"What happened?" Damon demanded when they walked through the door of their house. "I don't understand! What happened!?" He poured himself a drink as he yelled, "We thought of everything! Klaus having hybrids, Mikael turning on us, we brought in Katherine so Elena wasn't in danger! Anything that could've gone wrong, we were prepared. But Stefan! He wanted Klaus dead more than anything. I had him, Buffy! I had Klaus! This could've all been over!" He threw his glass into the fire and it flared up. "And where the hell were you?"
"Damon!" Buffy touched his shoulder, but he shrugged her off. "Hey! Damon, listen to me. Damon!" He stopped and looked at her. "You would've died."
"Klaus…. He told his hybrids that if he died, you were to be killed too."
"You would've stopped them."
"I'm happy that you have that much faith in me, but…. I couldn't have stopped that many by myself. Klaus was right…. I may be good, but I'm not that good. There were too many of them. Even for the both of us."
"How do you know this?"
"Klaus grabbed me when I walked out of the office. He told me about what he had done to make sure he survived. Katherine told Stefan since Klaus told her too…. Thinking she was Elena."
"Stefan saved me."
"Yes. Stefan came to me with his plan. He knew I would've stopped him."
"Klaus is going to come after us. He's going to retaliate for this."
Damon shook his head, despair in his eyes. "We can't take him on. He can't die. He'll just keep coming."
"We'll survive." Buffy took his face between her hands. "We'll survive this." Her phone started ringing and she grabbed it. "What?"
"I'm just calling to say goodbye." Katherine said on the other line.
"Are you going back into hiding?"
"At least my life's not boring. Bye, Buffy."
"Take care of yourself, Katherine." Buffy hung up and looked back at Damon. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault." Buffy hugged him tightly. Damon sighed against her hair. "What are we going to do now?"
"I think it's time to bring out my plan B."
"Remember what we said just before you gave Elena your blood to save her from the sacrifice?"
Damon looked down at her. He didn't have to think very hard to remember that particular conversation. "Are you serious?"
"'Making a Slayer would be like making an Original.' We can't trust any of the other Originals. But we need someone as powerful as they are." He let go of her and walked away a few steps. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know if I can do it."
"This was meant as a last resort."
Buffy moved up behind him and hugged his waist, laying her head against his back. "We're at our end here, Damon." He turned in her arms and held her to him. "Klaus will come for us and we need to be ready." She pulled back to look up at him. "I have to be able to protect you and Elena and Jeremy. I can't think of any other way." Damon stared at her for a long moment. "He'll take me away from you and I don't…. I can't let that happen. I have to be able to fight for you. For Elena. For everyone. This is our family and we need to protect our family."
Damon nodded slightly and sliced open his wrist on his teeth. Buffy took in a few mouthfuls, refreshing the blood that was already in her system. With the most pained look Buffy had ever seen, Damon took her head between his hands. "I'll be ok." She said with a nervous, encouraging nod.
"I love you." Damon kissed her gently before looking away and twisting.
Buffy was suddenly enveloped in darkness. She couldn't hear anything and it was like her voice was swallowed up when she tried to speak. God…. Maybe Damon hadn't done it right. Maybe Slayers couldn't be turned and he'd just permanently killed her. All those years of fighting for her life and she just handed hers over to her boyfriend who had no intention of killing her.
Suddenly the darkness turned into a blinding white. A figure made its way towards her and she tensed for a fight.
"I'm not going to hurt you." The figure said.
Tears pooled in Buffy's eyes at the sound of that voice. "Giles…." Giles stopped in front of her. "How…."
"You're not in transition yet, but you will be. This is, for all intents and purposes, a waiting room."
"Oh. Are you mad?"
"Am I making a cluck-cluck sound?"
"You could be, but this place is swallowing the sound."
"You wouldn't be able to hear us talking, then."
"Good point. So…. You're not mad?"
"You're doing what you have to do to protect your family." He held his arms out and Buffy tumbled into them, hugging him tightly.
"I miss you so much, Giles. I'm so sorry about what happened to you."
"It wasn't your fault."
"But it was. Klaus was trying to distract me…."
"Buffy, it wasn't your fault. Watchers are in danger just as much as Slayers are. We know what it means when we're chosen to watch over the Chosen One. I actually consider myself lucky to die before my Slayer."
Buffy chuckled. "I've beaten you to that finish line twice."
"Yes, well…. Permanently, you're not very good at that."
"I don't play by the rules."
"And that's why you're the best."
