Xander and Willow were still researching when they heard the cars pull up. Dawn had moved on to her English homework, which required a whole new set of phone calls.
Xander opened the door as the three walked up the path. His face immediately lit up at the sight of Giles, holding a box of donuts. "Welcome back, G-man," he said. "Let me lighten your load."
"I'll expect to find at least two jellies waiting for me when I come in," Giles said.
"Yes sir," Xander said. He disappeared into the kitchen, passing Willow on his way.
Willow stood in the doorway, looking at Giles. "I'm sorry Giles." Tears were already filling her eyes, but when Giles smiled and held his arms open to her, she lost it completely and ran into his arms.
Giles hugged her tightly, shushing her and kissing her head. "It's all right, Willow. I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at this woman. I'm mad at me for letting her get under my skin. Shhh. It's all right."
She looked up, tear streaked and sniffled. "I love you, you know."
He smiled at her and then held her face in his hands, wiping away some moisture with his thumbs. "And I love you, Willow. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing."
"Promise?" she asked.
"Yes," he said.
"I believe you," she said.
He gave her one more hug and then let her go. "Now, I understand that there is a new demon afoot and you've all been having a research party without me?"
"Yeah, and wait till you see what I've pulled up." She grinned and grabbed his hand, practically tugging him into the kitchen.
Buffy smiled at the scene. As Willow and Giles disappeared into the kitchen, Buffy exhaled.
Jo watched as a shiver coursed through Buffy. "Cold?" she asked.
"Hmm?" Buffy turned to find Jo beside her. "Um... yeah. A bit chilled."
"Why don't you go get a jacket and I'll let them know you'll join us shortly," Jo offered. Buffy nodded with a grateful smile and walked up the stairs. She stopped halfway and turned back.
"Make sure they save a jelly for me, will ya?"
"Will do," Jo said.
Jo entered the kitchen to find Giles already back in the swing of things. He was leaning over Willow's shoulder reading something off of the laptop. The change in his face was immense -- there was hope, happiness, and even a bit of raspberry on his cheek. "Jo, wait until you hear what Willow's found."
Xander cleared his throat.
"And Xander," he added.
"Must be good news for you to have missed your mouth that badly." Jo walked up to him and used her thumb to wipe some jelly from the corner of his mouth.
"What?" He reached up to his face confused, until he saw the jelly on her thumb. "Oh," he grinned, and then snatched her hand and licked the jelly off of her thumb.
Her eyes went wide at his sudden playfulness. "Rupert!"
Willow sighed, while Xander and Dawn just giggled.
Giles beamed at Jo, taking only a moment to roll his eyes at the kids. "The woman is a demon after all!" he said excitedly.
"Actually Giles, I'm still not sure if it's a 100% demon yet. I've narrowed it down to either a Galen demon or a C'Ghrisoraak demon. Both feed on glands from the human body, but one's a parasite, which means it needs a host."
"What's the difference? They're both demons, right? We slay first, take names later," Xander said.
"Actually," Willow said. "It's a big difference. In the killing, that is. If it's a parasite, well, you usually can't kill it without killing the host."
"And?" Xander asked.
"Xander," Giles scolded.
"Willow said they emit hormones that control reproduction," Dawn said, looking up from her homework.
"Well there's your answer," Xander said, brushing his hands off as if he'd solved the problem and it was celebration time. The gang stared at him blankly.
"Um duh. That explains it. I mean a woman goes after Giles..."
"Hey! I may be English, have manners, drink Tea and am quit comfortable crossing my legs in public, but I hardly think that means any woman who finds me the least bit attractive must be a demon."
"Oh. I mean. Well, not that a non-demon woman wouldn't go after you, Giles. Er, one sort of is already," he grinned and then looked quickly away from Giles. Giles and Jo shared a quick look and a blush. "So we either have a demon eating glands or we have Ms. Sexual Harassment who doesn't like getting turned down, so she steals the glands to increase her pheromone output. You know increase her mojo, baby," Xander said.
"Are you making fun of me?" Giles asked.
"No, Giles. That's not just any bad English accent, that's Xander's long-gone-stale attempt at an Austin Powers imitation. Sorry, Xand, but it seems to be getting worse, not better," Dawn said.
Xander shrugged. "Gotta try, baby."
