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Chapter 30

Chapter 30

Buffy woke up and stretched. She was completely naked in Damon's bed and pleasantly numb from the nighttime activities they'd partaken in. Damon was sitting on the edge of the bed clad only in a pair of unbuttoned jeans. He was on the phone with Stefan. "I did hear one piece of good news though." Damon was saying. "Tyler Lockwood ran away from home last night."

"How do you know?" Stefan asked.

"Well, I heard it from sheriff Forbes, who heard it from a very distraught Carol Lockwood, thus, ending our werewolf chapter, bringing us to…."

"Killing Elijah."

"Exactly."

"Well, it's not going to be easy. He's crafty."

"Well, I've got a crafty little dagger."

"He's an original. We don't know what all that encompasses."

"Oh, trust me, Stefan. I'm gonna dot all my t's. I don't want any surprises. Giles is looking it all up as we speak. Willow sent Buffy a text this morning telling her to check her email. Must be good news."

"Wow, Damon, tell me you're actually gonna be careful for once."

"Yes, Stefan, I've become you. How tragic for both of us. Got to run. I've a murder to plan. Busy day." He hung up and turned to look at Buffy. "Good morning, sleepy head."

Buffy tossed a pillow at him. "Why'd you let me sleep so late?"

"Because you needed the rest." He slid over to her and kissed his way up from her navel to her mouth. "You are delicious with this tousled hair."

"Thanks. I'm glad you like the bedhead look." She flipped them and pinned Damon down. "Did I hear something about a text from Willow?" Buffy reached over to grab her phone and Damon flipped them over, pinning Buffy down and kissing every inch of her he could reach as she checked her texts and then her email. "Oh, it is something good."

Damon paused and looked at her phone. "What's it say?"

"That the legend of the dagger and the ash is probably true. Giles found some references to it in some of his books. Willow's digging deeper with some of her coven friends." Buffy set the phone down and ran her nails up Damon's back. "So, other than planning a murder, what else have we got in store for us today?" She laughed as Damon descended on her with his mouth and tongue.

Later that afternoon, Alaric, Damon, and Buffy were gathered at a table at the Grill. Alaric had intruded on a tour Jenna was giving Elijah around Mystic Falls. "Other than the lecture on the history of Mystic Falls, did you get anything out of Elijah?" Damon asked.

"No, it was boring." Alaric said. "Of course, Jenna thinks he's charming."

"You sounded jealous. Did he sound a bit jealous?"

"Kinda did." Buffy agreed.

"Maybe we shouldn't talk about this here." Alaric said.

"No one's listening." Damon assured him. He looked at Buffy. "We just need the right opportunity to get to Elijah." Damon looked up and saw Jenna and Elijah walking in. "Ah, there's Jenna with her new boyfriend. Hi."

Elijah and Jenna joined them. "Hey, guys." Jenna said.

"So I hear you two had quite a meeting of historical minds today." Buffy said.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that."

"Well, as much as I'd love to continue this, I've got papers to grade." Alaric said, tossing some money down on the table and getting up.

"You know what?" Buffy said suddenly. "We should continue this. Let's have a dinner party."

"Ooh, my girl. Full of good ideas." Damon said. "We'll be happy to host! Say tonight maybe?"

"It's good for me." Buffy smiled. "Jenna?"

"I don't know if tonight works…." Alaric started.

"I'm free." Jenna interrupted.

"It'd be a pleasure." Elijah smiled.

"Great!" Damon said. He stood up and helped Buffy out of the booth. "We should get going since we have some grocery shopping to do."

"See you guys later." Buffy called.

Buffy followed Damon down into the church ruins towards the tomb. She was carrying a garment bag with some cast off clothes of hers. "Why are we here again?" She asked.

"I just want to see if Katherine can confirm that the dagger and ash will work." Damon said, tossing a bottle of blood back and forth between his hands.

"Willow and Giles said it would."

"They said it probably would. I'll bet Katherine knows something about it and I want her to tell me. And then we can be sure."

"What makes you think she'll even tell you? She hates us, remember?"

"She's scared of you, though." Damon smiled down at Buffy. "So…. I need you to be intimidating." He took her hand and went the rest of the way into the tomb. They found Katherine in the very back. She was bone dry and her skin was gray and mottled. She kind of stunk too. Damon unscrewed the top off the bottle and put the blood to her lips. "Great. Drink up. Good girl." Katherine took the bottle and started to down it. "We've come bearing gifts. We didn't have time to properly shop, but Buffy was kind enough to donate a couple of things." He took the clothes bag from Buffy and hung it up.

"Wow, that blood did the trick." Buffy said. "You're almost pretty again."

"What is it you two want?" Katherine asked.

"Guess who's back in town?" Damon asked. "Your old friend, John Gilbert."

"Really? Why?"

