The Next Chapter

Chapter 34

Chapter 34

Buffy walked outside in the pre-dawn darkness and stood in the gardens. Damon was asleep up in his room. She hadn't been able to sleep, so she'd slipped out of bed and had wandered through the house. She'd seen a shadow moving outside and figured it was Angelus lurking.

"I know you're out here." She called.

Angelus dislodged from the shadows. "Coming out to play, lover?"

"Not hardly. Did you turn him?"

"Your Watcher? Why would I do that?"

"To torment me."

"Trust me, Buff, I would never turn your Watcher. I couldn't even stand the taste of his blood. It was musty."

"Why him?"

"I never got to finish what I started. I really wanted to use that chainsaw…."

"He knew something, didn't he?"

"He knew a lot."

"What did he know about Klaus?"

"Can't tell you.""Have you been compelled?"

"Couldn't tell you if I was. Wouldn't tell you if I wasn't." Angelus suddenly stood behind Buffy. He ran a hand down her bare arm. "Is he enough for you, Buff? Does he make you tremble like I did?" Buffy closed her eyes and shuddered. She felt Angelus' fangs sink into her neck and she shot up in bed and looked around the dark room in panic.

Damon stirred next to her. "What's wrong?"

"Bad dream." Buffy got out of bed and looked out the window. It was daylight out. Angelus wasn't free to move about the town. The sewer system wasn't specially designed for vampires, so he was stuck wherever he was.

"Come back to bed."

"I don't think I could sleep." Buffy turned to look at Damon. "Giles knew something about Klaus. Something important."

"How do you know that?"

"Angelus said as much in my dream."

"It was just a dream."

"My dreams aren't just dreams." Damon shot her a pointed look. "Ok, sometimes they are."

"Like that one the other night where you were selling corndogs in Canada for bags of blood flavored tortilla chips?"

"Shut up. This one was a Slayer dream."

Damon sighed and sat up. "How can you tell the difference?"

"I can see my hands in Slayer dreams." She shook her head at his expression. "Don't ask."

"So…. Did your dream tell you what Giles knew?"

"No. Just that he knew something and Klaus had him killed. Angelus doing it was just…. poetic."

"And distracting."

"Majorly." Buffy sighed. "I need coffee." She grabbed her black yoga pants hanging off the edge of the bed, slipped them on, and headed downstairs as she threw her hair up in a messy ponytail. As she started the coffee pot, her hand snaked up to the scar on her neck and the memory of her dream came back.

"Hey." Buffy jumped at the sound of Stefan's voice. "Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."

"I'm jumpy this morning." Buffy shrugged.

"Are you ok?"

"Not really." Stefan nodded and squeezed her shoulders lovingly. "Thanks."

"Have you seen Elena?"

"Uh, no. But I did just wake up."

Damon joined them. "Morning, Stefan." He said, walking over to Buffy and kissing the side of her hair.

"Hey, where's Elena?" Stefan asked Damon.

"I don't know, Stefan. She's your girlfriend. Mine's right here." He wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed her neck. Buffy tensed up and Damon gave her a weird look. She just smiled apologetically and said she'd explain it later.

Stefan sighed and pulled out his phone, "Hey, it's me. Where are you? Call me."

"What's wrong?" Buffy asked Stefan as he hung up.

"Elena wasn't here when I woke up."

"You should put a bell on that girl." Damon suggested as they walked towards the living room.

Buffy noticed the basement door was ajar. "That's weird. I thought that was closed." Stefan rushed over to it and down the stairs. Buffy and Damon followed. Elijah's body was gone.

"No!" Damon said. "She didn't!"

"I'm thinking, yeah. She did." Buffy said. "Let me grab my cell and I'll call her. She might be willing to pick up for me."

A little while later, the three of them sat in the living room with Damon and Stefan staring at Buffy. She dialed Elena's number and waited. "Hey Buffy." Elena said.

"So…. There's a body missing from our basement and a teenager missing from her bed. Are you ok?" Buffy asked.

"Yes, I'm fine."

"Is Elijah with you?"

"Yes. He's right here."

"Where's here?"

Elena sighed. "Buffy, Elijah and I need some time alone."

"You know he can't be trusted, right? He'll use you to get to Klaus."

"Elijah is a noble man, Buffy. He lives by a code of honor. I can trust him. He knows that I'd be incredibly stupid to betray him again. By removing the dagger, I have proven myself."

