"Damon, stop for a sec." Buffy said. She gripped a tree, trying not to fall over.
Damon stopped and walked over to her. "What's wrong?"
"I need to rest…."
"Nope. Don't think so. You've got a concussion. You are not going to sleep."
Buffy sighed and leaned against the tree. "Are we going any place in particular?"
"Where is that exactly?" She started to sit down, but Damon grabbed her arms and held her up.
"Look, I am not going to be responsible for you going into a coma or dying. Stop trying to fall asleep." He scooped her up into his arms. "Here, I'll just carry you."
"Would you put me down?"
"No. I've got to make sure you stay awake." They were almost to the road when they heard the sounds of a crash. Damon was going to ignore it, but then they heard a familiar voice scream.
"That's Elena." Buffy said.
Damon ran out to the road, still carrying Buffy, and they saw a man approaching Elena's overturned SUV. He ran off as Damon set Buffy down and made sure she was steady before running over to Elena. "How ya doing in there?" He asked her.
"Damon?" Elena asked.
"You look stuck."
"My seat belt."
"Let me get you out of there. I want you to put your hands on the roof. Just like that. You ready? 1, 2, 3…." Damon snapped the seat belt and Elena started to topple. He caught her before she could hit her head. He helped her get to her feet. "I got you. Are you ok? Can you stand? Anything broken?"
"Uh-uh." Elena was about to pass out.
"Whoa, you're fading fast, Elena. Elena, look at me. Focus. Look at me. Ok. Great, I've got two of you."
"I'm better-ish now." Buffy said. "No passing out yet. Is she ok?"
"I look like her." Elena said before completely passing out.
"What? Upsy-daisy." Damon lifted her in his arms. "I don't think I can carry both of you."
"That's ok. Just…. Slap me if I try to fall asleep." Buffy said.
Buffy glanced back at Elena where the teenager was just starting to wake up in the backseat of Damon's car. The second Buffy had gotten into the passenger's seat, she had passed out. Damon hadn't wanted to slap her, so he'd let her sleep against his better judgment. When she'd woken up about an hour ago, she'd discovered Damon had driven them out of Virginia and they were well into Georgia. The impromptu road trip would've been fine by her had he asked. But this was kidnapping. And it was even worse with Elena involved.
"Morning." Damon said the Elena.
"Where are we?" She asked.
"Georgia? No, no. No, we're not. Seriously, Damon. Where are we?"
"Unfortunately he's serious." Buffy said. "We're in Georgia. I'm sorry. I was a little passed out myself or I would've stopped him. How are you feeling?"
"There's no broken bones." Damon said. "I checked."
"But my car. There was a man. I hit a man. But then he got up and…. who was that?" Elena asked.
"That's what I would like to know."
"Where is my phone? Ok. We really need to go back. Nobody knows where I am. Pull over. I mean it, Damon. Pull over! Stop the car!"
"I tried that." Buffy said.
"You two were so much more fun when you were asleep." Damon sighed and stopped the car.
Elena crawled out after Buffy and the Slayer had to catch her to keep her from falling when the teen doubled over in pain. "Hey." Buffy said, steadying Elena.
"I'm fine." Elena insisted. "We have to go back."
"Oh come on!" Damon said. "Look. We've already come this far."
"Why are you doing this? I can't be in Georgia. I wrecked my car. I have to go home. This is kidnapping."
"That's a little melodramatic, don't you think?"
"You're not funny." Buffy said.
"You can't do this." Elena insisted. "I'm not going to Georgia."
"You're in Georgia." Damon said. "Without your magical necklace I might add. I can very easily make you…. Agreeable."
"Damon…." Buffy warned.
"What are you trying to prove?" Elena asked. Just then, a cell phone started ringing. "That's my phone."
Damon pulled the phone out of his pocket. "Mmm. It's your boyfriend. I'll take it." He answered the phone. "Elena's phone."
"Where is she?" Stefan demanded. "Why do you have her phone? Is she ok?"
"Elena? She's right here. And, yes, she's fine. Buffy's with her."
"You took Buffy too! Where are you? Let me speak to Elena."
"He wants to talk to you." Damon said, holding the phone out to Elena.
"Uh-uh." Elena said.
"Yeah. I don't…. I don't think she wants to talk to you right now."
Buffy looked at Elena. "What's wrong?" Elena shook her head.
"You have a good day. Mm-hmm. Bye-now." Damon hung up on his brother.
"Look. No one knows where I am. Can we please just go back?" Elena pleaded.
"We're almost there."
"Where is 'there' exactly?" Buffy asked.
"A little place right outside of Atlanta."
"I want to go home." Elena said.
"Oh, come on, Elena. Damon complained. "You don't wanna go back right now, do you? What's the rush? Time out. Trust me. Your problems are still going to be there when you get home. Look. Step away from your life for 5 minutes."
"5 minutes. Am I going to be safe with you?"
Elena looked at Buffy. "You know you're safe with me. I don't want to get on Stefan's bad side. Plus, you kinda remind me of my little sister." Buffy smiled slightly.
