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Chapter 15

A/N Hey guys, I just wanted to thank you for all your reviews! They're pretty awesome and they keep me inspired. I'm so glad you guys like this story. I'm all caught up writing the seasons and I now find myself waiting for Thursdays to come around so I can watch, enjoy, download, watch again, and get to work on the next chapter. I really love these two shows (I've watched Buffy since Day 1). I didn't know if people would respond to a crossover between the two. You guys proved me wrong. Thank you! You're awesome!

This is one of my favorite chapters and all you Damon/Buffy shippers out there will really enjoy it like I have. (I find myself reading it over and over.)

Enjoy!

Chapter 15

Buffy and Stefan were walking around the square looking at everything going on around them. There were people dressed in Confederate uniforms and some people were dressed in civil war era clothing, including Stefan. He and Elena had to be dressed up in Gone With The Wind inspired clothing for the Miss Mystic Falls court float.

"This is crazy!" Buffy said.

Stefan laughed. "You're loving it."

"It is pretty cool. Why didn't Sunnydale ever have anything like this? Oh right! It was on a Hellmouth and about this time, it would be spewing out its latest demon to destroy the world."

"Look at you, all retro." Damon said.

"And speaking of…."

Stefan chuckled slightly. "What are you doing here?"

"Why wouldn't I be here? Bonnie deactivated the Gilbert invention, Isobel is gone, and it's Founder's Day! I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal this girl." Damon draped an arm over Buffy's shoulder. She sighed, but let him keep his arm there.

"Guys…." Buffy pointed to wear Elena was walking up in a big, beautiful era dress. She stepped away from the guys and headed over. "You look amazing."

"This dress is so tight." Elena said as she hugged Buffy.

"Eh. Corsets. Glad they don't have them as a requirement anymore."

Elena laughed. "Will you be watching the parade?"

"Of course. Jenna gave me a camera and told me to make sure I get lots of pictures from where I'm standing." Buffy held up the camera.

"Hello, Elena." Stefan said, walking up and bowing to her.

Elena laughed. "Hello, Stefan."

"You look beautiful."

"Where'd Damon go?" Buffy shrugged. "No comments from the peanut gallery today, I guess?"

Stefan shook his head, "He wandered off. I'm sure it won't be the last of him."

"Listen, I'm going to go find a good spot to take pictures as the float goes by. See you later." Buffy hugged Elena again and headed off to join the crowd.

Not even half an hour later, Damon found her. He handed her a bag of kettle corn. "This stuff is great. You should try it."

"Thanks, but I had a corn dog." Buffy turned away.

"Is this about what Isobel said?" She didn't answer. "Look, she's right about one thing. I do care about you. But love? That's such a strong word and we're both in the same boat. Neither of us are looking or care to look for love. You're fun. You're smart. You're sexy as hell."

"Point, Damon?"

"My point is: I don't get why everyone wants to ruin a good thing with…. With labels."

"Sometimes labels are good."

"Are you saying you want a label?"

"I don't know, Damon. Right now…. I want to enjoy the parade and not have to think about my love life. It's always sucked and it's always given me a migraine. So, give me that…." She took the bag of kettle corn. "And let me enjoy Elena's big moment here."

The parade had started and Carol Lockwood's voice could be heard over the loud speaker. "Let's get a big applause to the Mystic Fall's high school Marching Band!" The marching band and the cheerleaders paraded as everyone applauded and screamed. "And for a little local history, Mr. Saltzman's students have recreated Virginia's Battle of Willow Creek." The float arrived in the street and Buffy spotted Jeremy. She waved at him and took pictures. He smiled and waved back. "Ladies and gentlemen please welcome our stunning Miss Mystic Falls court and their handsome escorts." Elena, Stefan, Caroline, and Matt were on the float with the rest of the Miss Mystic Falls court. They were all laughing and saying hi to everyone. "This is Caroline Forbes, Miss Mystic Falls. Aren't they beautiful?" Elena spotted Buffy and she waved and posed for the camera, laughing the whole time.

