck here?"

Wes: "Well, ah, this kind of temporal shift can't just exist. It has to be maintained. That requires power and concentration. If we can overload him somehow, we might be able to slip back to the real world."

Gunn: "The man with the plan!"

Angel: "Great. So, how do we overload him?"

Wes: "Well, I'd imagine *that* requires some energy."

The others turn to look at what Wes is indicating. One of the dead minions is slowly rising, begins to shake, then splits in two, one wearing a tragedy mask and sobbing, the other wearing a comedy mask and laughing. Angel grabs them both in a head lock under each arm and breaks both their necks. As soon as they hit the floor they start shivering and splitting each into a new pair of theater minions.

Fred: "The more we kill, the more he makes."

Cordy, pointing: "Look!"

For a moment the wall of the corridor wavers, revealing another reality behind it.

Wes: "And that is draining his energy. Angel, try and find a way to the stage. The count will be watching."

Angel starts to walks away, muttering under his breath: "I bet *he* has a box."

Wes puts a hand on Angel's arm as he walks past and Angel stops to look at him.

Wes: "Find his power center and destroy it. We'll try and loosen his hold."

Gunn: "By making more monsters? Man with the frightening plan!"

A minion comes up the corridor and Angel spin kicks it, breaking its neck before heading past it.

Cordy, pointing: "Back here. They can't surround us."

They all move into the corner Cordy indicated. Cordy picks up one of the minion's swords, handing its stiletto to Gunn as he and Fred walk past her. Wes puts a hand on Gunn's arm.

Wes: "You two - (Looks from Fred to Gunn, then back to Fred) - stay close together. I'll take point."

Cordy, coming up beside him: "I hope you're in a killing mood."

Wes: "I should do alright."

We get intercut shots of the ballerina dancing on stage, the gang fighting the minions, and Angel looking for a way out of the corridor maze. The wall next to Angel flickers and after a split second's hesitation, Angel leaps at it - and lands in the wings off the stage. He sees the ballerina standing there watching from just off stage, waiting, at the same time the ballerina also comes dancing off the stage, her image shivering and dissolving as she passes from the view of the theater audience.

Angel: "Hello?"

The ballerina's head whips around and she stares at Angel.

Ballerina, speaking with a Russian accent: "Who are you? - There's no one... - You're new."

Angel: "I'm pretty old, actually. (Slowly walks closer) I've seen you dance."

Ballerina, looking out on the stage: "Everyone sees me."

Angel: "It was Giselle then, as well."

Ballerina: "Always."

Angel looks past the ballerina and sees Kurskov up in his box.

Angel: "I know what's happening. Count Kurskov - he's punishing you."

Ballerina: "He made me. He owns me. And when I dance it is only for him."

Beside Angel the air shivers as a row of dancers materializes and passes out onto the stage.

Angel: "Do you believe that?"

Ballerina: "It really doesn't matter. I'll dance. I'll wait here. And then I'll dance again. That's all."

Angel: "A hundred years - doing the same piece - every night. Is that enough? What about Stephan?"

Ballerina takes a deep breath: "I waited too long. I should have gone when he asked me, should have disappeared, but... (swallows hard) I wanted this. This dance, this... I hesitated and... - I lost everything that mattered. Now all I do is wait."

Angel: "You dance."

Ballerina: "There is a section in the first act, during the courtship dance, where - my foot slips. My ankle's turned and - and I don't quite hold - every time. (Glances at the box) He doesn't notice. He doesn't even know ballet that well. But always, at that same moment, I slip. - It isn't just the same ballet. (Looks at Angel) It's the same performance. I don't dance. (Returns to watching the stage) I echo. (After a moment she turns back to Angel) Please - can you make it stop?"

The gang all have swords now, fighting the minions.

Wes: "It's working!"

Gunn: "Yeah, there are dozens of them. Yay us!"

Wes: "It has to be weakening his hold."

Angel reaches out his hand towards the stage and it vanishes from view in mid-air.

Angel: "I can help you. But you have to do something."

Ballerina: "What?"

Angel: "Change the ending. Dance something new."

Ballerina: "I can't."

Angel: "He doesn't control all this. He's losing it. (Looks to see the 1890 backstage dissolve for a moment into the present day stage) But you have to take the stage. - It's not too late. You can change things."