"Can you make him promise not to do that mind control thing with me?"
Buffy looked at Damon purposely and he rolled his eyes. "I promise I won't." He said.
"Can I trust you?" Buffy asked.
"Get in the car. Come on."
Buffy glared at him with a slight smirk. "You know, you really make me like you less and less." She slid into the car after Elena and Damon followed suit.
"You know, I'm starting to not believe you." Damon said, starting the car.
"So, where's my car?" Elena asked as they got onto the road again.
"I pulled it off on the side of the road. I don't think anyone will bother it."
"And what about that man in the road? Was he a…."
"From what I could tell. Yeah."
"You don't know him?"
"If I've never met him, I wouldn't know him. I mean, it's not like we all hang out together at the vamp bar and grill."
"Though a lot of vampires really do that." Buffy said.
"They do?" Elena asked."Yeah. Back in Sunnydale there was this place called Willy's. All the creepy crawlies went there to socialize."
"Yeah. Big ew. Vampires, demons, hell spawn…. You name it, they all went there to drink blood spritzers and yak urine."
"Yes. Though their numbers are much fewer now that there are so many Slayers in the world."
"Stefan says there's only supposed to be one of you until you die, then another one's called."
"Yeah. I don't play by the rules."
"I like that." Damon said, pulling the car to a stop in front of a bar.
"Really, Damon? You brought us to a bar?" Buffy cocked her eyes at him and he grinned.
"Damon, I'm not old enough." Elena said. "They're not going to let me in."
"Sure they will." Damon said, getting out. Buffy and Elena exchanged glances and got out too. They followed him into the bar where a tall black woman was working.
She spotted Damon and grinned. "No. No, it can't be. Damon." She jumped over the bar and stood in front of the vampire. "My honey pie." She grabbed him up and kissed him deeply. Buffy and Elena exchanged shocked glances. After a few more heated moments, the woman jumped back over into the bar area and grabbed a bottle of tequila. She started filling up shot glasses. "Listen up everybody! Here's to the man that broke my heart, crushed my soul, destroyed my life, and ruined any and all chances of happiness! Drink up!" The woman set her gaze on Buffy since Damon was sitting the closest to her and giving her sideways glances. "So, how'd he rope you in?"
"I'm not roped in." Buffy said.
"Honey, if you're not roped, you're whipped. Either way, just enjoy the ride."
"So, how did you two meet?"
"You went to college?" Elena asked Damon incredulously.
He smirked. "I've been on a college campus, yes."
"About 20 years ago, when I was just a sweet, young freshman I met this beautiful man, and fell in love." The woman said. "And then he told me about his little secret, made me love him more. Because, you see, I had a little secret of my own that I was dying to share with somebody."
"She's a witch." Damon said.
"You changed my world, you know?"
"I rocked your world."
"He is good in the sack, isn't he?" Buffy shrugged. "But mostly he's just a Walk Away Joe." The woman took another shot and looked at Damon. "So, what is it that you want?"
Before Damon could speak, Buffy held out her hand to him. "I want Elena's phone so she can at least call her aunt and let her know she's ok." Damon sighed and pulled out the phone, handing it to Buffy. Elena mouthed thank you and walked outside.
The woman looked at Buffy. "Wait. Could it be that Damon is the whipped one along for the ride?"
"There's no whipping or riding. Damon and I are just…. Not friends."
"I'm hurt." Damon said.
"No, you're not."
"I'm Bree." The woman said, holding her hand out to Buffy.
"Buffy." When Buffy grabbed her hand to shake, Bree recoiled with a gasp. "What happened?"
"I'm sorry. I'm not used to feeling that much power…. What are you?"
"She's a Vampire Slayer." Damon said.
"Slayers don't have that much power."
"It's a long story." Buffy said. "So, Damon, why don't you enlighten Bree and I as to why we're here?"
"I need to get into that tomb." Damon said.
"I told you how." Bree said.
"Come on, there's gotta be another way."
"After all these years, it's still only Katherine. How do you even know she's still alive?"
"Well, you help me get into that tomb and we'll find out."
"I already did. 20 years ago. Remember? 3 easy steps. Comet. Crystal. Spell."
"There's a little problem with number 2. I don't have the crystal."
"That's it, Damon. There is no other way. It's Emily's spell."
"What about a new spell with a new crystal that overrides Emily's spell?"
"It doesn't work that way, baby. Emily's spell is absolute. You can't get into that tomb."
Damon sighed and stood up. He walked over to a window and Bree went over to the bar to serve some customers. Buffy walked over to him. "This again?""It's an obsession. You said you understood."
"Sadly, I do. I also know that it's unhealthy." He looked down at her. "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt."
Damon nodded and looked at Elena. "She's talking to Stefan."
"Why's she mad?"
"She found out that she's a dead ringer for Katherine. That's what she said to me before she passed out." Damon walked outside just as Elena hung up on Stefan. "You ok?" He asked.
"Don't pretend to care. I know you're gloating inside."
Buffy walked out to diffuse the situation. "I care. Are you ok?"