Damon spotted Bonnie and went over to talk to her. "Damon…." Buffy warned, following him.

"What do you want?" Bonnie asked.

"Just watching the parade." Damon said.

"Hey Buffy." Bonnie said before turning to leave.

"Where are you going?" Damon called.

"Away from you."

Damon stopped her. "I want to say something to you."

"Just leave me alone."

"Thank you. The device that Emily spelled could have killed me. I don't take what you did lightly so…. thank you."

"I did it for Elena."

"I know that but I'm still very grateful and…. I owe you." Damon nodded. "Enjoy the parade." Damon walked off.

Buffy couldn't help but follow. "Ok, who the heck are you and what did you do with Damon?"

"Look, I don't want to die any time soon. Bonnie stopped that from happening and…. I'm grateful." Buffy nodded, impressed. "Shut up. Look…. Do you want to go get dinner and drinks with me? The rest of the show doesn't start until after dark."

Buffy stared at him for a moment and then shrugged. "Sure."

Buffy answered her cell phone as Damon took his turn at the pool table. "Hello?"

"Hey, it's me. Where are you?" Elena asked.

"I'm at the Grill."

"Ok. I'll meet you there. I changed at the school, so I'm close. I'll call Stefan and have him meet us there."

"Ok. Hey, Jenna was looking for you earlier. She said to call her when you can."

"Ok."

Buffy hung up and turned to watch Damon sink another ball. "Elena's on her way."

"Ok." Damon stood up to line up another shot.

"You know, you're still not going to beat me."

"I can try." He missed and scratched the cue ball.

"See?" Buffy grabbed her pool stick and sank two more balls.

"I like you better like this." Damon said behind her. Buffy turned to see Elena walking up. "Period look, it…. didn't suit you."

"Is that an insult?" Elena asked.

"Actually Elena, it is a compliment of the highest order."

"Just take the compliment, Elena. He's dishing them out tonight and I'm not sure it'll happen again." Buffy said. "An alien has taken over his body tonight."

Damon gave her a sarcastic laugh. "You're a riot."

"Have you seen Jeremy?" Elena asked.

"Yeah. He's over there. He seems pretty pissed off." Buffy said. "What's up with that?"

"He knows about everything."

"Oh no. How…."

"He read my journal."

"Eh…. That's what siblings do. That's how Dawn found out about me being the Slayer. She was pretty pissed for a while, but then she got over it. Just like Jeremy will. You want me to talk to him?"

"No. That's my responsibility. It's me he's mad at." Elena sighed and walked over to Jeremy. "I don't believe that we can't fix this. I lied. I was wrong but you're my brother Jer and I love you and I have to fix it. So just tell me, what can I do?"

"You can go to hell Elena." Jeremy got up and left.

Buffy walked over and hugged Elena. "Just let him get it out of his system. He's a guy. Guys are more emotional than girls are and they just don't know how to handle it." Elena laughed slightly. "That's why women are the superior species. I mean, the Slayer isn't a guy is she?"

"Girl power." Elena joked. "Hey…. Where'd Damon go?"

"Great." Buffy shook her head and shrugged. "You know what? He'll find me later." She turned back to Elena. "Dinner? Damon was supposed to eat with me, but I guess that's not happening now."

"Sure. I'll grab us a table."

Later that night, Buffy, Stefan, and Elena were strolling through the square talking about the festivities. They hadn't heard from Damon in a couple of hours. They'd enjoyed a nice dinner together and had decided to catch the fireworks from a good viewpoint. As they were walking, Damon suddenly appeared and grabbed Buffy's hand.

"What are you doing?" Buffy asked.

"Saving your lives. Fifteen words or less…. Tomb vamps are here, founding families are their target."

Buffy looked at Stefan. "Get her out of here, now!" She started to walk off with Damon.

