Elena walked up the stairs to Alaric's loft with breakfast for him. She raised her hand to knock on the door, but Buffy opened it before her knuckles made contact with the door. "Morning." Buffy said, walking out into the hall and shutting the door behind her.
"Hey, how's Alaric?" Elena asked.
"Uh…. Indecent. But fine."
"So then, does that mean there were no issues last night?"
"Nope. He slept like a baby and woke up the old Alaric."
"Then why do I feel like you're hiding something from me?"
"You're paranoid and control freaky?" Elena glared at her. "Ok, look…. I know you're mad about the other night, but I think it's time to get over that."
"What?" Elena looked astounded. "You were feeding off an innocent woman!"
"Who ended up asleep in her bed and is still alive. Yes, Elena, I can survive on blood bags, but those won't always be around. I don't want to end up going on a Ripper binge like Stefan because I didn't take the time to learn how to control myself. So, please…. Ease up on me and Stefan." Buffy glanced at the bag and coffees in Elena's hands. "What did you bring?" She sniffed the air. "Chocolate muffins. What? No blueberry?"
"They're not for you."
"I know. They're for Rick. Otherwise there would be blueberry. I'll make sure he gets the muffins." Buffy plucked the coffees and muffins out of Elena's hands. "But with Rick being on lockdown and all…. He's going have to miss out on seeing you today."
"Just take it and give it to him and tell him that I miss him, ok?"
"I will." Buffy opened the door and disappeared inside the loft. She leaned against the door for a second and then walked over to where Alaric, Damon, and Stefan were standing by a table saw.
"Walking down the stairs, opening the front door, and she's gone." Damon said. Alaric turned the saw on and began to saw the Wickery Bridge sign.
About an hour later, Damon, Buffy, and Stefan were whittling stakes. Buffy, being the old pro at it, was showing Damon how to do it. "This needs to have a sharper point." Buffy said, pointing at Damon's stake.
"You got it." Damon said, catching her hand and kissing her fingertips.
"We finally have our own stakes to kill an Original." Stefan said. "I'm not gonna miss because you can't whittle."
"I said I got it. Stop micromanaging."
Alaric walked into the room as he put on his jacket. "Looks like you guys have got this under control. I'm gonna call the Sheriff. I want to turn myself in."
"No you don't."
"I have a homicidal alter ego. Unlike some people in this room, I would like to take responsibility for the people I've killed."
"If you wanted to turn yourself in, you wouldn't be saying it out loud. Just saying."
"Hey, listen, out of all people, you cannot psychoanalyze me. I killed Caroline's father. I nearly killed Meredith. Everything's changed."
"You're not turning yourself in." Buffy said, standing up and walking over to Alaric. "Bonnie's herbs are working and we kinda have some Originals to kill. Klaus needs to be dealt with and we finally have the chance to get rid of him once and for all. You are not turning yourself in." She reached into her pocket and pulled out Alaric's ring. "And here. Put it on."
"That ring is the reason I've killed people."
"It's also the reason you're walking and talking right now. You're going Original Vampire hunting, Rick. Please wear it."
Alaric sighed and took the ring, placing it on his finger.
Buffy, Damon, and Stefan made their way through the woods to the meeting point Stefan had set up. As they got closer, Buffy could hear Caroline and Elena talking.
"Alaric Saltzman killed my father?" Caroline asked.
"I can't expect you to be ok with this. But at least these herbs that Bonnie's giving him, they're healing him and they're keeping the dark side buried."
"Yeah, and that's supposed to make everything ok?"
"No, Caroline, it's not ok. It's horrible and I feel horrible about it, but he's a victim of something supernatural. He didn't ask for this. It just happened to him. Just like Bonnie's mom. I mean, she didn't ask to become a vampire. And neither did Stefan or Tyler."
"Or you. None of you asked for this, but who would I be if I just turned my back on any of you?"
"Oh, Elena Gilbert, savior of the cursed and the damned!"
"Hey. What's with the cryptic secret meeting text?" Matt asked.
"I don't know." Elena said. "Stefan just said to meet here."
Stefan, Buffy, and Damon appeared behind the three teenagers. "Where's Bonnie? I texted her too." Stefan said.
"Um, Bonnie's mom bailed on her." Caroline said. "Again. So, I think we should leave her out of this one."
"What are we doing here?" Matt asked.
"We found some more white oak." Damon said. "Long story, wait for the movie."
"Hang on. White oak?" Elena asked. "You have a weapon that can kill Klaus?"
"Nope." Buffy lifted her old Slayer bag filled with the white oak stakes and dropped in on the ground. "We all have a weapon."