"And it's hormones, Xander, not pheromones. Besides, the effect of pheromones on sexual desire or attraction in humans is inconclusive," Willow said. "While some experts believe human pheromones may have similar communicative properties like animal pheromones, it isn't a commonly held belief."
"Then what about those expensive perfumes that claim to make you irresistible to someone you want to attract?" Buffy frowned, as she entered the kitchen, donning one of Giles' old sweaters that she'd lifted from the laundry a few weeks back. At Giles' raised eyebrow and amused smile, she quickly added, "Not that I've ever tried any of those, of course." Buffy asked.
"Those over priced perfumes have not been proven to work. In fact, I've heard some even use pig or deer pheromones. So, unless you're looking for Babe or Bambi to come chasing after you, don't waste your money." Willow grinned.
Giles leaned over to Jo and whispered, "I guess this means it's only the second best for my girl." She giggled.
"Yeah, Buffy. I think I speak for all of us when I say, please stop wearing that Demon Obsession brand!" Xander said.
While the rest of them laughed, Buffy just glared and thumped him on the head.
"Ow." He winced and she thumped him again. "What was that for?"
"Eating the last jelly," she said.
He grinned sheepishly. "Oh, was that the last one?" He tried to feign innocence.
"All right, bottom line is we still have a demon to kill," Giles said.
"Personally, I'm leaning towards her being the demon," Buffy said. "And she sure ain't getting laid, but if she keeps on emitting her hormones Giles' way, she just might be getting slayed."
Giles coughed and Xander and the rest burst out laughing.
"B-Buffy," Giles began. "Unfortunately, there's just not enough to go on. If we kill her and the demon was only a parasite, we would have taken a human life."
"Well, we need to decide soon, because you're supposed to meet her tomorrow night," Buffy said.
"There are facts suggesting both conclusions," Willow said.
"So how do we decide?" Jo asked.
"Rock, paper, scissors?" Xander offered.
"As much as I want to say 'flip a coin'," Giles said. "I have to agree with Willow. The risk of error is too great."
"Well, I'm sorry. Right now, I couldn't care less. First things first, we need to get her off Giles' back. Then we can worry about what to call her," Buffy said.
Giles looked surprised at Buffy's vehemence. "Uh, that's not a bad idea," he finally said. "If the time constraints are removed, we could take the time to do the necessary research and we could avoid the risks of guessing. But exactly how do you expect to save my job without binding and gagging the woman until our research has panned out?"
"Hadn't gotten that far yet," Buffy shrugged.
"Easy. We get her to confess," Willow said.
"Right. I couldn't even convince her to leave me alone. Just how do you expect me to convince her to confess?"
"Well, from what you told me, I'd say she's a closet narcissist. Lots of doctors suffer from a God like syndrome, thinking they're untouchable."
"Fine, so we use her Elliott Ness-ness against her. Take her down with her own ego," Xander said.
"It still fail to see just how we are going to use that to our advantage," Giles said.
"She's probably one of those people who like to hear themselves talk. I bet once you get her going, you won't be able to stop her."
Xander busted out laughing and Jo coughed.
"Uh, talking that is." Willow blushed.
Giles tried to hold back a grin. "But even if you could get her to confess, why wouldn't she just deny it later?"
"Hard to deny you said something that's coming out in full color and surround sound from a video tape," Willow said.
Giles raised an eyebrow.
"See, I have research with her at the coroner's theater tomorrow afternoon. Probably right before she planned on, well, you know. Anyway, you could show up early. The theater has a gallery up above, already set up with video equipment for recording autopsies. Voila... taped confession."
"Just how do you plan on getting her to start talking?" Giles asked.
"Uh, I won't. You will," she said.
"I will?" Giles asked.
"Yeah, you keep your appointment with her. Just show up early, while she's still in the examination room, and then all you have to do is..."
"Absolutely nothing," Buffy cut in abruptly.
They all looked at her surprised.
"What?" she asked. "I am so not letting you use my Watcher as bait for some demon we don't even know the name for yet."
"Buffy, while I appreciate the sentiment…" Giles began.
"No," Buffy said, not even looking at Giles. "Not gonna happen. Plan B anyone? "
"Buffy," Giles's voice was forced, and he clenched his jaw. "A moment alone please."
"Uh oh," Xander said. Giles shot him a glare. "Let me guess, no taunting the Slayer either." He threw his hands up in defeat.