The ballerina looks from Angel to the stage. She slowly steps towards the stage, looking back at Angel once, then goes out and begins to dance around the lead dancer, lying stretched out in the middle of the stage as the rest of the company leaves the stage. She raises her head from bowing down over the fallen body to look towards Angel, waiting in the wings, then steps back and strikes a different pose. Up in his box, Kurskov jumps up out of his chair.

Kurskov: "No!"

As the ballerina begins to dance again, the body of the lead dancer shivers and dissolves. The ballerina stops, holding a pose, and looks up defiantly at Kurskov's box. Angel run out onto the stage and with two great leaps lands in Kurskov's box. He grabs him by the lapels and pulls him close.

Angel: "Hey, where is your power center?"

Kurskov: "How dare you?"

Angel: "I'll guess."

Angel smashes the jewel in the center of the Russian cross-shaped medal hanging around Kurskov's neck.

A wave of blue light races out, washing over the ballerina on the stage, washing over the minions attacking the gang. Gunn stops in mid-swing to look around as his sword, the minions and the corridor dissolve into a modern day back stage room.

On the stage the ballerina looks up at Angel. Angel gives her a slight nod and she sinks down, folding her body on top of her outstretched leg, in something like a deep bow, before dissolving away.

Kurskov: "You have no right."

Angel: "Save it."

Out in the audience people begin to applaud.

Kurskov: "She - was my love. She danced only for *me!*"

Angel: "Yeah. You love her that much? (Hauls back and clocks Kurskov on the chin, dropping him to the floor) Start a website."

Angel leaves the box.

Hyperion, night. In his office, Wes is working on the wound in Gunn's back.

Wes: "We'll have to clean the wound. Do you want something for the pain?"

Gunn, looking at Fred sitting across from him: "What pain?"

Fred smiles at Gunn. We see that Angel was watching them. He turns away, a slight smile on his face. Out in the lobby Cordy is brushing at her dress.

Cordy: "Do you think I can still return it? Because otherwise we're gonna have to take on a lot more cases."

Angel: "Cordy."

Cordy: "You know, we should probably just not talk about - our little adventure. Anything that might have been seen, anything that might have been, oh (lets out a laugh) perky."

Angel turning away: "I just wanna pretend it never happened."

Cordy: "Exactly."

Angel: "Wipe it from my memory."

Cordy: "What? - Was it, like, disgusting?"

Angel: "No! I, ah... I would, I would just want... If we were to... - I would just want it to be... - new. Start at the beginning."

Cordy shaking her head: "Lost me in the middle."

Angel: "Cordy - you and I, we've been working together for - a long time. (Cordy lets out a short 'duh' kind of laugh) What I mean is, you've become a truly extraordinary woman. (Cordy grins) I know we haven't always gotten along, but - I think that we, you know, we..."

Cordy: "Groo?"

Angel: "Yes! We - we-we grew - closer together, I think..."

Cordy runs past Angel yelling: "Groo!"

Groo: "Princess!"

Angel turns to see Cordy throw herself into the Groosalug's arms as he comes down the stairs. Groo catches her in a tight hug, swinging her around.

Cordy: "Oh god! I can't believe it!"

Fred and Wes come out of the office at the noise.

Groo looking deep into Cordy's eyes: "I feared you'd forget who I was."

Cordy, running a hand down the side of his face: "Remind me."

They kiss.

Lorne walks over to stand next to Angel, who isn't taking his eyes of Cordy and Groo.

Lorne: "He just showed up. Apparently once everyone in Pylea got their freedom, the political situation got a little sketchy. The Groosalug here got deposed and they set up some kind of people's republic. So, he came looking for his - true love."

Angel: "Huh. That's good-good for her."

Lorne: "Yeah."

Angel turning away: "I'm gonna check on Connor."

Lorne: "Ah, he's sleeping."

Angel keeps walking up the stairs.

Fred: "Well, that's a surprise. I thought for sure she was meant to be with Angel. I guess you never can predict those things. (Turns to look at Wesley) You know?"

Wes, looking at her, after a beat: "No. I guess you never can."

Fred gives him a smile, then turns back to watching Groo and Cordy.

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