"Where did you get these?"
"Wickery Bridge.""Klaus has always been one step ahead of us, but now we have the advantage." Stefan said. "We're all armed and they are all linked. Meaning we only need to kill one of them. We need to seize the best opportunity, which means we need to prepare for every opportunity."
"Scenario number one." Damon grabbed Elena and moved her over. "You get to play Klaus."
"Ok." Elena said, looking at Buffy with a confused expression.
"Rebekah is our target, here, so we need distract her and catch her off guard." Buffy said. "To do that we need to keep Klaus separate and occupied."
"Which is where you come in, sweetheart." Damon said.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "I still don't see why I always have to be Klaus bait."
"Because he's obsessed with you." Damon turned to Caroline. "You're going to play Rebekah. We use the quarterback to distract her. Just keep her talking."
"How?" Matt asked.
"Act interested." Buffy said. "She's lonely and kinda desperate."
"Beefcake holds bombshell." Damon said. "I come up from behind her." Damon moved up behind Caroline and grabbed her arms, pinning them behind her back. "Grab her arms like this."
"Ow!" Caroline complained.
Buffy suddenly appeared in front of Caroline with a stake and jabbed it at Caroline's heart, stopping just before it penetrated. "And I finish it in one shot." Damon let go of Caroline.
"Got it?" Stefan asked, handing out the stakes. "Good. So we all have one stake, we keep it hidden, and we look out for any opportunity we have."
"No last minute attacks of pity for any of them." Damon said pointedly to Elena.
"Don't worry about me." She assured them. "Not after what happened to Bonnie's mom."
"Oh, I'm ready." Caroline said. "Anything that will free Tyler from his sire bond to Klaus."
"Do I have a choice?" Matt asked.
"We have 12 stakes." Stefan said. "12 shots at killing one Original. We can do this."
Buffy grabbed another bag of hers she'd stashed behind a tree. "Alright, let's try another scenario. Elena grab a crossbow." She tossed Elena the crossbow out of the bag. "Matt, you play Klaus."
Buffy and Stefan walked into their house where they were meeting Damon and Alaric at. Damon had left to go get Alaric while Stefan and Buffy went over a few more battle strategies. Just as they walked in the door, Buffy's phone started ringing. It was Elena.
"Hey!" Buffy said.
"Hey. Where are you?" Elena asked.
"Stefan and I just got home. Why?"
"Klaus's brother, Finn, is in the town square and he's with some ex-girlfriend or something."
"We have an opportunity. So how do we do this?"
"Listen to me, Elena, do not do anything, ok? Sage is very old and very strong. You don't stand a chance against her."
"Then get Damon and get down here."
Stefan saw Alaric laying on the staircase. There was blood on the air and both vampires realized Alaric was injured. "What the hell happened to you?" Stefan asked.
"Buffy?" Elena asked on the line.
"Rebekah happened." Alaric said.
"I think we have a problem." Stefan said.
"I'll call you back, Elena." Buffy hung up before Elena could say anything. "Where's Damon?"
"Rebekah got him."
"She's pissed at you for betraying her, so she's taking it out on Damon."
Buffy started to leave, but Stefan grabbed her arm. "We need to go after Finn. He's our best option."
"You can go after Finn. I need to save Damon."
"Buffy, you're our best shot at this. You've taken Sage on and won. Remember, divide and conquer. It still applies." Buffy glanced towards the door. "If he even knew, for one second, that we were talking about missing a chance to kill these people he would lose his mind."
"If the roles were reversed he would stop everything to save you."
"I know what my brother would want."
"So do I, but what he would want and what we should do are two completely different things."
"You gonna help me with this or not?""It's Damon, Stefan…."
"I know, but if we kill Finn, then we kill Rebekah, and we save Damon."
Elena spotted Buffy and Stefan walking up to the Grill. Caroline had agreed to watch over Alaric and make sure he took his herbs. Matt had texted Buffy to let her know that Finn and Sage were inside the Grill.
"Hey. How is he?" Elena asked.
"Hey. He's just banged up." Stefan said. "Caroline's gonna stay with him and make sure Alaric stays Alaric. Matt texted Buffy and said Finn is still in the Grill. We need to plan our next move."
"Wait, wait! Rebekah has Damon. Our next move should be finding him."
"No, we need to stay on point. See an Original, kill an Original. That's the plan."
"Yeah, that was the plan before Damon's life was hanging in the balance." Elena looked at Buffy for support, but Buffy was looking away. "Buffy! It's Damon!"