"Are you sure you want to do this alone? I can be there with you."

"I'm ok, Buffy. I promise. If I need you, I'll call. And please ask Stefan to respect my decision and also make sure that Damon doesn't do anything stupid. I'll be in touch." Elena hung up and Buffy looked at the phone.

"Did she just hang up on you?" Damon asked.

"Uh…. Yeah. She did." Buffy shrugged and set her phone down.

"She's lost it!"

"If anyone can get him to help us kill Klaus, it's her." Stefan said.

"Willow and Bonnie are the way to kill Klaus, Stefan." Damon argued. "He thinks Bonnie's dead. We have a chance with her."

"She'll kill herself in the process." Buffy said. "Elena's looking for another way."

"Her way's going to get her killed. So we need to find her and stop her."

"No, Damon. Just back off."

"What?"

"Look, I don't like this any more than you do. But we need to trust her. We've just got to let her do her thing."

"That might be your plan. Mine's better." Damon tried to leave but Buffy was suddenly in front of him.

"I said no, Damon. Ok? We'll let her do her thing for now. If she needs me, she will call. I trust her. Right now we just need to wait for Willow to get here. Hopefully before the sun goes down."

Dawn stopped in the doorway. "Wow, what did I miss?"

Buffy's phone started ringing and she grabbed it. It was Jenna. "Hey, Jenna!"

"Hey Buffy." Jenna said. "Where's Elena? And Jeremy? No one's answering their phones."

"Elena's not here right now. Is everything ok?"

"She left me all these weird messages telling me to stay away from Rick. What's going on?"

"Oh, uh…. It's kinda hard to explain over the phone, but she was hoping that you could stay on campus for a little while longer."

"Oh, that's kinda hard to do from my kitchen."

"Wait, you're home?"

"Yeah. What's going on? Where's Elena? I'm supposed to meet Rick at the Grill for lunch, to talk."

"Jenna, listen to me very carefully. Whatever you do, do not meet Alaric at the Grill. I'm going to come over right now and I'll explain everything." She hung up.

"Wow, I'd love to lend you a hand, but you wouldn't want me doing anything stupid." Damon said.

"Seriously? You're going to be like that?"

"You and Elena are calling the shots. I'm just backing off."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "I'm going to Jenna's. I'll be back."

"Wait up." Stefan said. "I'll come with."

"Dawn…."

"I'll stay here." Dawn said. "Willow said she'd call when she got in and I'll go get her at the airport."

"Thanks."

"Damon," Buffy walked over and looked at him expectantly.

He sighed. "Fine. Have fun." He kissed her lightly and waved her off as she and Stefan left. As soon as they were gone, Damon turned to Dawn. "Let's go."

"Where are we going?" Dawn asked.

"Splitting from the team. Going rogue. Come on."

"Buffy's going to kill you."

Damon shrugged. "She won't. I think she likes me too much."

Damon and Dawn walked up to Alaric's apartment and Dawn knocked on the door. "Alaric, are you home?" She called. She looked at Damon and shrugged. Damon reached down and twisted the knob till it broke and the door swung open.

Katherine stood there with her hands on her hips. "Thank God."

"Wow! You were right, Damon." Dawn said. "She looks exactly like Elena."

"Yup." Damon tried to follow Dawn into the apartment, but he couldn't enter. He shrugged and leaned on the barrier. "Thought you might be dead." He said to Katherine.

"Unfortunately not. What are you doing here?"

"We're here to rescue you." Dawn said. "Though my sister will probably just kill you once you're out."

"The Slayer's little sister?" Katherine grabbed Dawn and pushed her out the door just as Angelus appeared where she'd been standing.

Damon caught Dawn and kept her on the other side of the barrier. "So this is where you've been hiding."

"No other place like the winner's circle." Angelus said. "Hello, Dawnie."

"Go to hell." Dawn shot back.

"Still got that Summers fire? It's too bad I didn't turn you the last time I got my hands on you." Angelus wandered back off to wherever he'd been hiding.

"Is that…." Katherine had spotted the vial in Damon's hand.

"Vervain?" Damon whispered, holding up the vial. "Your salvation."

Katherine moved closer and whispered, "It's not going to undo anything."

"There's always a loophole. Did he tell you to stay in this apartment until he said it was ok to leave?" She tried to answer, but she couldn't. "You can't say. Did he tell you to do absolutely everything he says until the end of time?"

"No."

