6 x 04 - Here Without You
Previously on Angel finishes with WESLEY-ILLYRIA standing up to say “I feel better.” There is a music sting and we Fade out/Fade in to:
Scene: FRED’s room in the Hyperion at the start of Season 3. Close of FRED, staring intently at a blank stretch of wall. She starts to breathe quickly, as though having a panic attack, looking more and more worried the longer she stares at it.
She strikes a pen across the wall, slashing haphazard diagonal lines across the paint with every word.
FRED: No, no, no, no, no, no. This’s wrong, it’s all wrong.
She looks around at the room and we pan around to see the crazy script on the other bits of wall, complex mathematics mixed in with the scribblings of a madwoman.
FRED: I was supposed to have finished this by now. It’s simple, there’s nothing to it. People do this every day, every day, every day, every day…
She trails off and scratches her head with the pen-holding hand, drawing a thick black mark across her forehead.
FRED: Oh shoot.
She goes to the mirror and squats down on top of a chair (rather than sitting). She tries to clean it off by rubbing with the pen-holding hand, inadvertently drawing on her nose as well. She switches hand and licks her thumb, rubbing at her skin to try and clean the ink off, getting most of it. She loses track of what she’s doing and stares into the mirror, looking at herself curiously. She holds up her hand and watches her reflection do the same and then she stretches out her fingers to touch the face in the mirror and looks quite surprised when they bump against solid glass, as though she expected them to go right through.
FRED (decisive): Winifred Burkle. Win-i-fr-ed B-ur-kle. <holding out her hand to imaginary stranger, very bouncy> Hi, I’m Winifred Burkle. <Very unsure> It’s simple.
There is a knock on the door and she shrieks, genuinely alarmed and petrified by it. She leaps from her squat, off the chair and hurtles across the room to her bed, where she dives under the covers, sitting on the bed with her knees to her chest, holding the duvet over her head, like a frightened child.
The knock sounds again.
WESLEY (O/S): Fred?
FRED pokes the top of her head out from under the duvet to peer at the door. WESLEY knocks again and she ducks back behind them, as though he can see her if she’s not underneath them.
WESLEY (O/S): Winifred?
He opens the door, very carefully and looks around it. This is Season 3 WESLEY, sans scar, sans stubble, avec glasses.
WESLEY: Are you in here?
FRED (from under duvet): I’m sorry, she’s not here, thank you for calling, have a nice day, do come back later.
WESLEY enters, carrying a tray of food. FRED pulls the duvet off her head and pouts at him, put out.
FRED: I told y’all I wasn’t in.
WESLEY: I thought you might want some food.
FRED (uncertain): Food?
WESLEY: Yes. Here’s a ham sandwich and a glass of milk. <off her dazed stare> You’re not a vegetarian are you?
FRED: No, no, no, I like ham.
She stretches out a hand for the tray, then pulls it back, unwilling to go too near to WESLEY.
WESLEY: It’s okay.
FRED: Course it is. I mean what’re you gonna do, bite me? <snort of laughter, which abruptly ends as she asks with sudden fear> You won’t will you?
WESLEY: I promise.
FRED approaches, then snatches the sandwich from the tray. She rushes her prize back to the bed, where she proceeds to devour it ravenously, crumbling it as she shoves it all in her mouth. She’s suddenly conscious of WESLEY looking at her and offers a broken remnant of bread to him.
FRED: Do you want some?
WESLEY: No, no, I’m fine. It’s just… I didn’t realise you were so hungry.
FRED: I’m always hungry. It’s great; I get to eat and eat and eat and eat and don’t grow nearly not at all. <brief sad look down at her cleavage, crossing her arms protectively across her chest> Which I guess is a good thing. <back to enthusiastic> It’s my special power, like Angel’s teeth.
She grins, and pretends to snarl, showing her teeth. A thought strikes her and she bounces off the bed with sudden excitement.
FRED: Is he back yet?
WESLEY: No, no, he’s still in Sri Lanka.
FRED (disappointed): Oh.
WESLEY: But we’re just downstairs. If you like, you could come down with me and we could see about getting you another sandwich.
FRED (alarmed): Well, that’s very kind, really very, very kind, but I have things that I need to do. <pick up her pen and turns to the wall> I’m way behind, really way, and I couldn’t possibly come downstairs right now, so thank you very much for asking, thank you, maybe later… <abrupt stop> <wistful> You said there was food?
WESLEY(smiling): I’ll bring some more up to you. So that you don’t have to leave your drawings.
FRED laughs, snorting spastically.
FRED: They’re not drawings, silly.
She gives him a playful shove on the shoulder, then looks horrified at what she’s done and skitters away.