Buffy sighed. "With Sage in the picture, you guys need my help. Stefan's right. Killing Finn will kill Rebekah and then I can go save Damon."
Elena scowled for a minute, but then nodded. "So, what's the plan?"
Buffy and Stefan sat at the bar while Sage and Finn occupied a table further away. Buffy could hear every bit of their conversation. "You've never had tequila before?" Sage asked.
"Mm-mm. Finn said as Sage poured salt on his wrist.
"That's embarrassing. Seriously, I'm embarrassed for you." Sage licked the salt off her wrist and shot back the tequila. Finn did the same after a second.
"Happy now?" Sage handed him a lime and he sucked on it. "I'm truly awed by the evolution of mankind."
Sage laughed as a man approached their table. "Hey Sage." The man said.
"Hey Troy." Sage said. Troy nodded at Finn and left.
"You know him?" Finn asked.
"I turned him."
"You turned him? Why?"
"Because I'm in enemy territory. When your brother and sister called, I thought I might need a little back up. You can't trust anyone here."
Matt walked up to their table and Sage grabbed his wrist. Buffy tensed, ready to jump to Matt's rescue, but Sage said, "Two more tequilas?"
"Yeah, cool. I'll let your waitress know." Matt said. He turned and made his way to the bar. Stefan pushed a tiny bottle of vervain to his side and Matt grabbed it along with a coffee cup.
"How many people have you turned?" Finn asked.
"I don't know. A lot. Don't judge me. Finn, you turned me."
"Exactly Sage, I turned you. My passion overtook my morals."
"My passions overtake my morals on a daily basis. It's called living life to the fullest."
Stefan pulled out his cell phone and sent out a text saying Get ready.
A waitress walked over to Sage and Finn's table and placed two tequila shots in front of them. "Finally!" Sage said. Buffy and Stefan got up from the bar and headed for the back exit. "Oh, thanks." Sage raised her shot glass. "To living life to the fullest."
Finn raised his shot glass and clinked it against hers. "To living life."
Sage laughed and they drank their shots. Suddenly, they both spit them back up and started choking. "Oh, what the hell?"
Finn turned his head and saw Buffy and Stefan leaving. Stefan stopped and stared at him, then walked out the door behind Buffy. Sage and Finn got up to go after them. Stefan hid around the corner as Buffy moved on top of the awning. Finn and Sage exited the Grill and Stefan went to stab Finn, but Sage grabbed him and threw him down on the ground. The stake fell down the stairwell.
Buffy rolled her eyes as Sage yelled, "Finn, the stake!"
Finn ran down the stairs to grab the stake and Buffy jumped up to the roof, swinging around, and then falling gracefully to land behind Finn with her own stake at the ready. Elena and Matt burst out a back door. Elena didn't get to shoot the crossbow because Buffy grabbed Finn by the hair and tossed him on the stairs, staking him through the heart in one smooth motion.
"No!" Sage rushed down the stairs to Finn's side and began sobbing as she watched Finn die. Buffy was suddenly standing in front of Elena and Matt and herding them back into the Grill. They hustled out another exit and met Stefan by the car a block away.
"She's going to retaliate." Buffy said to Stefan, low enough so Elena and Matt couldn't hear.
"Then you better save Damon fast." Stefan said.
After dropping Matt off at his house, Buffy, Stefan, and Elena walked into the Salvatore house. "Hey. How's Alaric?" Elena asked Caroline.
"He'll be ok. I gave him a bottle of Bonnie's herbs and he went home. Oh, did you guys kill Finn? Did it work?"
"Nothing worked until I see Klaus' dead body myself." Stefan said.
"Of which I will send you a picture." Buffy said, heading for the front door again after sticking another stake in her back pocket as a just-in-case.
Elena's phone rang before Buffy made it out of the house. "Bonnie. Where have you been?"
"Klaus has Damon." Bonnie said on the other line, causing Buffy to stop in her tracks.
"Klaus should be dead. They should all be dead. We just killed Finn."
"No, Elena, he forced me to do a spell that unlinked all the siblings. He's still alive."
Buffy took the phone from Elena. "Bonnie, where's Damon?"
"At Klaus's mansion. It's bad, Buffy. He threatened Jeremy. And my mom." Bonnie started to choke up.
"Are you ok?"
"I don't know. I'm sorry, I have to go. I just…. I have to…. I have to go." She hung up.
"Buffy…." Elena started.
"I can't leave him there." Buffy said, grabbing her weapons' bag again. "Stay with Caroline. I'll call you when it's over."
