The Next Chapter

Chapter 58

A/N Sorry it took me so long to get this chapter up. I couldn't get the ending right. I think I've got it now.

Chapter 58

Buffy shook her head as she folded her clothes and stuffed them in her bag. "No, Elena. You don't need to go with me."

"But it's Jeremy." Elena protested.

"And you will see him when I bring him back."

"I'm safer with you."

Buffy sighed. "How is that even possible? Bad seems to follow me everywhere."

"Klaus is here. He could figure out you're gone and come after me."

"He's not going to do that."

"What about Rebekah?" Elena had her there. Rebekah was unpredictable. Elena smiled, knowing she had won."Fine."

"Thank you. I'll go give Rick his stuff while you finish packing." Elena smiled wider and walked out.

"You know, she's just like you." Damon said, coming out of the bathroom.

"I still don't know why you're even coming." Buffy said.

"It's been two days! Can't you forgive me?"

Buffy didn't answer. She just zipped her bag and walked out. Downstairs, Stefan was staring at a roaring fire in the living room. "Hey. Have you heard anything from Klaus?" She set her bag down at the top of the stairs and walked towards Stefan.

"Not yet. I'm sure I will soon though." Stefan said. "He's expecting me to deliver two stakes. I only have one."

"So sad for him."

Stefan walked over to Buffy. "Hey, you can't stay mad at him forever."

"Why do people keep saying that? I have forever."

He gently squeezed her arm. "You love him. Insecurities and all."

"I'll stop being mad when he realizes that fact." Buffy sighed. "What about Rick?"

"I'll get it out of him. I just need some time."

"I like that confidence Stefan." Damon said, walking in and setting his bag down next to Buffy's. "I don't share it, but I like it."

"You don't think I can do what it takes?"

"Well, you're good Stefan again. You're in control. So you might get the girl but you'll lose the edge. Speaking of…." Elena walked in the room. "Have you ever flown first class?"

"Who'd you have to compel for that?" Elena asked.

"Pft! Please. I used miles." Damon grabbed his and Buffy's bag and headed out the door.

"Be safe." Stefan said to Elena. Elena nodded and walked out after Damon. Buffy looked at Stefan and he smiled. "Try not to kill him."

"No promises." Buffy said.

"At least you'll get to see your sister."

That made the blonde Slayer vampire smile. "Yeah."

Buffy knocked on Dawn's door and waited. She could hear her sister moving around inside, but she didn't hear Jeremy. "Buffy?" Dawn squealed when she opened the door. She grabbed her sister in a tight hug.

"Surprise." Buffy said.

"What are you guys doing here?"

"Wish I could say a social call, but no such luck. We're here for Jeremy."

"What's wrong?" Dawn stepped out of the way to let them in, but Damon and Buffy were stuck outside. Dawn looked at them, confused, but then remembered. "Oh, sorry! Come in."

Buffy and Damon stepped inside and Dawn shut the door. "So, it's kind of a long story."

"Isn't it always?"

"Nutshell: We need Jeremy to contact Rose so we can find out who made her so we can find out which Original started our bloodline so we don't die when we kill the Original family." Damon said.

"Ok, I guess it is a long story if that's the nutshell. Well, Jeremy's not here. He went out to the batting cages to hang out with one of his new friends."

"Jeremy's made friends?" Elena asked.

"Yeah. He really likes it up here."

"Do you have the address?" Buffy asked.

"I'll take you there. I was just getting ready to head out anyway."

"Where were you going?"

"I have a hair appointment before my date tonight."

Buffy's eyebrow lifted. "A date? And how long have you been seeing this guy?"

"A couple of weeks now. And no, you don't get to meet him because I don't want to be embarrassed."

"I wouldn't embarrass you."

"Please! You're pretty scary and you're still Miss Emotional Newbie." Damon and Elena tried to stifle laughs. "I actually like this guy, so I'd like him to stick around longer than the last few."

"Fine. Whatever. Can we go?"

Dawn led Damon, Elena, and Buffy through the batting cages to where Jeremy was swinging his bat. He missed the ball and Damon shook his head. "Next time we compel him, I'm going to make him better at baseball."

Elena and Buffy rolled their eyes. "Hey Jer!" Elena called.

Jeremy turned around. "Elena? Buffy?"

"Hey." Buffy said.

Jeremy looked between Buffy, Elena, and Damon. "What's wrong?"

"Aren't you the smart one?" Damon said.

"Is everything all right?" Jeremy came out of the cage and hugged Buffy and Elena.

"Well…." Buffy started.

"We need you to save our lives." Damon said, tossing his arm over Buffy's shoulders. She rolled her eyes, but didn't move his arm.