Giles led Buffy over to a corner of the kitchen. She looked up, annoyed.
"What is the meaning of this?" he asked.
"Meaning of what?" she asked.
"You know very well what. I am not some feeble old man. You don't even need to cut my meat for me at dinner anymore, see." He emphasized his point by showing her the mobility in his arm.
"Giles, I know you're not feeble. And, while I think you're older, that doesn't make you old."
Giles stared at her confused.
"Giles, this woman is clearly fixated on you. And now she might not just be a big ho, but a big gland-eating demon ho. I'm not gonna sit by and watch you put yourself on a plate with a name tag that says ‘Hello, My Name Is Dinner.'"
"I fail to see what the problem is. You've never had any issues with me being in danger before."
"That's so not true. And there's no issues being had. I just..." She stopped.
"Just what?" he asked, fully exasperated.
She tore her arm from his grasp. "I happen to like your glands just where they are!"
Xander burst out laughing and Willow distracted herself by picking lint off of her sweater, a grin spread wide across her face. Dawn wasn't even trying to suppress her giggles, thoroughly enjoying her sister's embarrassment, and Jo was just staring at Buffy, wide eyed.
"Ugh. You guys know what I mean," Buffy said, rolling her eyes.
Giles couldn't maintain his anger after that and a snicker finally escaped.
Buffy fought long and hard to keep an annoyed and angry look on her face, but soon a smile broke free. After a moment, however, her face fell serious again. "I just don't want you getting all dissected or something."
"I appreciate that Buffy. I really do. But I doubt I'd have been able to keep you from scaling to the top of a giant bean stalk, if a certain Giant hadn't managed to climb down first."
"Probably not," she said with a frown and lowered head.
He lifted her chin gently. "I promise to be careful."
"Fine. But I'm going to be right there."
Giles smiled. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
"We all will," Jo said.
Giles turned with a frown. "Jo, I don't see a need for you to involve yourself."
Xander quietly muttered, "Here we go again."
"Excuse me? Don't even start with me, Rupert. Giant Bean Stalk, mud monsters and storm sewers ring any bells? Don't give me any of that ‘sit at home, dear, and keep the kettle warm' crap.'"
"That's not what I meant," he said.
"I know, but it still pissed me off. Regardless, I do not plan on letting that woman lay another finger on you."
He looked around the room and knew he'd find no support. "Fine. I'm sorry for...," he was cut off.
"I know. You don't want to see me hurt. So you should be able to understand how I feel. How Buffy feels." Xander coughed and she added, "How we all feel. So, shut up and let's get to the plan already."
Dawn stepped to the edge of her desk wearing her favorite cow pattern pajamas, pulling her hair away from her face and up into a ponytail. Her eyes fell on her bracelet as she brought her arms down. It was becoming routine, spending time with him. It was so nice to have a friend exclusive to her. Someone she didn't have to share with anyone else or run through the Buffy's Better Buddy's Bureau. But what made Dawn proud, was the fact that her time and effort would go toward doing something nice for Giles. He deserved it. And if it just so happens that she enjoyed herself in the process, that was icing on the cupcake. She hit a button on her computer and a simulated dial tone rang, and then waited as the connection went through.
"Randall, you there?"
"Sorry it's so late. There was a big Scooby meeting and I needed to hang out there." She stretched. "You ready? You still want to do this?"
"Yes. Just jotting down some notes." His gentle tone emitted from her computer speakers. "I think the Council will be very pleased indeed."
She smiled. "Happy to help. So what's got you so distracted?" She glanced over at the computer screen to see if any instant messages had come through. Nothing. She decided to turn up the sound on the speakers so she could hold her virtual conversation from the comfort of her bed.
"Just working on something."
She hadn't seen him in a couple days and she was worried that the investigation was winding down. There were times she actually missed him, sitting in science class, staring at the periodic table and seeing if she could spell his name out with the elements. She spread out comfortably in her bed, staring at her blank diary page and wondering what to write. Examining her entry the day of Buffy's Birthday, she couldn't help but smile.
"You said you're not a Watcher, right?"
"'Fraid not, luv."
"Luv?" she giggled.
"S-sorry. I didn't mean..."
"It's alright. It's kinda nice. Giles never talks like that."