"Buffy, stop! Stefan! We need another plan."
"What we need is for Klaus to be dead." Stefan snapped.
Elena grabbed Stefan and turned him around. "Stefan, stop it! You're both acting on anger!"
"Anger gets things done, Elena!"
"Or it'll get you killed! It'll get Damon killed along with you."
"Klaus does not get to survive this. Not after everything he took from me." Stefan walked out and slammed the door behind him and Buffy.
"I miss well-adjusted Stefan." Caroline said.
Suddenly, the door flew open and Stefan was thrown through it. Sage entered the house, saying, "Ding dong." Caroline went to attack her, but Sage threw her to the ground. "I'm not here for you. I'm here for Buffy."
Just then, Buffy showed up in the doorway kicking Troy down to the ground. "Then here I am." Buffy said.
Sage rounded on her, but Buffy took a step back. She looked…. Sick. Come to think of it, so did Troy. Just as Sage started to attack, she started to cough and her nose started to bleed. She tried to throw a punch at Buffy, but Buffy easily grabbed her fist and tossed her to the ground.
"Troy, help me!" Sage cried. He moved towards her, trying to crawl, but he started to cough and drip blood too. "What is happening to me?" As Buffy, Stefan, Elena, and Caroline watched, Sage and Troy withered and died.
"She just…. died." Elena said.
"So, Sage and this Troy guy die within an hour of Finn." Caroline said.
"But why? Were they bitten by a hybrid or…."
"Hybrid bites don't look like that. Maybe Sage was so in love with Finn she just died of sadness."
"No, that doesn't explain Troy." Buffy said, poking the body with the toe of her shoe.
"It's the blood." Stefan said. "The bloodline. It has to be. Think about it: Finn turned Sage, Sage turned Troy. They're all part of the same vampire bloodline that originated with Finn."
"Wait, so when an Original dies every vampire turned from their bloodline dies along with them?" Buffy asked. "Because that would mean…."
"If the Originals die, so do all of you." Elena said. "The entire vampire species would…. It'd just be dead."
Buffy and Stefan walked into the mansion and Buffy followed the scent of Damon's blood. They found him chained up to the ceiling by bear traps through his wrists. Buffy gasped and moved towards him, but Stefan stopped her. "Klaus! Let's do this." He yelled.
Klaus and Rebekah walked in. "Oh good, a hero and a beauty. Hello, sweetheart." Klaus smiled at Buffy before turning to Stefan with a scowl. "Thank you for bringing the lovely Miss Summers by, it's always appreciated, but what do you want?"
Stefan dropped the duffel bag with the stakes at Klaus's feet. "I'm here to make a deal."
"Stefan, what are you doing?" Damon demanded.
"Eight stakes made of white oak. The part of Wickery Bridge that you forgot to burn."
Klaus looked at Rebekah. "That's impossible." She insisted.
"Actually it's not. Finn is dead."
"You killed my brother?"
"Actually, I did." Buffy said, her eyes not leaving Damon's pained ones.
"Damon in exchange for the last eight weapons that can kill you." Stefan said.
"And how do I know there aren't any more left?" Klaus asked.
"Because there aren't."
"Let's be certain, shall we?" Klaus walked over to Damon, smiling at Buffy the whole time. "Leave."
"No." Damon growled.
"Go on. Leave."
"Nic, he's my play thing not yours." Rebekah pouted. Buffy growled at her, eyes beginning to change.
Klaus grabbed Damon by the throat and Buffy lost it. She attacked Klaus, sending them both rolling across the floor. "Buffy!" Stefan and Damon cried. Klaus fought back, but was taken off guard by Buffy's ferociousness. The fight lasted for a few more minutes before Klaus managed to get away and grab a stake, holding it to Damon's heart.
"There's a good girl." Klaus said, wiping away the blood from a gash on his cheek where Buffy's engagement ring had gotten him. "Now," He looked at Damon, still holding the stake. "I said, go home." Damon started to pull his wrists out from the snares, peeling the flesh off of them in the process. He screamed in pain. Klaus glanced at Buffy and saw she was tensing to spring again. "Alright, stop, stop, stop, before you hurt yourself. Well, seeing that he can finally be compelled. Now…." Klaus grabbed Damon by the throat again, still holding the stake to his heart, and compelled him again. "Minus the stake that's in my brother, how many more stakes are out there that can kill me?"
"Eleven." Damon said with a pained look at Buffy.
"Eleven! Really? So, not eight then."
"You really shouldn't have lied." Rebekah said to Stefan.
"I'll get you the other three." Stefan said, pulling Buffy towards him.