"We need you to contact a dead friend of mine so she can give us information." Buffy said.

"I thought you could see and talk to ghosts." Jeremy said.

"I can, but I can't summon them."

"What kind of information are you looking for?"

"I sired Buffy, Katherine sired Stefan and myself, Rose sired Katherine…." Damon said. "All we need to do is find out who sired Rose."

"So, you guys travelled all the way up here to New York to get me to talk to a dead vampire?"

"Dead vampire is redundant."

"I can't. I talked to Anna and Vicki because I knew them. I never even met Rose."

"What good is you dying and coming back to life if you can't talk to a ghost when I need you to?"

"Shut up, Damon." Buffy snapped. She moved away from him and followed Jeremy as he went to put his gear up. "Rose spent a long time running from Klaus as well. She and I were close, so we thought you could use me as the connection."

"Fine. Fine. But can we do this later? My friend just got here and yes, Damon, I actually have some. I'll call you when I'm done." Jeremy leaned down and kissed Elena on the cheek and then kissed Buffy on her cheek.

"Jer…." Elena turned and froze when she saw Jeremy's friend. "Buffy…. It's Kol."

Buffy moved Elena and Dawn out of the way, but Damon wasn't fast enough. Kol hit Damon in the face with a wooden baseball bat, breaking it in two.

"What the hell are you doing?" Jeremy demanded as Dawn yelled, "Kol, what the hell!"

Buffy looked at Dawn. "Please tell me this isn't the guy you're seeing!"

"Jeremy, get back. He's an Original." Elena said.

"What?" Jeremy said."No hard feelings, mate." Kol said, strutting over to grab another bat. "But we're not buds."

"You lied to me!" Dawn demanded.

"Sorry, Dawnie." Kol said, plucking a bat out of the box. "I really did enjoy your company. It's too bad I didn't get to turn you before your sister showed up." Buffy knelt down next to Damon to check on him, keeping her eye on Kol. "You know, I'll never get used to aluminum. But hey, at least it won't break." He swung at Damon again, but Buffy caught the bat with one hand while scooping up the broken shard of bat with her other. Before Kol knew what was happening, Buffy shoved the bat through his chest and he fell to the ground, dead.

"Did you kill him?" Jeremy asked."No, but it'll give us a head start." Buffy helped Damon to his feet and grabbed Elena with her free hand. "Come on."

Dawn kicked Kol in the head. "Jerk!"

"Come on, Dawn." Buffy demanded.

Damon parked the car outside their building and got out. He started handing out bags to everyone. Buffy had made Dawn and Jeremy pack a bag and quickly and they'd hit the road. They were at a motel now where Damon had paid for a room with two queen beds.

"So where are we?" Jeremy asked.

"We're somewhere and nowhere so Kol can't find us." Damon said.

"I can't believe Kol was a vampire."

"Didn't you find it weird that you made a friend so fast? Have you met you?"

"Damon." Buffy warned.

"Well, I can believe he was a vampire." Dawn said.

"Why?" Elena asked.

"Cause that's just my luck with Buffy as a sister. I think I've found someone decent, he turns out to be a murdering psycho vampire."

"Wouldn't be the first time." Buffy said. "I'm just glad I didn't catch you making out with that psycho vampire this time around."

"Shut up." Dawn said, rolling her eyes.

Elena laughed and opened the door to room 236. "Well, this should work? Right Jer?"

"Yeah." Jeremy said. "It doesn't really matter."

"All right, Whoopi." Damon said, shutting the curtains. "What do you need? Candles, incense…. Pottery wheel?"

"That's not how it works."

"I know. I know. They push from the other side, you pull from this one."

Jeremy looked at Buffy. "You got a picture of her?"

"Uh…. No." Buffy said.

"All right, uh…. Tell me something about her."

"Ok. Uh…. She loved humanity more than anything. She really believed in the beauty of human nature…. And love. She really rooted for love." Buffy looked at Damon for a moment before movement behind him caught her eye. "Oh. Hey."

"Hey yourself." Rose said.

"She's here." Jeremy clarified when Damon looked at everyone, confused.

"So, you became a vampire, huh?"

Buffy shrugged. "Extreme measures and all."

"I get it."

"How are you? On the other side?"

"I was running so much when I was alive, now I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I really enjoy it."

Buffy smiled. "I'm happy for you."

"And I agree with Stefan."

"On what?"

"That you shouldn't be mad at Damon."

"Oh, not you too."

"You're mad at Damon?" Jeremy asked."Has been for a couple of days." Damon said."What'd you do?"

"Nothing!"