FRED: They’re work. <beat as she looks uncertain> You’ll really bring me food?
WESLEY: As much as you’d like.
FRED: That might be a lot to carry.
WESLEY: Well, I’m pretty strong.
FRED snorts with laughter again.
FRED: I like food. Almost as much as I like Mom and Dad and Angel and puppies and purple things and jelly-babies. <turns to WESLEY> I like you too. <laughs and turns back and surveys her walls> Mr Strong.
WESLEY smiles, unable to contain his intense pleasure at this unexpected compliment.
FRED: You know I think you’re about the strongest guy I ever did knew. Apart from Angel of course, but then I guess he’s not really a guy. He’s a superhero, superhandsome, supervampire man, so I guess he doesn’t count. But you, you count. I’ve seen it. <she giggles and starts to write on the wall>
WESLEY (trying not to be too pleased): Well, I think there might be people stronger. Gunn has managed to break fourteen axes already…
FRED turns back to face WESLEY.
FRED: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. That kind of strong, pfffft! <dismissive wave of the hand> Anyone can be that kind of strong, you go to the gym and you run and you lift things and then when you come out you’ve got muscles bulging all over the place in places where most people don’t even have places. Who wants something that anyone and everyone and anyone can have?
She lays a hand very softly on WESLEY’s chest.
FRED: Yeah, you’re strong.
WESLEY holds his breath at her touch and she looks at her hand on his chest, completely unaware of the effect she’s having on him. Then she jerks her hand away, as if suddenly scared of the contact and runs away to leap on her bed and survey the writing on the wall above it up close.
FRED: I have whole passages on being strong and strong and weak and malleable and the strange little intermolecular forces that make some things hard and some things soft and some things kinda squelchy. <she looks back over her shoulder, suddenly scared> You will still bring me food, won’t you?
WESLEY (still a little shaken): Of course.
FRED: Good. Good, good, good, good, good. <giggles> Goodgood! <beat and turns back to her wall> But I really must keep writing, keep going, cause I’m so far behind and I have to get this all finished.
She starts scribbling on the wall in tiny letters, in a completely different place to where she was contemplating before.
WESLEY: Are you sure you won’t join us downstairs?
FRED keeps writing, not even reacting.
WESLEY: Right. Well, I’ll get that food and… leave it outside your door.
He gets up and goes, shutting the door behind him. We get a shot of FRED, biting her lip as she concentrates on her writing. As the door shuts, she looks over her shoulder to where he was and worries her lip with her teeth. Then she turns back to the wall. The camera pans around to show what she’s writing and we can see, she’s drawing little diamond chemical symbols, the tetrahedron shape with 4 Cs.:
FRED (rambling to herself): Mr Strong, so strong, not as strong outside, not as strong as my Angel, but strong, always strong like C-C-C-C <drawing each line of a new tetrahedron in time with each spoken ‘C’>
FRED draws about five or six of these diamond formulae and nods her head in satisfaction.
FRED: Like diamond.
She starts drawing another and there is a flash of white which fills the whole screen, suddenly switching scene to:
Scene: The atrium of the museum, WESLEY-ILLYRIA and FRED are still in the same positions as at 6x03 Lost Souls. WESLEY-ILLYRIA turns to look at FRED, cocking its head curiously.
FRED screams. And keeps on screaming.
WESLEY-ILLYRIA turns and looks at her.
ILLYRIA: I know you.
It walks towards her.
ILLYRIA cocks its head and regards her.
ILLYRIA: I recognise this form.
FRED (scared witless): What’s going on?
ILLYRIA: You are Winifred Burkle. The shell. <confused> You should not be here.
FRED: What’re you doing?
FRED scrambles to her feet and backs away from ILLYRIA.
FRED: Wesley, stop this. It.. it isn’t funny.
ILLYRIA follows, keeping close and just looking curiously at her.
ILLYRIA: You cannot exist while I do.
It looks downs at its hands and the clothes on its arms, then cocks its head at FRED.
ILLYRIA: But I am not the same.
FRED (near tears, completely confused): Wesley…
ILLYRIA (understanding): This is Wesley’s shell.
Its hands shoot out and grab FRED’s arms sharply, making her yelp.
ILLYRIA (angry): How is this possible? What have you done?
FRED: Wesley, you’re hurting me!
ILLYRIA (calm again): I am not Wesley.
It tosses her away casually and looks down at its hands, almost wistfully.
ILLYRIA: Wesley is now truly dead.
It opens a portal and stalks through it without so much as a backwards glance.
FRED is left standing in the middle of the completely empty room, just looking around in bemusement.
A VOICE (O/S): Freeze!