"Says he loves his daughter. Wants to protect her from Elijah and big, bad Klaus."

"Touching." Katherine got up and took a jacket from the clothes Damon brought.

"He told me this old wives tale about how to kill an original." Buffy said.

"And you two want to know if it's true. If it was, I wouldn't tell you."

"You want Elijah and Klaus dead as much as we do."

"Klaus, yes. Elijah, no. He's compelled me to stay in here. If he dies, I'm stuck forever."

"Sucks for you." Damon said.

"Forget it. Killing Elijah would be a suicide mission. Even you can't pull it off, Miss Super Slayer."

"Even with a dagger and a little white oak ash?" Buffy asked.

Katherine seemed surprised. "No. If you kill Elijah, then I'm stuck in here forever."

"You're really scared." Damon said.

"Just get me out of here first and then I'll help you. I'll…. I'll help you kill Elijah or…. Or protect Elena. Whatever you want."

"We get you out of here and your ass is sipping Klaus-free margaritas on some unknown island somewhere. No way."

"That's not true. I'll stay. Please just don't do it."

"Well, thank you, you've told us everything we need to know."

"I've told you nothing."

"You have. You have indeed confirmed that it is possible to kill an original."

"Which I'll do tonight." Buffy said.

"Guess who's coming to dinner?" Damon smirked and he and Buffy walked out of the tomb.

Damon and Alaric were in the library later that evening while Jenna set the table and Buffy put the finishing touches on dinner. "This is a bad idea." Alaric said.

"There's no such thing as a bad idea." Damon said. "Just poorly executed awesome ones. Here." He gave Alaric a glass of scotch.

"No. I don't like the idea of Elijah being in the same house with Jenna."

"Jenna's perfectly safe. Besides, it's just a fact-finding mission. It's totally harmless."

"Just a fact-finding mission?"

"Yeah."

"Listen, no sneak attacks. No surprise plans. Nothing that's gonna put Jenna in harm's way. Ok?"

"Scout's honor."

Buffy walked in wearing an apron over her dark pink sheath dress. "Hey, Jenna needs help with the wine." Alaric nodded and went to help Jenna. Damon waited for him to be gone and then opened a wooden box and pulled out the dagger and the white oak ash. "Oh, look. Dessert." Buffy smiled and took off her apron.

Damon put some of the ash on the dagger tip. "Elijah's stronger than you. Faster than you. So, it's all about the element of surprise."

"I know."

Damon sighed. "Buffy, I just want you to be careful. You should be letting me do this."

"Well, no. You gave me your blood last night and it's still in my system. So, I'm stronger and faster than ever before. It'll be enough. I promise." She kissed him gently. "Besides, if anything happens, you'll be there to protect me."

He wrapped his arms around her waist. "Yes, because I'm so much stronger and faster than you on a normal day."

"And that's the reason I'm doing this, not you." Buffy put the dagger behind the many decanters on the bar and moved them around so it was hidden. "We'll all come in here for after dinner drinks and coffee. I'll forget dessert and Jenna will go get it. While she's gone, Elijah will suddenly have to leave. Permanently."

The doorbell rang. "There's our guest of honor." Damon said, taking Buffy's hand as he made his way to the hallway. Jenna made it to the door first and opened it. It was John Gilbert.

"Who invited him?" Jenna sneered.

"John! What a surprise!" Damon said. "Leave."

"When Jenna told me she was coming to a dinner party for Elijah, I decided I couldn't miss out on all the fun and games." John said, walking in without an invitation.

"There are not going to be any games tonight, John." Alaric said. "It's just a friendly dinner party."

"What he said." Damon said, glancing at Buffy and trying to hide the smirk.

"Then I'll just stick around and enjoy dinner. I hear Buffy made it."

"And if I'd have known you were coming, I would've put some laxatives in your dish, John." Buffy said.

John just laughed and made his way further into the house. Jenna rolled her eyes and walked away with Alaric. Buffy and Damon stood in the foyer shaking their heads when the doorbell rang again. Damon opened the door and this time it was Elijah.

"Good evening." He said.

"Thank you for coming." Damon said. "Please, come in."

"Just one moment. Can I just say that if either of you have anything less than honorable intentions about how this evening is going to proceed, I suggest you reconsider."

"No, nothing dishonorable. Just getting to know you."

"Hmm. Well, that's good. Because, you know, although Elena and I have this deal, if you so much as make a move to cross me, I'll kill you both and I'll kill everyone in this house. Are we clear?"

"Crystal."

Elijah smiled at Buffy as he let himself into the house. "Then it's wonderful to see you again. How are you? You look incredible."

"Thank you." Buffy said, following him and exchanging glances with Damon.

"So who was the master chef this evening?"

"That would be me."

"I didn't know you cooked."

"Not really. It's just some things I picked up from my mother."