"He keeps throwing Klaus's feelings for Buffy at her and doesn't believe that she doesn't have feelings for Klaus." Elena said."Wait, Klaus has feelings for you?" Dawn asked Buffy. "Like, feelings feelings?"

Buffy looked at Rose. "See what you started?"

"Sorry." Rose said. "But you can't blame Damon for being jealous. He loves you."

"Can we just skip this part of the catch up and get down to business?"

Rose smiled slightly. "I wish I had more news on the siring thing, but Klaus didn't sire me. No Original did. It was Mary Porter."

"Thank you." Buffy looked at Damon. "She was sired by Mary Porter."

Damon groaned. "Scary Mary. Well, where is she Rose?"

"I didn't keep track of her when I was alive, much less now." Rose said. "You guys sit tight. Relax. I'll see what I can find out."

Buffy stood outside and stared out into the night. Rose still hadn't come back yet. Damon had decided to take a shower and get freshened up while Jeremy, Elena, and Dawn stayed in the room to get some sleep. Buffy had wanted some time to herself, so she'd escaped outside to drink a bottle of water and clear her head.

Her cell phone started vibrating and she pulled it out of her jacket pocket. "Is he still alive?" Stefan asked.

Buffy huffed. "I think I'd actually miss him." Stefan chuckled slightly. "Any sign of Alter-Ego-Alaric yet?"

"Nope. Only Dead-Alaric."

"Stefan!"

"I didn't do it! Klaus was here. Let's just say he's not very patient."

"Kol must've told him that we were in New York. How long has Rick been out?"

"A few hours. I'm hoping when he wakes up, it won't be him. That it'll be the other him."

"And if it's not?"

"I'll figure it out. Were you guys able to contact Rose?"

"Yes, but she didn't have any answers. Just that she wasn't sired by an Original. We're stuck at some little motel in Middle-Of-Nowhere, USA waiting for her to come back with some answers.""Why are you at a motel?"

"Had to stop and hide from Kol. He was pretending to be friends with Jeremy and was actually dating my little sister."

"I bet you loved that."

"I shoved a broken baseball bat through his chest." A door opened behind Buffy and she turned to see Damon standing in the doorway, his shirt unbuttoned and revealing his chiseled torso. "Listen, I'll call you later and update you on what Rose has to say." She let Stefan hang up first before looking up at Damon.

He stayed in the doorway, watching her put her cell phone back in her jacket pocket. "You make me crazy." He said quietly.

"You piss me off." Buffy said.

"I hate that."

She looked down at the ground with a sigh. When she looked back up again, Damon's lips met hers. His hands wove into her hair before he dropped one to her lower back and pulled her closer. She pushed aside his unbuttoned shirt to snake her hands around his waist and up his back, loving the feel of his skin. He moved forward a few steps and pressed her back against the concrete column beside the railing, running his hands up inside her shirt.

Between kisses, he pressed his forehead to hers and said, "I missed you."

Buffy kissed him again a few times before saying, "I missed you."

"I'm an ass."

"Yes, you are."

Damon ran his hand down her thigh and lifted it up to rest against his hip. That's when a chuckle made Buffy stop mid kiss and Damon was suddenly facing air. "What?" He asked, turning to look for Buffy."Rose is back." Buffy looked at Rose and shook her head. "Don't you knock?"

"What fun would that be?" Rose said. "Besides, I didn't want to interrupt the reunion."

Buffy moved her jacket back into place and fixed her hair. "What did you find out?"

Rose smiled at Buffy, shaking her head slightly. "Mary's in western Pennsylvania. I even got you an address."

"Thank you." Buffy glanced at Damon and then shook her head. "Rose!"

"What?"

"You waited until Damon and I made up, didn't you?"

"Hey, I've always rooted for the two of you. I hate it when you fight."

"We're your own private soap opera, huh?"

Rose smiled. "Let me put it the way Lexi put it…."

"You talked to Lexi?"

"Of course."

"What did she say?"

"Well, after she got over the shock of you and Damon…. She said that you make him a better person, but he also changes you too. He challenges you, surprises you, and he makes you question your life and your beliefs. Obviously, because you once said that becoming a vampire was never your intent. He's either the best thing for you…. Or the worst."

"Insightful."

"Personally…. I think he's the best thing for you."

Buffy smiled and glanced at Damon. He looked a bit frustrated to only be hearing one side of the conversation, but he smiled when she looked at him. "Damon, can you wake the others and get them ready to go? I'll grab a pen and paper and write down this address Rose has for us."

"Sure." Damon brushed her backside as he headed past her and she smiled, shaking her head.

Buffy, Damon, Elena, Dawn, and Jeremy walked towards a two story Victorian style house. Buffy checked her piece of paper and nodded. "This is the address Rose gave me."

