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Katie has a nightmare set in the period after the Coven Rebellion in which she betrays Jocasta into the hands of the Council witch hunters.  When Jo tries to escape, she is gunned down.  Katie wakes screaming.  Then she runs out of her apartment, late for a slayer mission.

Livia, along with Katie and Mira, lead a group of slayers on a raid of an abandoned factory that renegades Tyrell and Rayne have been using.  After Toni sets down the transport, Livia and her slayers surround the factory.  Katie is a little zoned out, clearly having difficulty focusing.  When Livia and company storm the factory, they find nothing—the renegades having apparently clearly out long before they arrived.

Back at the Council Headquarters, Livia reports to Giles and the rest of the Scoobies.  While they speculate on the location of the renegades, Rayne secretly watches them via his computer, which is linked to the Council security system.  Livia suggests that the renegades had prior knowledge of the raid.  The group proposes possible ways that the renegades could have learned about the raid: one of Tyrell’s allies inside the Council, a spy-ware worm in the computer system, bugs in key locations, a hacked security system.  After everyone indulges in a moment’s paranoia, Giles assures them that it’s unlikely that they are being watched.  He then instructs James to check the network, and he tells Jo to help James once the magic demo is over.  Giles warns the group to be aware of the people around them.  When the meeting breaks up, everyone leaves but Katie and Jo.  Katie asks if Jo needs her to prepare for the demo.  Jo says no, and the two have an awkward moment.  With eyes full of hate, Rayne glares at Katie on his computer screen.

Later that night, both Katie and Jo trudge sadly around their apartments, clearly missing each other desperately.  Jo gazes at a digi-frame containing pictures of herself and Katie.  Katie accidentally comes across a picture of her former fiancé, Trent Darby, then puts it away quickly.

Once Katie goes to sleep, she goes right into another nightmare.  In this one, she is standing outside a morgue examination room, waiting to go in to see the body of someone she has lost.  When she goes inside, she heads to the slab holding the body.  It’s Trent, dead by a gunshot wound to the head.  Katie cries and says she’s sorry.  She jumps back in horror when Trent suddenly rises from his slab and attacks her.  She screams and tries to run, but is caught by Trent.  He pins her to the floor and then begins to strangle her.  Before she can be killed, she awakens from her dream.

Later, Katie is sparring with Livia.  She isn’t doing well, and Livia teases her a bit.  Katie explains that she hasn’t slept well in a long time.  Livia and Katie go at it again.  Once again, Livia quickly gets Katie at a disadvantage.  Mid-grapple, Katie begins to hallucinate, seeing not Livia attacking her but Trent from her nightmare.  Katie freaks and, using the strength of hysteria, turns the tables on Livia.  She slams Livia onto the mat on her back and then begins to strangle her.  After nearly succumbing to the surprise attack, Livia finally gets free and pops Katie good.  Livia is furious and demands to know what’s wrong with Katie.  Katie doesn’t know.  Livia storms off.

Jocasta is working in her office when Giles stops by.  Jocasta mentions that Katie is coming by later, but she doesn’t sound enthused.  Giles is sympathetic about Jo and Katie’s difficulties but reminds Jo of the importance of the magic demo that she and Katie are working on.  Jo promises that they won’t let their personal differences interfere.  Meanwhile, James conducts the computer sweep that Giles ordered.

Later, in a Gray Sector lab, Katie and Jo prepare for the demo.   Katie is practicing levitation, attempting to send wooden stakes into a target.  She keeps missing the bull’s-eye, though.  Jo suggests that they move on to a barrier spell and asks Katie to hand over the orb.  Katie hallucinates once again, seeing the bullet-ridden Jocasta from her nightmare.  As a result, she nearly drops the orb, earning Jo’s ire.

That afternoon, Jo and Katie are anxiously awaiting the start of the demo.  Katie tries to get Jo to get together and talk about their relationship, but Jo brushes her off when Giles and the other members of the Council sub-committee arrive (Veronica and Travers among them).  Jo successfully demonstrates a light generating spell, which impresses the committee.  Jo then turns the demo over to Katie, who attempts the stake levitation.  She hallucinates the bullet-ridden Jocasta once again and loses control of the spell, sending a stake hurtling toward Jo.  After ricocheting about the lab, the stake embeds in the wall.  Jo tries to smooth over the glitch, but Travers says he’s seen enough and leaves, taking most of the committee with him.  Jo runs outside and apologizes to Giles, but he just angrily says they’ll talk later.  He storms out with Veronica hot on his heels.  While Jo goes off on Katie and bans her from aiding the magic research, Rayne watches with glee via his computer. 

Katie goes back to her apartment, a total basket case.  She cries then goes into a rage, smashing all of her coffee cups.  She finally sinks to the floor and weeps herself to sleep.