"As I've said, I'm not a Watcher. They must abide by certain rules, formality. I'm simply a pencil pusher. No ceremony in that."
"Did you ever want to be a Watcher?" She sketched out a little stick figure that looked peculiarly familiar to her. The goatee really sold it.
"Naw. I prefer to avoid violence. I'm more of a lover than a fighter."
"I think you'd make a good one..." Dawn immediately blushed. "Watcher... I meant you'd make a good Watcher."
There was a long silence and Dawn checked the computer to see if she'd lost her connection. It was still active.
"Still here, luv."
She noticed no apology that time.
"Let's get started, okay? I really do need to get some rest tonight." Dawn suggested nervously. "I think we left off with the Gentlemen and the Initiative."
The gang sat quietly at the table, Giles toying with a bagel, Dawn slurping up the remaining, discolored milk from her bowl of Cinnamon Life cereal, and Xander stuffing yet another Eggo into his mouth. Buffy was busily cleaning up the mess from the make-your-own-breakfast bar. She couldn't help but notice that Giles hadn't even touched his tea. And if he spun the bagel around one more time it was going to bore a hole in the plate. She looked down at her own hands, washing the same butter knife for the third time. She threw it down into the soapy water, and it splashed her with a metal clink.
The three looked over at her. Xander and Dawn snickered as soap suds began to slide down her cheek. Giles looked alarmed, but smiled as he saw her frustration ease into a grin. The air lightened, Giles stood up and walked his cold tea and hardening bagel over to the sink. He handed her the cup and saucer, and as she dumped it and began washing the dishes, he tossed the bagel in the trash and handed her the plate.
"How the heck am I supposed to just sit around and wait until tonight. Can't I just go hunt her down and take her out now?" Buffy asked.
The anger and frustration in Buffy's voice sent Dawn and Xander's attention immediately back down to the remnants of their breakfasts.
Giles put a calming hand on Buffy's shoulder. "I know it's difficult, Buffy, but we have to wait. Willow 's plan is the best chance we have at saving my job and figuring out if this women is the demon."
"I still say we just stake her. That'll solve the puzzle real quick," she said, only half seriously.
"Buffy," he started half-heartedly.
"I know, I know. The whole cost-balance analysis says killing her before we know if she's a she or an it, just isn't worth it. But if this drags out any longer, I'm going to be climbing the walls."
He squeezed her shoulder. "We just have to wait. Willow has lab with her tonight, Xander and Jo are going to help. With all of you there, I'm confident we'll be free of this menace, whether mortal or demon."
He turned to Xander, "You will be there on time, won't you?"
"Yep," Xander said. "One camera man at your service."
"All right. I should be off. Jo will meet you at the campus at 5:30 p.m. , all right?" Giles reminded Buffy.
"Great. Then I'll see you all at the lab at quarter of six. I'll be early for the meeting, but Willow's lab ends at 6:00 p.m. This way we can still catch her in the lab and avail ourselves of the recording devices."
As Giles turned and headed for the door, Buffy called out, "You just better be careful."
"Always," he answered. "Besides, I'll have all of you there."
"Except me," Dawn said, annoyed.
"Dawn," Buffy started warningly.
"I know, I know. I have to study," she mimicked Buffy's earlier explanation. "Still sucks."
"Don't worry, Dawnster. You may be missing the battle, but at least this time, you can catch it when it comes out on video."
Dawn rolled her eyes and returned to her book. Giles smirked, sent Buffy a smile, and headed out of the kitchen.
As Giles walked toward his class, he saw Myrna approaching him. She didn't see him until they almost ran into one another. "Excuse me," she said, looking up. "Oh. Rupert, it's you."
"Myrna," he smiled.
She forced a smile in return.
"Myrna," he said, checking his watch. "I know you're off to class, but do you have a quick moment?"
"I don't know...," she started until she saw the disappointment in his face. Her own face softened. "Of course."
The warmth in her voice, gave him hope. "Over here," he said, motioning to an empty corner in the lounge area. "About the other day..." he began.
"It's all right, Rupert. It's none of my business. And I should have knocked."
"Myrna, please let me explain," he said. "I had hoped that I had earned some of your trust and respect in the little time I've been here, and I'd rather not lose either."
"Rupert, you haven't. It's just... well, I was just caught off guard is all. I thought you weren't interested in her. That you were involved."