"There's your loophole. Drink this and prevent any further compulsion." Damon held it out, but pulled it back when she tried to grab it. "Two conditions. One: you keep this away from psycho boy over there. And two…." Damon reverted to a normal tone. "You answer one question first. You double-crossed us with Isobel, why?"

"I didn't think you could stand a chance against Klaus, so I was looking out for myself."

"And where did that get you?" Damon started whispering again. "Here," He tossed her the vial. "Be careful with that. If he finds out you have that, you're never getting out of here." Katherine glanced at Angelus and drank it, coughing quietly for a few seconds. Damon nodded and said, "You owe me. And I will collect."

"Send my love to Buffy." Angelus called from inside the apartment. "I'll come see her soon."

"Good luck." Dawn called back. "Before you know it, you'll have a soul shoved up your ass so far you'll never see the light of day again."

"You don't have a witch."

"Don't need one. I know the curse." Dawn smiled and waved as she and Damon walked away.

Buffy and Stefan sat with Jenna at the table while Klaus was chopping some food with a big knife at the island counter. When Buffy and Stefan had arrived, Klaus had already been there.

"You know, I find chopping…. Calming." Klaus said. "The feel of the blade in the hand, maybe?"

"I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what the hell's going on." Jenna said.

"Well, would either of you like to tell her? Or should I?"

"Tell me what?"

"Do you believe in vampires, Jenna? No?" He laughed. "Well, who does, right? But believe it or not, they do have a place in our history. And as a history teacher, I find them fascinating."

"Why are we talking about this?"

"Well, you've been angry with me for keeping secrets, and this is one of my secrets. I'm obsessed with vampires. There. I said it."

"Are you joking?"

"Not at all. How about you, Stefan? Are you a fan of vampires?"

"In literature." Stefan answered. "Bram Stoker. It's dense, but I appreciate it."

"Buffy?"

"Only when there's a stake through the bad vampire's heart." Buffy snarled.

"Hmm. Did you know that vampires are the oldest creatures of the night? Except for werewolves, of course."

"Werewolves." Jenna said. "Werewolves. Now I know you're joking."

"You know, I've read that there's an Aztec curse on both species that keeps werewolves slaves to the Moon and vampires bound by the Sun. Isn't that right, Buffy? You know, they say these creatures would do anything to have this curse broken and that they wouldn't care who they had to kill to do it. Oh, I know this all sounds so crazy, but…. vampires are real. Would you care for some more wine?"

"Get out." Jenna said.

"Excuse me?"

"I don't know what it is you're trying to do or why you're saying these things, but…."

"Jenna…."

"I said get out!"

Buffy stood up. "You heard her.""I'm afraid I don't want to."

"Fine! I'll go." Jenna got up to leave.

Klaus grabbed the knife and held it menacingly at Jenna. "You're not going anywhere."

Buffy was suddenly standing in front of Klaus. She hauled him off his feet by his neck and threw him over the island to crash against the far wall. Stefan moved with super speed and took the knife from Klaus and shoved it against his throat.

"Buffy! Stefan!" Jenna cried."Jenna, get out of here now!" Buffy said, moving to block Jenna.

"You can't kill me, Stefan." Klaus taunted.

"Watch me!" Stefan growled.

"Stefan!" Jenna cried.

"I may not have a witch protecting me today, but if you kill this body, what's to stop me from choosing Jenna as my next one?" Klaus asked.

Buffy moved into a defensive crouch in front of Jenna. "Jenna, let's go."

"But you're…."

Stefan turned and looked at Jenna. His face had changed. "Go!" Jenna moved closer to Buffy, but didn't leave.

"Kill me." Klaus said. "Just remind Elena how easy it will be for me to get my revenge if she tries to stop me from breaking this curse."

Stefan tossed Klaus to Buffy, who caught him out of the air and punched him hard in the face. He landed on the floor and Buffy violently kicked him in the stomach. "That's for Angel." Stefan grabbed Jenna and pulled her towards the door.

"You won't get him back." Klaus coughed.

Buffy stopped. "Watch me."

"I have powerful witches on my side."

"Yeah? I don't need the plural cause I've got the one. Be afraid, Klaus. The big bad witch is teaming up with the big bad Slayer again." Buffy turned and walked out with Jenna and Stefan.

