Buffy Logo 'Real Me'
Story Code '5ABB02'

by David Fury

Watched over by Giles, Buffy has begun her new Slayer training regimen, and is about to complete a difficult one-handed handstand when Dawn arrives and breaks her concentration. Later, Dawn sits in her room writing in her diary, complaining that no one knows the real her, or understands what it is like to have the Slayer for a big sister. Joyce asks Buffy to take Dawn to the shopping mall to buy her back-to-school things; Buffy is annoyed, as she had planned to visit the 'Magic Box’ with Giles in a day doing Slayer stuff, but she grudgingly agrees. Riley drops by to spend the day with Buffy, but is hurt to learn that she has forgotten their plans. As Giles drives Dawn and Buffy to the 'Magic Box’ in his new shiny red sports car they spot Willow and Tara; together they walk to the store, only to find that it has been ransacked, and that the dead owner has wounds inflicted by several vampires. When Buffy sends Dawn outside so she cannot see the body, the young girl is approached by a dishevelled, rambling man, who babbles that he knows what she is and that she does not belong there. Inside the shop, Willow observes that it is mostly books on the Slayer that have been stolen, although Giles wonders why a tacky ceramic unicorn has been taken as well. Elsewhere, deep in her lair, Harmony congratulates her vampire minions for a successful raid on the 'Magic Box’, pleased that they also remembered to bring her a unicorn back as a gift; Harmony then makes plans to kill the Slayer later that evening. Back at the Summers house, Joyce berates Buffy for taking Dawn to a murder scene, telling Buffy that she cannot go out patrolling with Riley because she herself has to go to the Gallery. Instead, Buffy gets Xander and Anya to baby-sit Dawn, and while out on patrol rants to Riley about how annoying her little sister is, although Riley thinks that she is being a bit too hard on her. As Xander, Anya and Dawn play the game of ‘Life’, it is very obvious that Dawn has a huge crush on Xander; a brick suddenly bursts through the front window, with a message telling the Slayer to “come out and die”; Xander opens the door and finds Harmony and her minions waiting for Buffy. Telling Harmony to come back later, Xander quickly gets drawn into an insulting match; Dawn leaps to his defence, but accidentally invites Harmony into the house. A struggle ensues, but Xander is able to kick the vampire back outside. Later that evening, Xander tells Buffy and Riley about Harmony’s plan, and how she now has an invite to enter the house any time. Meanwhile, Harmony and her minions run into Spike in the cemetery, who unwittingly gives her an idea for a new plan. Back at the Summers house, Buffy is preparing weapons and complaining to Xander about her sister, but Dawn overhears and runs out of the back door in tears. Anya sees her and runs after her, but one of Harmony’s minions knocks her out and takes Dawn as a hostage. Buffy and Xander find Anya lying semi-conscious on the floor and learn that Dawn has been taken; Buffy goes after her, while Riley calls for an ambulance. Buffy pays Spike a visit in his crypt, and persuades him to reveal the location of Harmony’s lair with a few punches to his nose. Meanwhile, Harmony’s minions are revolting against her leadership as they want to eat Dawn, who is chained to a wall; while the vampires’ attention is focused on Dawn and Harmony, Buffy takes them by surprise, staking the creature nearest to Dawn. Buffy tells her sister to close her eyes while she stakes the rest of the gang, and Harmony uses the commotion to escape. Buffy uses an axe to break the chains securing Dawn, and they each threaten to tell on the other to their mother, although when they both arrive back at the house seconds before Joyce they tell her that everything went fine that evening. The next day, Dawn and Buffy visit the 'Magic Box’ with Giles, who has decided to become the new owner; the shop will give them somewhere to hold their meetings, and has space for a workout room for Buffy out the back. Later, Dawn writes in her diary that Anya is going to be fine, but that Buffy still thinks of her as her dumb little sister, although she is going to be in for a big surprise…

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Mercedes McNab (Harmony), Bob Morrisey (Crazy Guy), Amber Benson (Tara), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Brian Turk (Mort), Chaney Kley Minnis (Brad), Faith S. Abrahams (Peaches), Tom Lenk (Cyrus)
Directed by David Grossman

TX (US): 3rd October 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 12th January 2001

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya, Tara and Dawn