"Wait, where are you going?" Stefan called.

"It's more than fifteen words Stefan." Damon called.

"I need more than fifteen words. Where are we going?" Buffy asked.

"John's going to try and use that device against the vampires when the fireworks start."

"It doesn't work."

"I know that. But John doesn't. A lot of people are about to get killed.""Where is he hiding?"

Damon pointed at a building on the other side of the square. "That's where Elena's dad's office was. That's where John is." Above them, the fireworks started to go off and people everywhere started clapping. Buffy and Damon picked up their pace and pushed through the crowd to get to the office. Inside, John was preparing the device. Damon slammed the door behind them and John turned around. "Do you have any idea of what you've done?"

"Yeah, as a matter of fact I do." John said.

Damon and Buffy moved toward him, but John activated the device. Buffy heard the noise and it suddenly felt like her brain was on fire. Damon dropped next to her, holding his head and screaming. She tried to stay on her feet and move towards John, but the noise only got worse. She saw John preparing two syringes just as she went down.

John injected vervain into Damon first before moving over to Buffy with the other. "I got this off of a Watcher not too long ago. He told me about this thing called the Cruciamentum. But before he releases her in that house, he has to inject this organic compound of muscle relaxants and adrenal suppressers into the Slayer so she doesn't have any powers. I'm sure you remember that. You won't be as lucky this time." John injected Buffy with the drug. "You shouldn't have sided with the enemy, Buffy." Buffy felt herself get weaker and slowly become just like a human. John kicked her in the head and she blacked out.

Damon began to wake up as a deputy dragged a vampire down the stairs and dumped him a few feet away. John followed him down and looked at the vampires and Buffy on the floor. "The device is done. The only thing that's keeping them down is the vervain. We don't have much time, let's finish this."

One of the deputies began pouring gasoline everywhere. Damon turned over to find Buffy next to him. Her head was bleeding pretty badly and she was unconscious. John began to leave but Anna caught his leg from her place on the floor.

John looked down at her. "Anna." He looked at the deputy. "You can head up. I'll take it from here." The deputy left and Anna tried to get up. John took a stake from his back.

"Please…. no!" Anna begged.

John staked her as Damon looked on and was powerless to do anything. John made his way up the stairs and poured gasoline on them. At the top of the stairs, he lit a match and dropped it. The fire poured down the stairs towards the vampires. Some of them began to burn.

Damon made an effort and got over to Buffy. He lifted her head up and rested it in the crook of his right arm. "Come on, wake up…. Buffy, wake up." She started to stir and he moved her blood-matted hair away from her face. "That's it. Come on."

"Damon…." She said weakly.

"Yeah. You gotta wake up. We've got to get out of here."

Buffy smelled the smoke from the fire and started to feel the heat surrounding her. "Oh god…." She started to get up, but her head swam and she fell back down into Damon's arms.

"What's the matter?"

"John…. He took my powers. He used that drug…. I'm just human…."

They heard a moan behind them and turned to see Mayor Lockwood sitting there. "Mayor. Is that you?" Damon asked.

"What are you doing here?" The mayor asked.

"I'm a vampire. What's your excuse?"

"Buffy? You're a…."

"No. I'm a Slayer. John's trying to kill me too." Buffy shook her head and wished she hadn't. Damon had to hold her up so she didn't fall back when her head swam. "I'm confused…. The vervain doesn't affect you because you're not a vampire so…. what the hell are you?" The mayor moved away from Damon and Buffy, but he fell into one of the tomb vampires.

"Mayor Lockwood!" The vampire snapped the mayor's neck.

Buffy looked at Damon as she made it to her knees and realized they might not make it out. "Oh god…."

"Don't panic on me, ok?" Damon said calmly. "We're going to get out of this. Stefan will come for us."

"The stairs are covered in flames. He'll burn." She tried to help him sit up, but she was just too weak. She let out a terrified yelp as a beam fell near them.

