Buffy is lying restlessly in her bed. Riley is beside, not having a problem sleeping. Realizing she's not going to get any sleep, she climbs out of bed...
And is running through a cemetery chasing after a vampire who is fleeing for his life. She quickly overtakes him and takes him down. He tries to fight back, but has no hope of beating her. Buffy doesn't say anything no banter she just slays the vamp and returns home.
She climbs back into bed with Riley, cuddling up to him, and with a look of content on her face... falls asleep.
The next day is warm and sunny as the gang hangs out at the beach. Riley and Buffy are throwing a football, and after making a comment that Buffy throws like a girl, he nearly eats the football when she tries to prove otherwise. The others are watching them from their beach towels. Xander feels that relaxing shouldn't involve so much exertion, and Anya and Tara are quick to agree. Willow points out that they've "just put our finger on why we're the sidekicks." Buffy and Riley soon join them, since Buffy "slayed" the football and they're hungry. Xander tries to get the grill started without success when Willow says a brief Latin incantation and it nearly blows up in his face. Unfortunately, rain begins pouring down, and they have to evacuate the beach to escape the storm.
Not everybody is as lucky to be inside on a night like this, as a moving truck pulls up along side an ominous looking castle and two moving guys begin to unload a long wooden crate. But they drop it in the mud and discover that there is dirt inside the crate. They are grumbling about how weird rich people are when the occupant of the crate smashes out of the box, killing the first mover within seconds.
The next day Willow is helping Giles hook up his new scanner. She's excited about trying it out until she realizes that Giles is planning to archive his entire library. She comments that he's been Mr. Project all summer, what with labeling the amulets and indexing the Watchers' diaries. Giles, after swearing Willow to secrecy, explains that they're doing this because he wants the gang to have all the information at their fingertips because he's decided to go back to England. Willow is shocked by this news and tells him he can't leave because he's Buffy's Watcher. "I mean, in a fired way." But it's plain to Giles that Buffy no longer needs him, and though it saddens him, he says he's proud of that fact. He assures her that they'll keep in touch. He's reveals that he's planning on telling Buffy about this soon, and even though it won't be easy, he knows she'll understand.
Buffy has just finished having dinner with her mother and bows out of Joyce's offer to go get some ice cream because she has to patrol. Joyce comments that with summer ending, she'll have to get used to being in the house by herself when her only daughter goes back to school. Buffy suggests they make a regular date of this when school starts. Then she leaves for patrol saying it'll be a total drag.
However, we see a very undragged Buffy looking as if she's enjoying herself as she beats on another hapless vampire in the cemetery. Unbeknownst to her, someone else in the cemetery, watching her fight. She soon becomes aware of his presence when his voice rings out. "Very impressive hunt." Buffy sees a pale man with long hair wearing a long black cape approaching her. She tells him it wasn't a hunt, just another day on the job. Gamely, she beckons him on. "Care to step up for some overtime?" The vamp tells her they aren't going to fight, prompting her to ask if he knows what a slayer is. "Do you?" he responds. Slightly taken aback, she asks him who he is. "I apologize, I assumed you knew. I'm Dracula." After a moment, Buffy's disbelieving response is, "Get out!"
Elsewhere in the cemetery, Willow asks Xander what he would do if somebody told somebody a secret and that somebody promised not to tell anyone which she's not going to tell him. He thinks it's about Willow and Tara's not so secret relationship, though he points out that he would be willing to listen if she did have any naughty secrets. She says she doesn't and, disappointed, Xander suggests that they see if Buffy's hanging around.
Buffy is questioning Dracula's claim of who he is, "'Cause I've fought more than a couple of pimply-overweight vamps that called themselves Lestat." He tells her she knows who he is just as he would know without question that she is Buffy Summers, the renowned killer. "Yeah, I prefer the term Slayer," she says, uncomfortable. She becomes even more so when he says her power is rooted in darkness, and she tries to stake him. He eludes her attacks by turning himself into a cloud of misty white smoke. "Okay, that's cheating," she calls out. Xander and Willow approach, and she tells them to get out of here as Dracula materializes behind them. Willow is instantly concerned but Xander starts to mock his clothes and accent until Buffy tells him that he's really Dracula. The Count tells her that now is not the time but that he will see her soon. Turning into a bat, he flies at them, causing them to duck for cover.
Back at Giles' apartment, the trio excitedly recount their run-in with Dracula. Buffy is blown away that he's heard of her. Riley, seemingly jealous, tries to play it off as if Dracula's just another vampire. Willow thinks Dracula was sexy and Anya agrees turns out she hung out with him a few times back in her demon days. Giles comments that he wish he had been there to witness Dracula's powers and Willow, remembering what Giles told her earlier, lays it on thick trying to make him feel needed. "The whole time I was thinking `Gosh, I wish Giles were here! He'd know what to do!'" Giles figures that the way to defeat Dracula will be to separate the fact from the fiction, so Buffy says they won't go after him until they find out more.