We get a shot of a gun pointed at FRED, without seeing its wielder, in a similar style to the end of Buffy 2x21 Becoming Part 1.
Scene: The atrium of the museum. FRED turns, very slowly, to see a security GUARD, holding a gun on her. He looks very, very nervous.
GUARD: D..d…don’t move! I swear I’ll shoot.
The gun is trembling in his hand as his whole body shakes. FRED looks at him for a second and starts crying, just completely overwhelmed by everything.
The GUARD seems even more terrified by this than he was by her just standing there and he backs away, trying to put some extra distance between himself and FRED. His heels hit something and he looks down at a headless corpse wearing a security guard’s uniform.
The GUARD jumps and the gun twitches in his hand, dropping to the floor and discharging. The bullet hits Fred squarely in the chest and she falls over to the floor. The GUARD looks at the scene – what he thinks is a now very-pissed off God and the man who shot her, together in an empty room. He lets out a little confused cry and there is a beat of pure unadulterated panic and indecision. Then he runs, as fast as he can.
Close on FRED. Her eyes are open and there’s an expression of pain on her face. She puts both hands to her chest where she was shot and gasps for breath. Then she brings a leather clad hand up to her face to look with great confusion at the tiny squashed bullet that impacted on her leather suit with no more ill effects than a good winding.
Scene: The dark alleyway. ANGEL, SPIKE and ALEX are fighting furiously, tossing these vampires around and polishing them off with great ease. LORNE is standing to one side, holding a crossbow and not looking that eager to enter the fight. ANGEL dusts the second to last one with a flourish and looks around.
The last one takes a brief look at the three warriors closing on it and decides it doesn’t fancy this fight anymore. Then it runs away. ANGEL goes to give chase, then decides it’s not worth the effort. He throws down his stake and looks around.
ANGEL: Where’s the girl?
ALEX: ‘The girl’ is right here and will kick your ass if you refer to her as that again.
ANGEL: Not you, the girl we were looking for. They were carrying her when we jumped them. Where’d she go?
SPIKE (looking around): Dunno. Hang on, where’d junior go? I didn’t see him joining in the fun. <to ANGEL> Guess he really does take after his father.
ANGEL: This is bad.
LORNE: Well, maybe he took her to the hospital.
ANGEL (unsure): Maybe. We should find him.
SPIKE: And how exactly do you propose we do that? Your boy’s the one who does the finding thing.
ANGEL (sniffing the air): I can smell his blood.
SPIKE: Oh that’s really bloody tactful.
ANGEL (thrown): What?
SPIKE: Tossing the superpowers in my face like that. ‘Here lads, look what I can do and you can’t anymore.’
ANGEL (confused): No, that… that wasn’t what I meant! He’s bleeding. That doesn’t really fit with the ‘Gone to hospital’ theory. Besides, Connor wouldn’t just run off like that.
LORNE: You’ve met him, right? From what I read off him, he used to be the public face of Running Off Like That
ANGEL: He’s different now. He’s got family to look after. <almost to himself> I know how he feels. <turns to them> We have to find him.
ALEX (looking away): Maybe we’ve got more important things to worry about.
Everyone looks where she’s looking. There’s more vampires in the entrance of the alleyway, looking at them like they’ve got ‘Packed Lunch’ stamped on their foreheads.
ANGEL: You’ve got to be kidding me.
SPIKE: Is there a production line of these guys somewhere?
ALEX (readying herself to fight): Yep. It’s called LA.
The vampires attack and A, A, S and L ready themselves.
Scene: The inside of a warehouse of some kind. We get a close of CONNOR smashing against a wall and dropping to the floor. His neck is bleeding, but he’s very much alive. Draw outwards to see an big building full of crates and machinery and chunks of metal. ELISE walks up to CONNOR, obviously the one who just threw him against the wall.
ELISE: So what, this is the world you didn’t want to go back to?
CONNOR gathers his breath and looks up at her.
ELISE: You used to sneak out every night and you made me promise every time that I wouldn’t tell Mom and Dad. I used to cover for you every time and I trusted you when you told me that I didn’t want to know the details. But I always wondered. What it was like out there. Why you used to lock yourself in the bathroom and cry sometimes. <off CONNOR’s look> Yeah, I knew about that.
ELISE struts around the room as she talks, completely enveloped in her new vertigo.
ELISE: I used to wonder where you went, what you did, why you hated it so much. I wanted to know what it felt like. In your world.
CONNOR gets to his feet.
CONNOR: This isn’t my world.
ELISE No, it’s not. <shifts into vamp-face> It’s mine now. And I gotta say, it’s cool.
She smiles at his disgusted look.
ELISE: What’s the matter bro? <mocking> Have I got something in my teeth?