Damon managed to get to his knees and he took Buffy's face gently between his hands. "Shh…. Don't be scared. It'll be ok." He wiped away a tear coursing down her cheek. "It'll be ok." He pulled her to him so she could bury her face in his neck. Holding her close, Damon looked around at the flames that had consumed the entire basement.

Elena and Stefan spotted John standing near the burning building. "Where are Damon and Buffy?" She demanded.

John turned to look at them. "With the rest of them where they should be. It's over for them."

"You're crazy."

"Why? Because I'm doing what should have been done a hundred and fifty five years ago? This is the right thing Elena."

"Buffy's not even a vampire! What is the matter with you!"

John looked at Stefan eyeing the building for a way in. "Go ahead, you won't make it out. It'll save me the trouble of killing you myself."

"You know the building well, is there another entrance in?" Stefan asked.

Elena thought for a second. "The utility door…. There's one on the other side." Stefan ran towards the side of the building.

Elena followed him but John caught her arm. "You take one more step and I'll alert those deputies that they missed a vampire."

"I'm asking you not to." Elena said.

"That doesn't mean anything to me."

"As my father it should."

"You know."

"I wasn't sure but now I am." She looked at him for a moment longer, then ran after Stefan. Bonnie was standing there looking at the building when Elena arrived. "Stefan!"

"Elena, you can't go in there!" Bonnie stopped her from running in after Stefan.

"Bonnie, what are you doing?"

"I'm sorry I lied to you." Bonnie caught Elena's arm and closed her eyes as she began to recite a spell.

"Bonnie I've got to get in there!"

Inside the building, Stefan could finally open the door but the fire was too big on the stairs. Suddenly the flames diminished. Stefan ran down into the basement and found Buffy and Damon clinging to each other.

"Come on, hurry!" Stefan cried.

"She doesn't have her powers. She's just human." Damon said, still cradling Buffy to him. "Her head's hurt pretty badly."

"I'll carry you both." Stefan took Damon in one arm and Buffy in the other and he flew up the stairs with them.

Outside, Bonnie finished her spell and looked at Elena. "Bonnie…. Bonnie what is it? Are they gonna be ok?" Stefan suddenly appeared in the alley with Damon and Buffy. "Oh my god!" Elena caught Buffy and helped Stefan hold her up. "Are you ok?"

"For now…." Buffy said. "John used a drug on me…." Buffy started coughing as she leaned on Stefan for support. "I'm going to kill him, just to let you know."

Buffy was lying in her bed when Damon found her. She'd showered and changed out of her singed and smoked stained clothes. "Hey." Damon said.

"Hey." Buffy turned over to look up at him.

He kneeled down next to her bed and moved her hair away from her face, checking the bandage on her forehead. "How are you feeling?"

"Human. And it kind of sucks."

"When will you be back to normal?"

"The last time I had that drug in my system…. I wasn't as powerful as I am now. So it took longer to get rid of. I'm hoping it'll only be a day or two this time." She reached out and cupped his cheek. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"For trying to keep me calm down there. I was so sure I was going to die…. I kind of panicked."

"I noticed. But I told you everything would be ok."

"Yeah."

Damon sighed. "You know, I came to this town wanting to destroy it. Tonight I found myself wanting to protect it. Even more so I wanted to protect you. How does that happen? I'm not a hero, Buffy. I don't do good. It's not in me."

"Maybe it is."

"No. That's reserved for my brother…. And Elena and Bonnie…. And you. But somewhere along the way you decided that I was worth saving. Even after everything I've done." He took a deep breath. "And I wanted to thank you for that."

"You're welcome."

He leaned over to kiss her forehead and as he pulled back, something in him couldn't move away any further. He gently kissed her lips and her fingers wove into his hair. Her other hand pulled on his shirt. She was too weak to actually pull him on top of her, so he obliged and rested his weight above her as he started to kiss his way down her neck.

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