"I wasn't, and I am."
Myrna looked at him confused.
"I know the scene you walked in on looked very incriminating, but I assure you, I was not the instigator. In fact, I was trying to avoid the situation altogether."
"I don't understand. I saw you kissing her."
"No. You saw her trying to kiss me. I was trying to hold her at bay." He watched as Myrna's memory re-ran the images. Comprehension began to show on her face.
"Remember at the reception, I told you I wasn't interested. In fact, I was fairly uncomfortable at how forward Dr. Forrester was acting. I think Arthur noticed that. Certainly he was helpful in distracting her for me."
"Arthur did make some odd comments on our way home. I didn't understand why, but he seemed to dislike her."
"Myrna, I don't normally talk badly of people, but that woman has been making advances since that reception. I've done everything possible to dissuade her, I even told her in plain English that I am not interested in any type of relationship with her. I am committed to someone else. However, she does not intend to take no for an answer."
"I have to admit, I did find it a little odd how focused she was on you at the reception. She had only just seen you that evening."
"Well, apparently, the woman is very decisive and persistent."
"Oh Rupert, I'm sorry. I hope you can forgive me. I should've known you would never do something like that. Especially when you were seeing someone else."
"It's all right, Myrna. I know how it must have looked. But it means a lot to have this all cleared up. It is all sorted between us now, isn't it?"
"Of course," she smiled. "And if there's anything I can do to help with this problem, let me know. She may be a prestigious professor, but workplace harassment is workplace harassment."
Giles smiled. "Thank you so much, Myrna. But I think I'll have it all resolved soon."
"If you're sure," she said.
"I am." He glanced at his watch. "Well, we both best be off to our classes. I fear my speech on timeliness is losing its effectiveness as each day passes."
Myrna chuckled and patted him on the arm before they both headed off in opposite directions to their classes.
Giles took a calming breath and pushed his way slowly through the door. Dr. Forrester was on the phone to his right with her back to him. He glanced up and saw Xander peeking over the ledge giving him a thumbs-up through the Plexiglas. He nodded, then looked over to pinpoint Buffy and the others. They were peering around a counter to his left, Buffy on the side closest to him and Willow and Jo on the other side. He nodded to them as well. As she hung up the phone, Giles tensed in preparation for his role.
"Rupert? Well, isn't this a pleasant surprise. You're early."
"The sooner I can get it over with."
She frowned. "Oh Rupert, this doesn't have to be painful. Well, not unless you're into that sort of thing, that is." She chuckled to herself as she stripped off her latex gloves and sauntered towards the sink on his right.
"Being blackmailed into something I don't want is not my idea of pleasure."
"Blackmail is such a harsh word. I prefer to think of it as persuasion with my womanly wiles."
"When womanly wiles include threats of false accusations, I hardly think blackmail is an inaccurate characterization."
"Semantics," she said, scrubbing her hands under the faucet. "Besides, I told you before, I'm used to getting what I want."
"And what you want is?" Giles asked.
"Why you, of course," she said, turning off the water and then turning to him with a leer.
Giles silently hoped that the water hadn't drowned out the last part. "It doesn't matter to you that I'm, not interested? That I'm involved with someone else?"
"Rupert, we've already been through this. I'm not asking for a commitment. I just want a little taste. A little fun. Your girlfriend doesn't even have to know."
"I won't go through with this."
She took a determined step towards him. "Oh yes you will, Rupert. You've come this far already. Why back out now, and force my hand?"
"Are you sure you want to call my bluff?" she said, taking the last few steps toward him and reaching up to cup his cheek. When he pulled away with a disgusted look on his face, her face turned hard. "If you back out now, I promise you that by tomorrow the Dean will know that you forced yourself on me."
"But I did no such thing."
"It doesn't matter," she said. "Like I said, who is going to believe you? Especially with the look on Myrna's face when she walked in on us in your office while you were kissing me."
"You were kissing me. Forcibly!"
"No matter," she said, quite pleased with herself. "From her angle, she'll never know the difference. Now please, let's stop wasting time." She reached for him again, and he again backed away.
"I'm serious," he said firmly. "I do not intend to succumb to your threats."
"Oh, I think you will," she said, following him. "Your job and your green card are in my pocket."