Elena sighed. "Yeah. I just…. Why did he lie to me?"
"Cause he's a male?" Buffy smiled. "Come on. Let's go get some food. My stomach's going to start revolting unless I feed it."
Damon went ahead of the girls to get the door and Elena whispered to Buffy, "I'm really glad you're here."
Buffy, Elena, and Damon sat at the bar with plates of burgers and fries in front of them. They were discussing the possibilities of why Elena looked so much like Katherine. "Let's just say that I'm descended from Katherine…." Elena said. "Does that make me part vampire?"
Buffy shook her head. "Vampires can't procreate."
"But we love to try." Damon interjected.
Buffy threw a French fry at his head. She turned back to Elena. "If you are related, it would mean Katherine had a child before she was turned."
"Did Stefan think that he could use me to replace her?"
"Kinda creepy if you ask me." Damon said. He looked at both Buffy and Elena's plates which both contained the tomatoes, pickles, and onions from off their burgers. "Come on, what? You guys don't like pickles? What's wrong with you?"
"How can you even eat? If technically you're supposed to be…."
"Dead? It's not such a bad word. As long as I keep a healthy diet of blood in my system, our body functions pretty normally."
Elena nodded. "This nice act…. Is any of it real?"
"Here you go." Bree said, setting down two cold beers in front of Buffy and Damon.
"Thank you." Buffy said.
"I'll have one too." Elena said.
"Huh?" Both Damon and Buffy looked surprised.
"Time out, remember? For 5 minutes? Yeah, well that 5 minutes is going to need a beer."
"There you go." Bree said, returning with Elena's beer.
A couple of hours later, the three of them were involved in a drinking contest with a bunch of the other bar patrons. "Ready…." Damon started.
"Go!" Buffy called. Everyone threw back their shots.
"That's 3!" Elena crowed. She looked at Damon wiping part of his shot off his chin. "Do you need a bib?"
"Sorry I can't unhinge my jaw like a snake to consume alcohol." Damon shot back.
"Whatever. All right. Who's next? Another round, Bree."
"Honey, you should be on the floor." A woman next to Elena slurred.
"I am not even drunk. My tolerance is, like, way up here." She jumped a couple of times to get her point across.
"All right. Here you go."
"What about you?" Damon asked, leaning on Buffy playfully.
"What about me?" Buffy asked, throwing her shot back.
"Are you drunk yet?"
Buffy smiled. "Not at all. It takes a hell of a lot of alcohol to get this Slayer drunk."
"Good. Then I challenge you to a game of pool. The table just freed up and since you kicked my ass at darts, it's only fair I kick your ass at pool."
Buffy leaned in, getting her face incredibly close to Damon's, and smiled. "Bring it on." Damon smiled, having trouble resisting the sudden urge to kiss her, and grabbed her hand as he pulled her towards the pool table. As they racked up the balls and began to play, Elena wandered over and set her stuff down on a chair.
"My money's on Buffy." Elena said. "She's way better than you."
"Thank you, Elena." Buffy said, smirking at Damon. He smirked back and lined up a shot. They got into the game and didn't notice Elena go outside to talk on her cell phone.
Buffy finally noticed when she won the game and Elena didn't say anything. "Elena?" She looked around the bar.
"She was right back there." Damon said, looking around in confusion.
"I'll go check the bathrooms." Buffy headed off to the restrooms. She came back to find Damon gone now, too. Bree pointed to the door. Buffy waved and ran out. She heard the sounds of a fight somewhere behind the bar.
"What are you talking about? What did he do?" Elena screamed.
"He killed my girlfriend. What did she do to you, huh? What did she do to you? Nothing!" Buffy knew that voice. Macon! She ran around behind the bar to find Macon beating on Damon with a baseball bat.
"I don't understand." Elena cried.
"My girlfriend went to visit Stefan, and Damon killed her. Got it?"
"Macon!" Buffy cried.
He turned to her. "Buffy!" He rushed over and hugged her tightly, pulling her feet well off the ground. "I thought you were dead too! I'm so glad you're ok."
Buffy gently pushed away from him. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to destroy this piece of…."
"Stop! Macon…. Please don't."
"Buffy…. I don't understand…." He looked between Damon and Buffy. "Are you and him…."
"No! No. But I made a promise to his brother."
"Yeah, well I didn't!" Macon grabbed a can of gasoline and began to poor it on Damon.
"Macon, stop!" He shrugged her off. "Damn it, just stop this!" Buffy grabbed both arms and hauled him away from Damon, tossing the gas can far away. "Lexi loved you. And you know this isn't what she would want from you. Be better than him. Don't do this. Macon, be better than him." He stared at her as she gripped his face in her hands. "I'm begging you, Macon! Please, stop." Macon dropped the bat. "Thank you."
"It wasn't for you." Macon said. He stared at Buffy for a long moment and Buffy felt the weight of the judgment coming from his stare. She dropped her hands to her sides and looked away. Macon disappeared into the darkness as Elena ran to help Damon to his feet. Buffy just turned and headed back to the car. She slipped into the passenger's seat and began to cry.