Katie goes immediately into another nightmare.  In it, she is patrolling a cemetery.  She is attacked by two vampires and bests them, only to discover herself surrounded by a gang of about ten vampires.  She tries to run away but is caught.  While two of the vampires hold her, the leader of the gang appears.  Katie is shocked to see her former Watcher, Miss Dimmons, who is supposedly dead.  She’s even more shocked when Miss Dimmons is revealed to be a vampire as well.  Miss Dimmons tells Katie that being turned was the best thing that ever happened to her, which is why she wants to share it with Katie.  Katie tries to resist, but it’s no use.  Miss Dimmons sinks her fangs into Katie’s neck.  Katie once again wakes up screaming. 

Back in his mobile base, Rayne opens his eyes, having apparently been witness to and cause of  Katie’s nightmare.  He laughs sadistically.  Meanwhile, James continues to chip away at the computer network check, totally oblivious to Anyabot, who is lecturing him about working too hard.

Later that night, Katie joins Livia and Mira as they investigate a tip about a vampire nest in an old car garage.  Katie once again is zoning out and having trouble focusing.  When the three slayers check out the garage, they find eight vampires and four victims.  Livia orders them to go in.  Katie is hesitant, but complies.  Once inside, Katie kills three vampires on her side of the garage while Livia and Mira get swamped by a gang of vampires.  When Katie goes to help them, she freezes in place, suddenly reliving her nightmare from the night before.  Mira gets skewered by one of the vamps, enraging Livia.  Katie just freaks and runs.  Outside, Katie runs into their backup, which has just arrived.  She tells them to get in right away.  Shortly, paramedics come out bearing Mira on a gurney with Livia right by her side.  Once Mira’s safely away, Livia storms over to Katie, seemingly barely able to contain the urge to beat Katie to a pulp.  She handcuffs and arrests Katie for Cowardice in Battle.  Rayne watches from his skimmer, grinning with malice.

Giles rushes into the office of Velika Petrova, head of Slayer Command, to get news of Katie and Mira.  Velika tells him that Mira is critical but stable and that Katie is in detention.  Giles asks Velika to let him and Jo interview Katie.  Velika reluctantly agrees.  Giles contacts Jo at her apartment, and she rushes back to HQ.  Giles explains what has happened and drops the bomb that Katie could be facing the death penalty.

While Velika watches from behind the one-way glass, Giles and Jo interview Katie.  Katie tries to explain what happened—how she just froze, seeing not where she was, but where she had been in her nightmare.  Jo asks Katie if her nightmares have overlapped into her waking hours at other times.  Katie says yes, citing the sparring incident with Livia and the magic demo fiasco.  Jo asks Katie what she saw during the magic demo, but Katie is too upset to say.  Jo reaches out to Katie and tries to comfort her, but Katie suddenly snaps, angrily accusing both Jo and Giles of doing this to her, of trying to hurt her.  She backs into the corner, rambling incoherently.  Jo runs to Katie and reaches out to her.  Katie comes back to herself and begins to cry.  Jo hugs her and assures her that they’ll find out what’s happening to her.

Once Katie is taken back to detention, Velika and Giles and Jocasta discuss what to do.  They agree that Katie isn’t right and needs to be checked out.  Jo insists that Katie’s breakdown is unnatural somehow.  She heads out to research.  Velika expresses her sympathy, but reminds her former watcher not to make her choose between him and her duty.

The next morning, Katie is put through a barrage of tests.  Meanwhile, Giles tries to stave off Travers’ efforts in the Council Chambers to end the magic research.  After a very close margin, the Council votes to postpone any cease-and-desist orders until Katherine’s condition can be investigated.

When her testing is done, Katie asks the guards to let her visit Mira in the ICU.  After getting permission from Velika, the guards comply.  Katie goes to Mira’s bed.  She tries to apologize to the unconscious slayer, but gets interrupted by a furious Livia who tells Katie to get the hell away from Mira.  Katie leaves.

Later, Giles and Jo and Velika meet with Dr. McClelland to find out the results of his testing.  The doctor reports that Katie is suffering from extreme sleep deprivation, which explains her fatigue, lack of concentration, hallucinations, and paranoia.  Jo insists that the sleep deprivation is due to the nightmares and that they are the key here.  The doctor counters by saying that the nightmares are a symptom, not a cause.  The doctor admits he doesn’t know what’s causing the sleep deprivation.  Velika asks the doctor to do what he can.  Jo tells Giles she’s going to talk with Willowgram and see if there’s a spell that might cause these symptoms.

Back in her office, Jo activates Willowgram and has her search for anything that might explain what’s happening to Katie.  After ruling out several options, Willow finally discovers the answer: the excruciatio nocturna, a nightmare curse.

Jo takes this news back to the Scoobies.  Livia is skeptical, still angry with Katie over her running.  Giles says that Katie is being brought to the infirmary so that Jo can do the counterspell there, just in case it doesn’t work.  Jo sadly explains that if the counterspell doesn’t work, Katie will go insane and have to be put away, where she can’t hurt herself or anyone else.  Jo expresses regret for letting her anger keep her from reaching out to Katie before now.