Xander and Anya are walking home, and she's telling him about her time with Dracula, which he obviously doesn't want to hear. "I doubt he'd remember me. I was just a silly young thing. Like seven hundred or so." As they walk, a wolf follows them up on the rooftops. Finally, Xander suggests that she hang out at the cemetery flaunting her neck cleavage until Dracula shows up, and she accuses him of being jealous. Anya heads home and Xander is walking by himself when Dracula appears in front of him, startling him. Getting ready to fight, he challenges, "You know what? You're not so big. One round of old-fashion fisticuffs, I bet you'd fold like a bitty baby!" He warns him not to do any "poofing" and is about to fight when Dracula tells him to be silent. Xander obeys. Dracula tells Xander that he will be his emissary, his eyes and ears in the daylight, and if he serves him well, Dracula will make Xander an immortal. The Count vanishes and Xander walks away giggling, happy to obey his new master.
Riley pays Spike a visit, looking for information on Dracula. Spike informs him that he and Drac used to be old rivals, and when Dracula got famous he forgot all about his foes. Spike gripes that when Drac's story got out, everybody knew how to kill vampires, which did more harm than any Slayer. Riley wants to know how to find him, but Spike suggests he just go home "to your superhoney. Have a nice safe snog. You're way out of your depth in this one, boy." Riley reminds him that since Spike has helped Buffy in the past, she has a problem killing him now that he's helpless, but Riley doesn't. Spike would like to see him try it, and Riley gets in his face. "Would you?" Spike seems intimidated, being aware that he can't fight back. As he leaves, Spike tells him he's never going to find Dracula, then after he's gone, mumbles "Not before he gets to her."
In her bedroom, Buffy is awakened when a strong wind blows into her room and she finds Dracula standing in front of her bed. "You are magnificent," he tells her. Buffy bets he says that to all the girls before he bites them, but he claims to be truly taken by her. He has searched the world over for her, "for a creature whose darkness rivals my own." He sits down on the bed and looks at the scar Angel left on her neck. "You've been tasted." He tells her that he (Angel) was unworthy of her and he let her go. "But the embrace . . his bite . . you remember." Buffy tries to deny it but he tells her not to fight and leans in towards her neck. "I can feel your hunger," he says, and he leans in to taste a non-resisting Buffy.
Buffy wakes up the next morning thinking it was all a dream, until she steps in front of her mirror and sees the bite wound on her neck. She hides it by wrapping a scarf around her neck. She meets the others at Giles' apartment, where they compare factoids on Dracula. Xander is full of anxious energy and scoffs at them, "Like any of that's enough to fight the Dark Master." Everybody gives him a strange look. "bator." Willow informs them that Dracula doesn't like the usual things vamps don't like, but that he also prefers nice clothes, minions, and "long slow bites that last for days," which Buffy is all too familiar with. Thanks to the info he got from Spike, Riley tells them that Dracula likes to live in style and won't be found in the usual dumps. Xander tries to steer them away from this by saying Dracula's probably lying low, but they don't believe this. As they continue, Xander finds a spider crawling nearby and, while nobody is looking, catches it and eats it.
Buffy finally says she's going to go out and find him and, concerned, Riley runs after her, stopping her outside. A suspicious Riley orders Buffy to take off the scarf. When she refuses, he accuses her of being under the thrall of the Dark Prince. She continues to deny this until he grabs the scarf from her neck and they all see the wound. Buffy doesn't know why she tried to hide it, saying that there was just this voice telling her to cover it. "What did I tell you? That's thrall," declares Riley. She tells them that it does seem like he has some sort of control over her, and Riley says he shouldn't take this personally since Drac and Angel are both broody immortals, it makes sense there would be some transference. Buffy reassures Riley that she is his girl and will stay that way. Giles thinks it would be a good idea for her to stay out of sight while they go look for Dracula. Xander volunteers to watch her while Willow and Tara will do a protection spell at Buffy's house to keep the Count from returning. Willow wonders, "How'd he get inside anyway?"
It turns out that Joyce invited Drac over for coffee. At the time he seemed nice and normal, just "a little pale." Joyce tells the girls that she's not usually like this, it's just hard to date, and they'll understand when they're older. "Sometimes you just feel like giving up on men all together." Willow and Tara exchange a knowing glance.
It's almost dark, and while Giles and Riley continue to check out mansions, back at Xander's basement, Anya is making her unhappiness known at being stuck Slayer-sitting. She feels she should be out looking for Dracula with the others since she knows him better, but neither Buffy nor Xander are listening to her and Xander finally locks her in the closet and tells Buffy that it's time for him to take her to the Master. "There's this whole deal where I get be immortal. You cool with that?" Buffy simply tells him to take her to him.
Later, at Dracula's castle, he leads her into the dining hall where the Count is awaiting her. He orders Xander to leave them and make sure they're not disturbed. When they're alone, he tells Buffy he knew she would come. "Why? 'Cause I'm under your thrall?" She whips out a stake. "Well, guess again, pal." He tells her to put the stake down and she immediately obeys. Worried now, she slowly starts to back away from him, trying to reason that she did that because she wanted to. "Maybe I should rethink that thrall thing."