Buffy stood with Stefan and Damon in the hallway outside of one of the guest bedrooms as Elena went in to talk to Jenna. Jenna was terrified of Buffy and Stefan. Damon had stayed out of the way. Dawn had driven to Richmond to pick up Willow. Stefan stayed near the door to the bedroom while Buffy and Damon sat at the far end of the hallway.

"Oh, Jenna, thank God." Elena said.

"No." Jenna recoiled from her niece.

"I never meant for any of this to happen."

"When I was little, your mom used to tell me bedtime stories. Stories about vampires. I never thought that what she said could be true."

"It is true, Jenna. I should have told you. I thought that if you didn't know, you'd be safe. But then things got so out of control and everything I had done to keep you out of it, it just blew up in my face."

"Who else knows? Jeremy?" Elena nodded. "John?"

"We were just trying to protect you."

"Protect me?"

"I'm so sorry. I will tell you everything."

"No, Elena…. I am the one who's supposed to be protecting you and Jeremy."

"I know, but there's nothing that you could have done. There's so much more to it…."

"No, this is…. This is so…. I don't know how…. it's…."

"I know, hey…."

"Why didn't you tell me? I'm scared."

Elena sat down next to her and held her tightly. "I know. I know. I know, hey. Hey. I'm sorry. Jenna, I am so, so sorry."

Buffy looked at Damon and sighed. "At least she didn't get kicked out."

"What do you mean?" Damon asked.

"When I told my mom, she flipped and kicked me out of the house."

Elena came out of the room and closed the door. "Is she gonna be ok?" Stefan asked.

"She's in shock." Elena said. "I tried to tell her as much as I could, but I barely scratched the surface."

"I'm so sorry, Elena. I hate this."

"It's not your fault, Stefan. It's mine. Anyway…. I have to go back to Elijah."

"Wait, what? No, no!"

"Stefan, I promised him that I would return. I can't break that promise."

"Oh."

"I'll be ok." She headed for the stairs, but Damon stood up and blocked her path.

"Where do you think you're going?" He asked.

"Back to Elijah."

"No."

"Get out of my way, Dam…."

Damon grabbed her arm. "If you so much as try and take a step out of this house…."

"Easy Damon." Buffy warned.

"Stay out of this, Buffy."

Buffy was suddenly in front of Damon, forcing him to let go of Elena's arm. "Let her go."

"Are you kidding me? We just got her back."

"I know. But I trust her."

"I don't."

"I do. This isn't an option, ok? Let her go."

"I'll be back, Damon." Elena said. Damon looked from Buffy and Elena and then over at Stefan. It was clear he was outnumbered. He huffed and stormed away, slamming his bedroom door. "I'm sorry." Elena said to Buffy.

"I know." Buffy shook her head. "It's ok. I'll go talk to him." She walked over to the door and tried the knob, but it was locked. "Wow. Really?"

"Buffy…."

"Just go Elena. The longer you make him wait, the more likely it is he'll just come kill us all."

Elena sighed and walked away. Stefan came over to Damon's door and knocked. "This is stupid Damon!" There was no answer. "You know if she really wanted to come in, the door wouldn't stop her." Still no answer.

"I hate pouty vampires." Buffy said.

"He hates being told what to do."

"I know he does, but in this case…. We've just got to play it by ear."

"What did Klaus mean today? When he said that you 'won't get him back'?"

Buffy sighed. "I'm thinking it means his witch did something to block Angel's soul from entering his body. I'm banking on Willow being able to fix that."

"You think she can?"

"I think that Bonnie's hundred witches wish they had as much power as Willow does. You know…. I've been thinking…. Would a hundred Slayers take down Klaus?"

"Yes, but you'd lose too many of them in the process."

"Yeah…."

"I think we've got to hear what Elena and Elijah have got up their sleeves before we start planning our battle strategies." Stefan looked at Damon's door. "Do you need help with him?"

"No. I think I can handle him." Buffy grabbed the knob and broke the lock. The other half of the knob could be heard clattering to the floor. She smiled slightly and walked into the room, closing the door behind her. Calmly, she placed a heavy chair in front of the door and walked over to the bathroom where Damon was getting ready to get in the shower. "Are you done pouting yet?"

"Go away." Damon demanded.

"How about no?"

"How about I force you out?"

Buffy laughed. "Really Damon? You want to take me on?"

"Sounds like a good idea right now."

"Sounds like an idea that would only piss you off more because I'd beat you."

"I've killed an Original."

"Who's walking around and talking right now."

"I still killed him once."