Buffy hugged Giles again. "I wish you could've met Elena."
"She seems like a wonderful young woman. You really are doing so good with her, Buffy."
"I'm worried that something bad will happen to her because of me. Like it did to you."
"Elena has become a daughter to you and you're now a very powerful vampire. You did that for her to protect her."
Buffy sighed. "I feel like I'm starting to fade. How much time do we have left?"
"Not much. You'll wake up soon."
She nodded. "What do you think of Damon?"
"He loves you."
"I knew that. What do you think of him?"
"I think he's good for you. He pushes you to be your best and he doesn't ask anything of you in return except your love. It makes me happy to see you happy."
"I really miss you, Giles."
"I'm not far away." He wrapped her in his arms again and Buffy gasped.
Damon was kneeled on the floor beside the bed holding her hand. He jumped when she shot up suddenly, gasping for air. "Buffy!"
"God…." Buffy murmured, taking deep breaths. She suddenly smelled something incredibly delicious and looked over at Damon. He had gotten to his feet and was holding a blood bag.
"Here," He moved onto the bed next to her and handed her the bag.
Buffy grabbed it and it exploded in her hand, surprising both of them. She blinked rapidly, looking at Damon in a panic. "What happened?"
"Shh…." He soothed. "I'll be right back." Damon stood up and walked out of the room. Buffy crawled off the bed and looked at the mess. Those sheets and the comforter were ruined now. Probably the carpet, too. She felt so guilty and wanted to cry suddenly. Her breathing sped up as she tried not to cry. A small part of her brain told her to be rational. That her emotions were heightened and she shouldn't panic. "Buffy." Damon walked back in holding a glass filled with blood. "Hey, it's ok. You're back." He wiped away the tear that had escaped her eye.
"It's ok. Your emotions…."
"I know! I know!" She took the glass from him and managed to get one good swallow down before the glass exploded in her hand. "Oh my god!" Damon reached out to check her hand and when she grabbed it, he yelped in pain. "Damon!"
"It's ok. I'm ok." He took his hand back from her as gently as he could and tried to flex it.
"I broke it!" Buffy started to cry and backed away from him. "Oh god…."
"Hey, I'm ok." Damon shook his hand as it healed. "I'm ok. Jeez, you're strong!"
"I hurt you…."
"I'm fine. It's healed. See?" He showed her his hand and flexed it. She refused to touch it.
"I made a mess…. Again."
"It's ok." Damon eyed the blood splatter on her clothes and on the rug and on the bed. "You need a shower."
"How long was I out?"
"Not long. A couple of hours."
She looked down at her feet. "I'm hungry."
"That's normal." He gently moved towards her and cupped her face. She became as still as a statue. "Shh…. It's ok. Don't panic." Damon leaned forward and gently kissed her lips. "You're ok. Let's get you out of these clothes and into the shower. Then we'll try again to get some blood in your system."
"I won't die?"
"I think you got enough down that you'll be ok while we take a shower." He stroked her face and she visibly calmed down, sighing even. Damon stored that information away for when she got emotional. "Come on." He took her hand and led her towards the bathroom. She refused to grip his hand and just let him hold it as she followed.
After their shower, Buffy wandered the house while Damon fixed her another glass of blood. She ventured into her training room and looked around. Despite it being dark, she could see everything perfectly. It was like her already good night vision had added a floodlight feature. Now that she was calmer, she could feel the strength in her muscles had increased exponentially. It's what she had wanted, but now that she actually had it…. It scared her. She'd only grasped the blood bag gently…. Or what she'd thought had been gentle…. And it had exploded. Same thing with the glass and Damon's hand.
Buffy sighed and pushed the punching bag as gently as she could. It swayed, but didn't get too wild. She smiled brightly. See? She could do this. She pushed it again, trying to use the same amount of force, but the bag snapped off the chain and slammed into the wall, knocking off some of the weapons displayed there and causing a loud clatter as they hit the floor.
"Guess I won't be training in here anymore." Buffy said to herself, looking sadly around her. At least she could still use the weapons.
"Everything ok?" Damon asked from the doorway.
"My strength is…. It's more than I thought it would be. More than regular Slayer-me hopped up on vampire blood."
"You'll get the hang of it." He held out a glass of blood. "Gently."
"I don't know what that is right now." She glanced at the mess of weapons around the punching bag.
"Here," Damon moved behind her and kissed her neck. He held the glass up in front of her and placed it on her open palm. Ever so gently, he closed her fingers around it and let her hand go. It didn't break, so Damon wrapped his arms around her waist and nuzzled her hair.