Striking up a conversation, Riley tells Giles that in the couple of years he's lived in Sunnydale, "you know what I've never noticed before?" Taking a not so wild guess, Giles says "Uh, a castle?" as they start up the hill towards Drac's castle. When they step inside, they split up to begin searching the place, but their entrance is observed by an attractive female vampire lurking in the shadows.
In the dining hall, Dracula continues to enthrall Buffy, telling her she cannot resist because she does not want to. "There is so much I have to teach you. Your history. Your power. What your body is capable of." She tries to deny this, but he knows that she longs to know. "But first . . . a little taste." Buffy warns him that she won't let him. "I didn't mean for me."
While Riley is searching, Xander steps out of a door and tells him he won't let him harm his Master. "You want him? You come through me." Riley punches Xander out with little effort, saying simply, "Okey dokey."
Meanwhile, Giles finds an unlocked door to a very dark room and steps inside where there is no floor; he falls to the level below. He congratulates himself for at least not getting knocked out for once, and three beautiful female vampires come crawling out of the shadows with naughty intentions in store for him. Giles knows he's in trouble, but he doesn't seem to be trying very hard to escape.
Rolling up his sleeve, Dracula slices his wrist with his fingernail, offering it to Buffy. She's concerned that if she drinks his blood she'll become a vampire. He assures her that he has not drunk enough of her blood for her to change, that it could only happen when she's near death, and then only when she pleads for it. She tells him she's not hungry. He argues that her craving goes deeper than that. "You think you know," he says, "what you are. What's to come. You haven't even begun." Buffy finally takes his hand, puts her mouth over the cut and drinks. She's assaulted by images of herself slaying vampires and of the First Slayer. Momentarily, she lifts her head from his blood.
"Wow," is all she can say.
Then she hits him hard in the chest and sends him flying on to the dinning table. He gets up, noting she's resisting. Buffy agrees with him. He orders her to come to him. Buffy is no longer responding to his voice. "You know, I really think the thrall has gone out of our relationship. But I want to thank you for opening my eyes a little." Angry, Drac charges her and they start fighting. Buffy seems to be winning until he hits her and sends her flying high through the air.
Riley finds the door to the floorless room and nearly falls in. He sees the Three Sisters all over Giles and pulls out a cross, making them scatter. On weak knees, Giles walks over to him, thanking Riley for rescuing him. "There was no... possible escape." When Riley pulls him out, Giles notices he's lost a shoe and says he'll simply go back down for it. But Riley stops him. "No! No! No, sir! No more chick-pit for you."
Buffy and Drac are still fighting and seem to be evenly matched until she grabs one of the flaming torches from the wall and threatens him with it. "A guy like you should think about going electric. Seriously." Thinking it's time to start cheating, Drac makes with the "poofing," but Buffy observes his smoke flowing towards the upper level. She grabs her stake and hauls ass to leap up in front of him just as he reforms himself, slamming the stake into his chest. "How do you like my darkness now?" she asks. He falls and turns to dust as he tumbles down the stairs.
Riley and Giles rush in, and she assures them she's fine and that Drac's been Eurotrashed. Xander comes running in armed with a big torch, pissed off to the uber. "Where's the creep that turned me into a spider-eating man bitch?!" Upon hearing that Drac's gone, he declares, "I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy you eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt monkey!" Riley points out that at least he wasn't making time with the Dracubabes like Giles. As they leave, an embarrassed Giles insists he was doing no such thing, that he had everything under complete control.
After they've left, Dracula's smoke begins to swirl and he reforms himself... only to get staked by Buffy a second time. "You think I don't watch your movies? You always come back." He turns to dust again and she just crosses her arms and waits. Dracula's smoke begins to gather again, to which she says, "I'm standing right here!" The smoke scatters.
The next day, Buffy meets Giles at his apartment, having come because Giles had something he needed to tell her. Buffy actually has something to talk to him about as well, and he insists that she go first. "You haven't been my Watcher for a while," she starts off. She tells him that she hasn't been training and hasn't really needed to come to him for help. He sadly agrees with this. Then she confesses that ever since they did the spell to call on the First Slayer, she has been going out every night. "Patrolling," he says. "Hunting," she corrects. That's what Dracula called it, and she realizes that he was right, and that he understood her power better than she did and he saw darkness in it. "I need to know more... about where I come from. About the other Slayers." She thinks that if she can learn to control it she could be stronger, better. She knows it's going to be difficult, and she's scared. "And I can't do it... without you. I need you to be my Watcher again." She then apologizes for rambling on, and asks Giles what it was he wanted to say.
"It's nothing," Giles replies happily.
At home, Buffy tells her mother she's going to the movies with Riley and heads to her room. She finds a young teenage girl in the room who seems to be unpacking. "What are doing here?" she demands. Then Joyce calls from down the hall. "Buffy? If you're going out, why don't you take your sister?"
To which both girls turn around, exasperated. "Mom!!!"
Synopsis written by Joseph B.