"I'm sure it will be wonderful. Jenna!" Elijah smiled as Jenna walked into the hallway. "You look beautiful."

"Thank you. And Buffy, I snuck a taste while you were gone and you have nothing to worry about. Dinner's going to be killer."

Buffy smiled and glanced knowingly at Damon.

Later that evening, everyone was sitting around the dinner table finishing off their plates. Damon sat at the head of the table with Buffy to his right. Alaric sat at the other end of the table with Jenna on his left next to Buffy. Elijah and John sat opposite Buffy and Jenna.

"I hate to break it to you, Damon, but according to Elijah, your family is so not a founder of this town." Jenna said.

"Hmm, do tell." Damon said.

"Well, as I mentioned to Jenna earlier, a faction of settlers migrated from Salem after the witch trials in the 1690s." Elijah said. "Over the next hundred years they developed this community where they could feel safe from persecution."

"Because they were witches." Jenna added.

"The lore says that there was this wave of anti-witch hysteria. It broke out in the neighboring settlement, so these witches were rounded up. They were tied to stakes in a field together and, uh, burned. Some say you could hear the screams from miles around as they were consumed by the fire."

"I wouldn't repeat this to the Historical Society."

"It's starting to sound a little like a ghost story to me." John said.

"So why do you want to know the location of these alleged massacres?" Damon asked.

"You know…. A healthy historian's curiosity, of course." Elijah said.

"Of course."

"Have you ever heard of Sunnydale, California?" Jenna asked Elijah. "It's where Buffy's from and she says there was a lot of weird history there too. Before the earthquake that took out the whole town."

"I have heard of Sunnydale." Elijah said. "I never visited but I heard a lot about it on my travels. Tragic about how it was destroyed. Did you lose much, Buffy?"

"I lost a lot." Buffy said. "It's the reason I started travelling around the world. But I'm choosing to look at it as a good thing. If it hadn't have happened, I never would have made my way here and made such wonderful, new friends."

"Here, here!" Damon said, toasting his wine glass to Buffy.

"To new friends." Jenna said, raising her glass. Everyone followed suit.

"Does anyone care for some cognac?" Damon asked. "I have a bottle I've been saving for ages."

"None for me thanks." Alaric said. "Nine bottles of wine is my limit."

"I wouldn't mind some." Elijah said.

"I'll stick with wine." Buffy said.

"I'll go make some coffee." Jenna offered as she started to clear the table.

"I have to say the food was almost as wonderful as the company." Elijah said.

Jenna gave some plates to John. "Here you are. Make yourself useful."

"Here. Put me to work." Alaric offered.

"Um, I got it."

Buffy glanced at them as she followed Damon and Elijah to the library. She found that she was slightly nervous at the thought of killing Elijah. He was a lot stronger and faster than she was. But then again, she'd defeated a hell god. So Elijah shouldn't be so tough to her.

"So, let me guess." Damon said as they entered the library. "In addition to the moonstone, the doppelganger, the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe, you need to find this witch burial ground."

"Because I feel as though we've grown so close, Damon, I'll tell you. Yes. Do you know where it is?" Elijah asked calmly.

"Maybe. Tell me why it's so important." Damon gave a glass of cognac to Elijah.

"We're not that close." Elijah looked at the books. "It's quite a collection you have here. It's a funny thing about books. Before they existed, people actually had memories."

Buffy quietly took the dagger from Damon, but Alaric and Jenna interrupted them. She stashed the dagger back behind the decanters. "Gentlemen and Buffy, we forgot about dessert." Alaric said.

"Elijah." Jenna held out her hand.

"Jenna." Elijah took her hand and led the way back to the dining room. Buffy and Damon turned their glares on Alaric. He shushed them and grabbed a pen and paper. He wrote All supernatural beings who use that dagger will die too.

Buffy rolled her eyes and grabbed the dagger. She handed it to Alaric. He shook his head, but she shoved it towards him and made him take it. Damon looked at her, confused. She pointed at him and mimed stabbing someone. Damon glanced at Alaric and shrugged. He took Buffy's hand and they walked into the dining room.

"Sorry, guys." Buffy announced. "Dessert is taking longer than I thought. I usually just unwrap food."

"That's quite all right." Elijah said. "Jenna was just telling me that you make a wonderful cobbler."

"Thank you Jenna. Tonight's dessert is actually a strawberry pie, but I think I waited too long to put it in." Buffy glanced at Alaric. He was positioned behind Elijah's chair at the dinner table. "Rick, would you do me a favor and grab the serving mats out of that drawer behind you?"

"I'll go check on it for you." Jenna offered.

"Oh thank you!" Buffy said.

"Elijah, did John tell you he's Elena's uncle/father?" Damon asked, keeping Elijah's focus in front of him.

"Yes, I'm well aware of that." Elijah said.

"Of course, she hates him, so there's absolutely no need to keep him on the endangered species list."

