Footnotes

Bonding

A/N Just a short, sweet little story between Buffy and Elena to hold you over for a few more days. I can't wait to start writing again in just TWO MORE DAYS! I thought this little story would be appropriate because I think Elena's and Buffy's mother/daughter relationship is going to get a lot stronger over the next season as they learn to be vampires together and deal with everything that gets thrown at them.

Enjoy!

Bonding

Buffy walked through the cemetery entrance and glanced around. The sun was going down and she'd decided to patrol. She'd had an itch for it, though the vampires she usually killed…. The ones with the bumpy foreheads and the serious attitude problems and the uncanny ability to know serious martial arts right from the grave…. Those vampires seemed to avoid Mystic Falls.

Damon had wanted to join her, but she'd asked him to stay home. She needed time to clear her head. After everything she'd learned about him and his brother and how they'd become vampires…. And the stress of going through Stefan's near suicide…. Her head was all jumbled. Not to mention that her feelings about Damon were still unclear. She liked him a lot, and he was a lot different than what she'd learned and believed about him…. But he'd still killed Lexi. He still killed people…. Though he hadn't seemed to have killed anyone in a while….

A noise from deeper in the cemetery drew her attention. There were no new graves, so this wasn't a baby vamp rising from the ground. Maybe an older vampire? She reached out with her senses and discovered there was nothing out there except…. A human? She rolled her eyes and went in search of the human.

To her surprise, it was Elena. She was sitting beside a grave with a lovely headstone that read In Memory, Grayson Gilbert, Miranda Sommers Gilbert, May 23, 2009, Loving Parents. Buffy smiled slightly. "I haven't seen you write in your journal in a long time." Elena gasped and dropped the notebook and her pen. "Sorry."

"You scared me!" Elena said.

"I got that."

Elena sighed and gathered her stuff. "How's Stefan?"

"He's Stefan. Last I saw, he was sitting in his room brooding."

"Where's Damon?"

"I made him stay home, though he's probably ignoring that and lurking nearby." Buffy sat down next to Elena and leaned back against her parents' headstone. "So, what are you writing?"

Elena sighed and glanced at her journal. "Everything. I'm just trying to catch up."

"And you're doing that in a graveyard at sundown?"

"I lost track of time." The teen's eyes widened and she looked around. "Are there vampires? Like…. The bad kind?"

"No. Just you and me."

"Oh. Good. So…. What are you doing out here?"

"Got antsy. I was hoping for at least a measly vampire, but they seem to avoid Mystic Falls." Buffy laid her head back against the cool stone of the headstone. "You're so lucky."

"Why?"

"You have somewhere to go to visit your parents." Elena looked at Buffy for a long moment until Buffy finally noticed. The blonde shrugged. "My mom's grave and headstone got eaten by the Hellmouth when it collapsed."

"You never put another one up?""I was always on the move. This is the first time I've actually settled anywhere for longer than a few months."

Elena glanced at her parents' headstone. "I know you don't know them, but you're more than welcome to come here to talk to your mom."

Buffy smiled slightly. "Thanks." She shrugged. "I was never one for talking to a grave. Well…. Unless there was a freshly turned vampire about to rise."

"You don't talk to your mom?"

"No. It feels weird."

"Why?"

"Talking to thin air? People think I'm crazy already…. I don't want to give them a reason. I just like to sit and remember."

"Well, my offer still stands."

"Thank you."

Elena closed her journal. "Tell me about her?"

"My mom?" Elena nodded. "She was…. The perfect mom. I threw a lot of crap at her and she managed to find her way to stand at my side. No matter what."

"What were you like…. At my age?"

"Well, I was a Slayer. I had been for about three-ish years. You know about the whole thing with Angel…. That was all at seventeen."

"How did you do it?"

"What?"

"Survive all of that at such a young age. I'm barely coping with everything that gets thrown at me and it's nothing compared to some of the things you've mentioned and some of the things Stefan has told me."

Buffy shrugged. "I honestly don't know how I did it. Awesome friends?"

"Sometimes I feel that you're the only person that understands what I'm going through. I have amazing friends, but they…. They just don't know. They don't get it."

"Bonnie is very judgey. I can see where you wouldn't want to talk to her. Caroline is…. Caroline. Matt is jealous…."

"Matt's not jealous."

"Oh please! He gives you puppy dog eyes whenever he thinks no one's looking. He's still obviously in love with you." Elena blushed. "Don't worry. I've got expertise in that area, too."

"Who?"

"Xander. From the moment we first met, he had a thing for me. He even asked me to the spring formal and got really mad when I said no. Since then, no one I dated was good enough. Except Riley and that was…."

"Who's Riley?"

"My ex who was a normal, regular Joe. Except when he was being fed super drugs from his branch of the military."

"He was in the military?"

"Special supernatural branch. They took demons and vampires in and experimented on them. Spike wound up with a chip in his head that prevented him from harming humans." Buffy paused. "I've seriously never told you about Riley?"

"No. Did you love him?"

"I thought I did. But he really was just the rebound guy."

"So, I now know about Xander, Angel, Spike, and Riley. Anybody else?"

Buffy thought for a moment. "Parker. But that lasted for, like, two minutes and it was a huge mistake."

"What about Damon?"

Buffy tried to hide the little smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. "Damon is…. Complicated."

"As much as I hate him, I think he really does like you."

"And as much as you fight it, I think you really do like him. Not in a romantic way, but…. In a friend way."

"He's so mean to people."

"It's his way keeping people at a distance so they don't realize what a nice guy he really is. Stefan said he was so different before Katherine came into their lives."

"Different?"

"Nicer. More open." Buffy looked around to make sure Damon wasn't around. "He told me that he was really close with their mother.""When?"

"During our dinner the other night. That was a whole different Damon I went to dinner with. He let down his walls."

Elena smiled. "You're happy."

Buffy shrugged. "Maybe. But I'm really not looking for a relationship right now."

"That's when the best ones come around."

Buffy eyed Elena for a moment, a smile cracking through. "Oh, what do you know? You're just a seventeen year old."

Elena smiled. "I'm really glad you came into my life."

"I'm really glad I did too." Buffy stood up and held her hand out to Elena. "Come on. Let's get you home. I don't want this to be the one night a random bumpy forehead comes along and you're the only human sitting in the cemetery to snack on."

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