"That's a matter of debate," he said. "You see, we are being filmed even as we speak."
She laughed. "Nice try, Rupert."
"I'm quite serious," he said. "Xander?"
At the cue, Xander hit the speaker button and said, "Smile, you're on candid camera."
Her head flew up to see the young, dark-haired man standing in the gallery peering through the glass. Her self-assured smile began to fade.
"You messed with the wrong man this time." Forrester whipped to her left to see a blond girl standing and glaring at her.
"Who are you?" she demanded.
"Someone you really don't want to piss off," a voice came from the other side of the counter to the right of the blond. She looked over and saw a familiar redhead.
"Willow?" Dr. Forrester said, confused. Then she slipped quickly back into role. "Oh Willow, I'm so glad you're here." She pulled a dramatic fear-filled voice at will. "Professor Giles was just making some inappropriate overtures."
"What?" Giles said, incredulously. "Do you never stop?"
"Sorry, " Willow said. "The game's over. I saw the whole thing."
"So, as you see, I will be refusing your demands, and I will be keeping both my green card and my job. Which is more than I can say for you."
Giles continued. "You will resign your position at the University and move on. If I hear of any other instances of similar conduct, I will make sure this tape falls into the right hands. Take this last chance. It's more than you deserve. Any further threats and the tape will be in the Dean's hands in time for his morning coffee."
"Nooo," she screamed, suddenly throwing herself at him.
Instantly, Buffy was on her feet. She could see the other woman's hands wrapped around Giles' throat. Just as Buffy tried to grab the her, Giles stumbled backwards, causing Buffy to miss her neck and snare her necklace instead. The struggle continued and Giles fell over a surgical tray, tumbling to the floor and pulling Forrester with him.
Buffy looked at the broken necklace in her hand and then flung it over her head. "Get off him," she yelled. Before she could react further, she heard Jo scream and Willow 'eep.' She turned to see a large scorpion-like creature where the necklace had landed. It leapt for Jo's throat, but before it reached her, Willow batted it down with a surgical tray and smashed it with her boot heel.
Willow grimaced as she lifted up her boot. "Ewww."
"Uh… thank you Willow," Jo said, her voice trembling a bit.
Willow nodded. "No problem. Guess it was a parasite, and I think you were going to be its next home, sweet home."
A shiver ran through Jo.
"So I can't slay her?" Buffy whined. Willow shrugged her shoulders and sent Buffy a sympathetic pout.
Giles had used the distraction to push Dorothy Forrester off of him. Buffy turned back at the woman's protest to see Giles still on the floor. She hurried to his side and helped him up.
"What the hell was that thing?" Dr. Forrester demanded, looking around confused.
"What thing?" Willow asked, as she casually kicked the demon remains out of sight.
Dr. Forrester looked around at the others, "Just what is going on here?"
"The end of your tenure here, that's what." Buffy stepped right up into her face. "I suggest you leave town while I'm still in a good mood. And he may be too much of a gentleman to kick your ass, but I'm not and I'd be more than glad to do it."
The woman started to protest and then stopped, defeat clear in her face. "What assurances do I have you won't reveal the tape?"
"None," Buffy said.
The doctor glared before grunting in frustration and throwing her operating apron on the floor
After the door shut behind Dr. Forrester, Jo and Willow joined Buffy and Giles. "So she wasn't a Demon after all?" Jo asked.
"No. She was just a host," Giles explained. "And unfortunately, the parasite wasn't the reason for her outlandish behavior. She is just naturally a, now how did you so elegantly put it…? Ah yes, ‘a manipulative bitch.'"
"Well either way, mission accomplished," Buffy said, wiping her hands off on her pants. She saw Giles staring at her with a funny smile. "What?" she asked, returning an uncertain grin. "You didn't hit your head again, did you?"
"No." His smile widened into a grin. "But it's not every day that a lady offers to kick ass for me."
"Well, I couldn't just stand around while some strange woman hit on my Giles," Buffy answered. When she saw Jo tense, she added, "But not 'my' in the sense of you know... I mean... well, you're my Giles and all, and you always will be, but I didn't mean my Giles, as in only my Giles. If that makes any sense."
"Somewhat," he chuckled, extending his arm to lead her out of the lab.
Willow followed, and no one heard Jo mutter, as she lagged behind, "Yes. It's finally beginning to."