"Yeah, that'll be nice. Or since you lied, maybe I'll just compel your brother to chew out his own tongue." Klaus said.
"What is wrong with you?" Buffy demanded.
"What is wrong with you? I offer you the world and you turn it down for this!" Klaus jabbed Damon with the stake. Thankfully it didn't penetrate any deeper than a few layers of skin. "What more do I have to do to make you see that I want you more than anything and that you actually do have feelings for me!"
"It's fairly obvious." Rebekah said.
"And you, Stefan! Do you really have no appreciation for me? I have given you someone to hate, to loathe, a target for all of your anger…. So you don't have to turn it on yourself. I have given your life purpose, as your friend. I really think you should be thanking me." Stefan rushed at Klaus with a white oak stake in hand, but Klaus grabbed his wrist. "Step down, or you all die." Stefan released the stake and Klaus took it. "There. Now you only have to get me the other two."
"This is ridiculous." Rebekah said, walking over to Damon. She reached up and released him from the traps. Buffy rushed over and caught Damon before he hit the floor.
"What are you doing?" Klaus demanded.
"I brought him here. I get to release him. My rules now. Bring us the stakes and you three live. Take Damon as a sign of good faith." Rebekah picked up the duffel bag with the stakes and left.
Klaus looked at Stefan. "Bring us the stakes. All of them. Or I will wage a war against everyone you love. I hope I'm being clear."
Buffy stood in the shower with Damon, checking over every inch of his chest and arms. He was completely healed, especially after Buffy had forced him to take some of her blood before the blood bags. She'd also forced some vervain into his system. He was quiet as she cleaned the blood off his skin.
"Damon…." Buffy started.
"I'm fine." Damon said.
"You're not fine. Rebekah tortured you because I two-timed her."
"It was my idea."
"I did all the work. I broke into her thoughts. She was pissed at me and took it out on you. I'm so sorry."
"Is what he said true?"
"What did he say?"
Damon stopped her hands from cleaning his shoulders. "Don't play like that, Buffy. You know what I'm talking about."
Buffy looked Damon in the eyes. "No. I don't have feelings for him."
"Why does he think you do?"
"Because I keep ending up as his bait! It's not my fault that he's obsessed with me and we probably should never have exploited that."
"So you don't have any feelings whatsoever for him?"
"Damon, I love you. I've agreed to marry you. I'm not the marrying type and I'm going to marry you." Buffy took a step back. "Why do you doubt my feelings for you?"
"Don't say you don't, because you do. You doubted me with Angel. You started to doubt me with Spike. And you're doubting me with Klaus! Just because he has some sick, twisted fantasy about him and me does not mean that I share those feelings."
"I told you this once. I can't see straight when it comes to you. You make me crazy." He stepped towards her. "I feel like I don't deserve you. What Rebekah said is true. One day…. I won't be enough for you."
"Rebekah is wrong. You're wrong. If I felt that you didn't deserve me, then I wouldn't be here. And I don't care about who's more powerful. All I care about is that you're happy."
"And that's what I feel about you. I just want you to be happy." He looked down at her engagement ring shining in the dim light of the bathroom. "What if Klaus made you happy?"
Buffy rolled her eyes with a groan. She turned and stormed out of the shower. She dressed before Damon got out of the shower, not caring that her clothes had wet patches. By the time he'd wrapped a towel around himself, she'd left the house. She made her way through the woods to town and headed for Alaric's loft.
"Is Damon ok?" Alaric asked, after he'd let her in, eyeing her wet hair and the wet patches on her clothes.
"For now." Buffy said.
"Trouble with Damon? How shocked I am."
Buffy just glared at him for a moment, her bad mood evident, before saying, "I need your stake."
Alaric went over to a shelf and pulled back some books. "It's right behind these books here." Alaric began to search harder. "Where the hell is it?"
"It's not here, Buffy."
Buffy walked over to the shelf and started pulling books out so fast, Alaric couldn't track them. "Maybe you just forgot which shelf you put it on."
"No, I didn't forget. It's…. I…. I put it right here! A stake doesn't just vanish into thin air!"
"Who else did you tell, Rick?"
"I didn't tell anybody! I'm the only…." Alaric trailed off, a look of knowing in his eyes.
"I'm the only one who knew about it, Buffy."
Buffy blinked a few times. "Are you telling me that your vampire hating alter ego has a stake that can kill an entire line of vampires? Which, by the way, includes mine, Damon, and Stefan's?"
Alaric looked back at her worried and annoyed expression. "That's exactly what I'm telling you."