"What I'd like to know, Elijah, is how do you intend on killing Klaus?" John asked now that Jenna was out of the room.

"There's a few things we should probably get clear right now. I allow you to live solely to keep an eye on Elena. I allow Elena to remain in her house living her life with her friends as she does as a courtesy. If you become a liability, I'll take her away from you and you'll never see her again." Alaric snuck up behind Elijah and drove the dagger through the back of the chair and through Elijah's heart. They all watched as Elijah withered and died.

"Now, get rid of him before Jenna comes back with dessert." Alaric said.

"All right." Damon shrugged.

Buffy was cleaning up the dining room when her cell phone went off. It was Stefan. "Hey!"

"Buffy, you need to check on Elijah." Stefan said."The really dead Original?""He's not dead. You have to leave the dagger in him or he won't stay dead."

"I'll call you back." Buffy rushed down to the cellar. Damon and Alaric were standing in the doorway just coming up.

"What's wrong?" Damon asked. Buffy kept moving and ran down to the room in the cellar where they'd left Elijah. He was gone. "How…."

"Apparently you have to leave the dagger in to keep him dead. How far away is this lakehouse?"

"Jenna said it's about an hour or so away." Alaric said. "I've got the address."

"I'll go." Damon said.

Buffy nodded. "Ok. I'll wait here. Call me if you need me."

Buffy stood with Stefan and Elena down in the cellar while Damon dumped Elijah's body. It still had the dagger through the heart. They'd come back only a few minutes ago and Elijah's body had been in the trunk. Now Damon was searching Elijah's pockets and he lucked out, finding the moonstone in the left breast pocket.

"What do we have here?" Damon said. "A little moonstone bar of soap. I'll hold on to this."

"So, that's it?" Elena asked. "I mean, as long as we keep the dagger in there, then he stays dead?"

"Pretty much."

"Ok, then…. Good night." Elena started to make her way out of the cellar, but turned and blocked the doorway. "You know, you guys want me to fight, fine, I'll fight. But if we're gonna do this, you can't keep anything from me anymore. From this moment on, we're doing it my way."

There was a long silence before Damon said, "That seems fair."

Buffy sighed. "So no more martyr crap?"

"No more." Elena agreed.

"Then…. Ok. We'll do it your way."

Elena looked at Stefan expectantly. "Ok."

"Ok." Elena nodded and walked out.

"Seems like she's had a change of attitude." Damon said. "How did you get through to her?"

"I told her a little story about when I was making the wrong decisions and somebody showed me there was a better way." Stefan said.

"Lexi?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah." Stefan smiled slightly at the memory of their friend and then followed Elena.

Damon sighed. "Just keep reminding me."

Buffy shook her head and placed her hands on Damon's chest, looking up at him. "I've forgiven you."

"Really?"

"Well…. There's still a part of me that feels wrong for having a relationship with the guy that killed my friend, but Lexi believed in life taking some crazy turns and following them through wherever they lead you."

Damon's hands snaked down her arms and settled on her hips, pulling her closer. "I've got some crazy turns I can think of leading you through."

Buffy smiled. "Well, then you'll have to show me before your blood leaves my system. Cause afterwards…. I won't be so powerful and…. Bendy."

"Oh…. I bet you'll be bendy no matter what." Damon lifted her up and he rushed out of the cellar and up to his room in a matter of seconds. Once they were in his room, though, the running shower stopped them both in their tracks.

"Who…." Damon started. They looked into the bathroom to see Katherine peering back at them.

"Hello, Damon. Buffy…. Hey, do you have a robe?" Katherine asked.

"How did you get out?" Damon asked.

"I knew that if I begged you two not to kill Elijah, that's exactly what you'd do. Little known fact…. Originals can compel vampires, but…. "

"But as soon as they die, the compulsion wears off." Buffy finished.

"Wait, you knew that?" Damon looked at Buffy startled.

"There's a lot I know, Damon. Especially about vampires."

"And your girlfriend is one smart cookie." Katherine added. "She came to me and offered me a deal."

"When?" Damon asked.

"I had to go out for some more butter and I remembered Giles saying something about an Original's compulsion powers. I wanted to find out if it was true, so I made a pit stop."

"Why didn't you say anything?"

"Because I knew you wouldn't go for it."

"You're damn right."

"Damon, she's a huge source of information and I knew that if I helped her get out of that tomb, then she might actually stick to her word and help us."

"What if she hadn't?"

"Then I would've hunted her down and killed her."

"But lucky for me, I'm still here." Katherine said. "I didn't run. I meant what I said to Buffy. I'm going to help you. So…. How about that robe?"

Buffy realized that her boyfriend's ex was standing in front of him naked. She grabbed Damon's jacket she'd tossed and threw it to Katherine. "Come on, psycho, let's get you some clothes."

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