"You're distracting me."
She sighed and downed the glass of blood before handing it back to him quickly. "Why did you distract me?"
"You're calmer when I'm touching you." Buffy looked at him quizzically. "Back in the room, you were starting to panic and when I touched your face, you calmed down."
"You won't always be around to distract me."
"Baby steps." He kissed her neck again. "You'll get the hang of it. I promise."
A couple of days later, Buffy was sitting by herself in the dining room and staring out the window. She was stuck in the shadows since she didn't have a daylight ring, but from her vantage point she could look at the sun outside and still be able to sit in the dark. Now she knew how Angel and Spike felt. Except that Angel now had a daylight ring.
When her thoughts turned to Angel, she found herself getting incredibly pissed off. She allowed the heightened emotions to take over her for a moment. How dare he demand that she leave Damon for him? What was so hard to grasp that she loved Damon and didn't plan on leaving him any time soon? Or ever! It made her see red when he'd suggested it, but now, as she remembered it with her psycho emotions, the red turned deeper and deeper till it was almost black.
And then Buffy took a deep breath and worked very hard to reign those emotions back in. It was an exercise she'd devised. So far, it was working pretty good.
Buffy jumped when her phone rang with Willow's ringtone and grabbed it off the table in a lightning fast motion. Of course, she wasn't watching her strength and the phone crumbled to bits in her hand. "You have got to be kidding me!"
"Everything ok?" Damon asked, walking in.
"I broke my phone." She showed him the broken bits.
"We'll order you a new one."
"You're being very nonchalant about everything."
"Buffy, you're new to this and losing my temper or getting annoyed isn't going to help anything. You do that well enough for the both of us even when your emotions aren't heightened." He leaned down and kissed her gently. "I'm going to order you an awesome new phone."
Damon could tell she was sulking. He slid into the chair next to her and turned to face her. "So…. Elena called again today. And so did Bonnie and Caroline. Alaric came by…."
"I was asleep."
"No you weren't. You were hiding." Buffy dropped the broken bits of phone onto the table and shot him an annoyed look. "You can't hide forever."
"I know that, but I don't want to accidentally hurt someone. You're not as fragile as Elena or Bonnie or Jeremy or Alaric. I can break your hand and you just bounce right back. They won't bounce right back. I'd probably break one of their backs just hugging them!"
"I still think that getting your emotions under a better control will solve your problems." Damon poked at the broken phone. "You get excited, things break."
"I know." He took her hand and kissed her palm. "I know it is. Everything's heightened. But it gets easier."
"There's so much pressure…."
"Nobody's pressuring you."
"Klaus is out there. He's pissed off. And he can walk in the sun. But me…." Buffy stuck her hand out and recoiled when her hand started to burn.
"Bonnie will make you a ring."
"Bonnie is going to be pissed off and will probably walk out."
"I don't think she will. She owes you and Willow way too much. Just remind her of that little fact."
Buffy rolled her eyes at Damon. "Not everyone is as blasé about blackmail as you are." She sighed. "Oh, and let's not forget to mention that your brother has gone missing."
"I'm not worried about him."
"You should be."
"He got himself into this mess. He got us into this mess. I'm not worried about him."
"Well, I am."
She sighed. "Even after everything he's done…. I still care about him. And I'm pretty sure you do too."
"He's my brother, but I'm mad at him, so I'm not going to worry about him."
"Your logic does not match the rest of the world's, does it?"
"Not at all." Damon smirked. "And neither does yours. A Vampire Slayer in love with a vampire."
Buffy laughed. "A vampire Vampire Slayer in love with a vampire. I think if the old Watcher's Council was still a thing, they'd send the old demons after me to destroy me."
"And they'd be stupid. You're doing everything you can to protect your family." Damon realized he'd said the wrong thing when he face fell and tears sprang to her eyes. "Buff…."
"I'm not doing everything I can. I'm sulking because I can't get my powers under control."
"Shh…." He stroked her cheek with his thumb. "Don't dwell on it. You'll get it down soon enough."
Buffy took a deep breath. "Sorry."
"It's ok." He leaned in and kissed her gently. "Let's go work on controlling your strength."
"I fixed your training room." Damon smiled and held out his hand. She sighed and took it, allowing him to lead her upstairs.
A/N October 11th is almost here! I can't wait! There's a new clip out that I've already started working on. Oh, how I need the rest of the episode!