"And I killed a hell god. Big whoop." Buffy grabbed her boyfriend's shoulders and stopped him. "Damon, I understand where you're coming from. I do. But we've got to let Elena handle this. It's her life in the balance. I'm not above having a plan B in case her plan goes to hell…."

"Plan B should be our plan A."

"Well, it's not. And you know as well as I do that Elena's plan will go through one way or another." Buffy glanced outside and realized it was dark out and Dawn wasn't back yet. "Oh god…." She grabbed her phone and dialed Dawn's number. It went straight to voicemail. She dialed Willow's number, but it went straight to voicemail too. "Oh god…."

"What?"

"Their phones are turned off."

"Klaus has no idea that Willow's coming." Buffy looked at Damon worriedly. "What?"

"You've rubbed off on me."

"You told him?"

"He pissed me off!"

"And Angelus knows that Dawn is here."

"What? How?"

"She came with me when I went to see if Katherine was still alive. They're both locked up at Alaric's apartment until Klaus says they can leave."

"Damon! Why would you do that?"

"Why would you tell the bad guy you're bringing in the big witchy guns!"

"I wasn't thinking! He pissed me off."

"We'll find them." Damon grabbed a phone book. "I'll call the airport and see if they can track them down."

Buffy paced the living room as Damon and Stefan were both on their phones talking to the police in two other counties on the way from Richmond to Mystic Falls. Willow's flight had landed two hours ago and security cameras had placed them in the parking garage about an hour ago at the airport. Since then, no one had seen them. Dawn's rental car hadn't been spotted at any gas stations, but it wasn't at the airport either.

"Dawn, please turn your phone on and call me." Buffy said, leaving the thirtieth message in an hour. She hung up and dialed Jeremy's cell phone. "Anything?" She asked when he picked up.

"Not yet." Jeremy said.

"She's got the power of one hundred witches. Why can't she locate them?"

"Because she doesn't have something of theirs. She's only got Willow's power signal to go by, but she's never done this spell before so it's not really working."

"Jeremy, I've got some of Dawn's things here." Stefan started pointing at himself. "Stefan's going to bring them to you."

Jeremy relayed the message to Bonnie. "She says that she'll have better luck with that spell."

"Good." Buffy hung up and ran up to Dawn's room. Stefan followed her and Buffy handed him a shirt and a necklace. He promised to be right back before rushing out with his vampire speed.

Damon walked upstairs and found Buffy sitting on the bed staring out the window. "We'll find them, Buffy."

"What if he's already gotten to them?" Buffy asked quietly.

Damon couldn't answer her. He didn't want to think of the possibility of what would happen to Buffy if she lost her Watcher, her sister, and her best friend in a matter of days to her ex. So instead he said, "What if they just forgot to turn their phones on and hit up a Denny's on the way back? The only time we seem to eat around here is when we're plotting a murder. Food's on the scarce side in our house." Buffy shook her head and didn't say anything. Damon sat down next to her and put his arms around her. "We'll find them."

Buffy's phone rang and they both jumped. It was Stefan. "What did the spell say?" There was a silence on the other end. "Stefan?"

"I'm on my way back. Be ready to go when I get there." Stefan sighed and hung up. She could hear the wind that had been flowing around him.

"What did he say?" Damon asked."Be ready." Buffy stood up and walked downstairs. Stefan appeared a few minutes later and they all piled into Damon's car. Damon followed Stefan's directions from a burned map to a place off the main road. They had to get out and walk a little ways.

Buffy heard sobbing coming from somewhere up ahead and she broke off into a run. Stefan and Damon followed closely behind. In the clearing was Dawn's rental car. It had been wrecked. Willow sat holding Dawn in her arms and Angelus was off to the side with his face in his hands. The sobbing was coming from him.

Buffy dropped to her knees next to Willow and Dawn. "Dawnie…."

"She's frozen Buffy." Willow said.

"Frozen?"

"I froze her magically to keep her from dying. If I unfreeze her…."

"What happened?"

"Angelus…. He was in the middle of the road and Dawn swerved to miss hitting him. She didn't know it was him. We ended up in this clearing. Angelus attacked and went after Dawn before I could even get out of the car." Buffy saw the dark spot on Dawn's neck and looked away. Angelus had ripped into her. "I tried doing the spell on Angelus to restore his soul, but there's something blocking it."

"Why is he crying?"