Meanwhile, in her detention cell, Katherine has another nightmare.  In it, she is dragged into a morgue examination room by an unspeaking and emotionless Livia and Mira.  They throw her onto an examination table and strap her down.  She apologizes to them and pleads with them, but they ignore her.  Suddenly, Rayne is there, dressed in scrubs.  He taunts Katie about her abandonment of her fellow slayers.  Then he brandishes a large scalpel and leans over to cut into her torso.  Katie starts to scream.

She awakens in a hysterical fright in her detention cell just as Velika is sending in a pair of guards to bring her out.  When she sees Katie’s reaction to the guards, Velika herself goes inside and calms Katie down, until she allows the guards to cuff her.  As Velika and the guards lead Katie away, Katie begins to babble nonsensically.   She tells Velika that the reason she did what she did was that she has “things” in her head.  When the group gets to the infirmary, Katie stops her rambling and resists being taken inside.  They pull her in anyway.  When Dr. McClelland comes toward her to inject her with a sedative, Katie freaks out and attacks them, felling them all and then getting away, taking the handcuff keys with her.

Giles and Jo and crew arrive just as Velika is coming to.  She explains what has happened.  When Velika begins to initiate a “code red,” Giles stops her.  Velika warns Giles not to interfere, insisting that Katie is a “rogue slayer.”  Giles denies that, saying that Katie is sick and not responsible for her actions.  Giles asks Velika to give them time to find Katie on their own and bring her in safely.  Velika gives Giles only as long as it takes to get her own slayer squad together.

While Katie, now free of the handcuffs, is wandering fearfully in a row of storage units, Jo does a locator spell.  Jo and the others follow the bobbing ball of light while Giles and James watch  the proceedings in the computer center, via a video camera Jo is wearing.  Meanwhile, Velika is addressing her slayer squad.  She tells them it’s a code-red, level-ten takedown, and Katie is the target.  She tells them that they want her alive but that lethal force is authorized if necessary.

Katie ends up at a brick wall and turns to go back the way she came.  She finds her way blocked by Rayne.  She backs away, terrified.  Rayne closes in.  Meanwhile, Jo, Livia, Lex, and Toni arrive at the storage units.  So do two of Velika’s slayers: Janet and Lian.

Katie sinks to her knees and begs Rayne not to hurt her.  Rayne assures her that he isn’t going to hurt her.  It’s the others who are going to hurt her, he tells her—her friends and her fellow slayers.  Just then, Jo and company arrive.  Jo tells Rayne to get away from Katie and asks him what he did to her.  He insists he did nothing, that it was Katie’s own guilts and fears that did it.  The four try to rush Rayne, but he uses magic to pin them and then push them away long enough for him to escape. 

Jo orders Livia and Lex and Toni to go after Rayne while she stays to see after Katie.  Jo approaches the hysterical Katie in the corner and gently touches her arm.  Katie freaks out, telling Jo to get away from her.  Meanwhile, Janet and Lian arrive.  Janet sends Lian atop the storage units while she moves closer. Jo tries to calm Katie, but Katie isn’t listening.  She grabs a broken bottle and holds it out as a weapon. Lian lines up the laser dot on Katie’s back.  A shot at that point would go straight through Katie’s heart.  Jo continues to plead with Katie, explaining that she’s under a curse.  Lian informs Janet that she has a shot.  Janet tells her not to take it but to wait for her word.  Jo continues to coax Katie.  Lian says she still has a shot.  Janet tells her to continue to wait.  Finally, Katie succumbs to Jo’s reassurances and breaks down, dropping the broken bottle.  Janet tells Lian to stand down.  Jo holds Katie tightly.

Later that night, Katie is in the infirmary, with Jo at her side, the counterspell having removed the nightmare curse.  Katie is fighting sleep, and Jo tells her to just let go.  Katie says she can’t, she’s too afraid of what she’ll dream.   Jo suddenly gets into the hospital bed with Katie and, despite the slayer’s protests, holds her and tells her to go to sleep.  Katie insists that Jo doesn’t have to do this, to stay with her.  Jo insists that this is where she belongs.  When Katie tries to object once more, Jo says, “No apologies, no regrets, no fears.  Not from either us.  Not tonight.”  When Katie asks about tomorrow, Jo assures her that she’ll be there.  At that, Katie snuggles into Jo’s arms and finally lets sleep take her.

Meanwhile, at the penthouse of Eris Pantelles, Rayne informs his lover how well the curse worked.  He reluctantly admits that the magic reintegration plan is still in effect, however.  Rayne nuzzles Eris’s neck and asks her if her mole is still in place.  She smiles and says yes, but refuses to tell Rayne who the mole is.

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