"It's a spell of infinite agonies. Every second feels like a lifetime. He's been that way for a while, so I imagine he's pretty agonized."

"Dawnie…." Buffy reached out and stroked her sister's hair.

"She doesn't have much time once I let down the spell."

"Damon…." Buffy grabbed her boyfriend's hand. "Feed her your blood. It'll heal her."

"If something happens to her…." Damon started.

"I don't care! She'll be alive."

Damon nodded and looked at Willow. The witch closed her eyes and concentrated. Dawn gasped suddenly and then began to cry in pain. Damon bit into his wrist and held it to Dawn's mouth. She gulped it down, but nothing happened to the wound on her throat.

From behind Buffy, they heard Angelus begin to laugh. Buffy wheeled around and hauled him to his feet, throwing him across the clearing. "What did you do!" Buffy screamed, going after him and brutally began beating Angelus to a bloody pulp. "What did you do!"

"Klaus's little witch put a spell on Dawn. She can't be healed." Angelus laughed. "Poor little Slayer's going to lose her little sister."

Buffy backhanded Angelus one last, vicious time and knocked him out cold before running back over to Dawn. "Buffy…." Dawn said, her voice barely above a whisper.

"I'm here, Dawnie. Just hang on, ok?" Buffy said. "We're gonna fix this."

"How?"

"I…. I don't know. But we will."

"I can't break the spell, Buffy." Willow said quietly. "I don't know what kind of spell it is."

"Oh…." Buffy felt Damon's hands on her shoulders as she wiped the blood away from Dawn's mouth. "Dawnie…."

"It's ok, Buffy." Dawn said. "At least I know you're ok."

"No…. I'm not ok. I am not ok with this."

"There's no way to fix this."

"Freeze her again." Damon said.

"What?" Buffy and Willow asked.

"Freeze her again and we'll figure out a way to break the spell later. I can't watch her die and watch Buffy go through that."

Buffy nodded emphatically. "Willow, do it!"

Willow looked at Dawn and then began to chant. After a moment, Dawn stiffened and stopped. "What do we do with her?" Willow asked.

"We'll take her back to the house and keep her safe until we can get to the witch that cast the spell on her." Buffy said.

"What about him?" Stefan asked, nodding towards Angelus.

"We're locking him up. Damon, do we still have Mason's chains in the trunk?"

"Yup." Damon disappeared back towards the car.

When they got back to the house, Damon put Dawn in her room and Willow sealed the room up as well. Stefan dragged the chained up Angelus down to the cellar and locked him up. Everyone met up again in the living room. Just then, there was a knock on the door.

Stefan opened it to find Elena and Elijah standing on the other side. "I'm so glad you're safe." Stefan pulled Elena to him.

After a moment, Elena looked at Buffy. "Did you find Willow and Dawn?" Buffy looked away and Elena spotted Willow in the living room. "Where's Dawn?"

"We'll explain later." Damon said, his arm wrapped tightly around Buffy's waist. "What is he doing here?"

"Elijah and I have renewed the terms of our deal."

"Really?"

"None of you will come to harm at my hands." Elijah said. "I only ask for one thing in return."

"What?"

"An apology."

"A what?"

Stefan moved closer to Elijah and in front of Elena. "I'm sorry for the part that I played in your death. I was protecting Elena. I will always protect Elena."

Elijah nodded. "I understand."

Elena looked at Damon and Buffy. "Sacrifice is going to happen. Willow and Bonnie will be able to kill Klaus without hurting themselves and Elijah knows how to save my life. I told you I'd find another way. And I did."

"Is that true?" Buffy asked Elijah.

"It is."

"And you're trusting him?" Buffy asked Elena.

"I am." Elena said.

"Add something to the deal and I'll apologize."

"There's no more negotiating." Elijah said.

"Oh, but there is because your brother just had my sister killed." Elena gasped, but Buffy kept going. "There's a spell on her to prevent her from being healed, so Willow has frozen her right before she…." Buffy swallowed back the lump that threatened to stop her from speaking. "I need you to find a way to break Klaus's spell on her so Damon can heal her."

Elijah looked at Buffy's set face and sighed. "Very well. I agree to your terms and no longer require your apology after this disturbing turn of events. May I come in?" Buffy looked at him warily. "If I am to work with your witch, then I need to be invited in. Seeing as how you are the new owner of the house…."

Buffy sighed. "I invite you in."

Elijah nodded and walked over the threshold. "Let's get started then."

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