"Looks about right." Damon said.

Buffy glanced at Elena, Jeremy, and Dawn. "Wait here."

"What?" Elena asked."Why?" Jeremy demanded.

"That's not fair." Dawn snapped.

"Hey! Chill." Buffy said. "You guys just stay put. Damon and I will be back in a minute." They made their way to the front door and inside the house. It was dark, but that wasn't a problem for Buffy or Damon. The problem was the piles and piles of random junk all around them.

"Oh…. Welcome to vampire hoarders." Damon said.

"So who is Mary?"

"Scary Mary. She's really old. Super creepy."

"And just how do you know her?" Damon looked at Buffy and made a face. She shook her head. "Oh. Duh."

"What? I said creepy. Not ugly."

Buffy rolled her eyes and was about to comment when a loud crash came from another room. They made their way through the piles and opened the door to a bedroom. Inside, a red headed vampire was staked through the heart and pinned up to the wall like a gruesome, bloody butterfly display.

"Mary." Damon clarified.

"Quite contrary." Kol said behind them, turning on a lamp. They turned and found him sitting there holding an aluminum baseball bat. He stood up and walked over to Mary's body. "It's a shame about Mary. She was a blast. I don't quite know what happened. I feel the time she spent with my family might have ruined her. She was a bit of an Original groupie."

"Were you her favorite member of the band?" Buffy asked.

"You mean, did I turn her? I think I did. But no, wait! I think it was Rebekah. Or there was also a Klaus period. And let's not forget the Elijah affair. I spoke to my brother. I know you're trying to find out who you're descended from. Now you never will. So," Kol tapped the bat on the ground. "Where did we leave off?" Kol swung at Damon, but once again, Buffy stopped the bat. "Aren't you a fast one?"

"I'm a Slayer, dumbass." Buffy's hand shot out and Kol went flying. "And a vampire."

He laughed and stood up. "Relax, darling! I just want some revenge on your boyfriend. He snapped my neck and killed my brother…."

"Actually, darling…." Buffy stepped closer to Kol and smiled. "I killed Finn." He stepped closer, preparing to attack, but Buffy was quicker. She backhanded Kol and he backed up a few steps before attacking again. Damon got thrown hard against a wall by the fight between the two powerful vampires and his yelp distracted Buffy enough that Kol got in a good swing with the baseball bat. It landed against her temple and she saw spots for a second. Kol raised the bat again, but Buffy grabbed it and wrenched it away. She swung and connected with his mid section, sending him flying through a wall.

"Home run." Damon said with a smirk, holding his dislocated shoulder.

Kol appeared in the hole. "Come on, Kol." Buffy taunted. "That fight with Klaus wasn't nearly enough to satisfy my thirst for a good fight."

"I'm sure it satisfied him." Kol smirked and ran off.

Buffy rolled her eyes and turned to Damon. "Are you ok?"

Damon popped his shoulder back into place with a groan. "You're hurt." He gently cupped her face, running his thumb over her temple. The bat had broken the skin and a line of blood trickled down her face. It was healed, though, so Damon just grabbed a sheet from the bed and tore off a strip. He cleaned the blood up and kissed the fading bruise.

"Let's get out of here." Buffy said, taking his hand. "I want to go home."

Damon slid his hand into hers as they headed out the door. "I have to say…. It's incredibly hot to see you actually fight."

"Oh, so two-timing Sage…."

"Has nothing on you."

"Please stop getting mushy." Dawn said as they approached the car. "It's like watching mom make out with Ted."

"Ew! Why would you even think of that?" Buffy asked, a grossed out expression on her face.

"Who's Ted?" Damon asked.

"I never told you that story?"

"No."

"Ted was our mom's homicidal robot boyfriend that Buffy killed." Dawn explained.

"Your life is so weird." Jeremy said, shaking his head.

"Yes, because summoning dead vampire spirits and making out with them in bathrooms is normal." Elena said.

"Yeah, Jeremy. Did you want to be the pot or the kettle?" Buffy smirked and poked him in the shoulder.

"So, can someone drive me back to New York now? Or possibly fly me first class back there?" Dawn smiled, batting her eyes at Damon.

He smirked, but Buffy shook her head. "Oh no! You are not going back there."

"What? Why?"

"You dated an Original! He has an all access pass to your apartment…."

Dawn shrugged. "I'll just de-invite him."

"You're hilarious." Buffy said sarcastically.

"I'm serious."

"You're coming back to Mystic Falls with us."

"No."

"Yes!"

"I'm not living with my sister and her fiancé."

"It's a big house."

"What about my classes?"

"I'm sure there's a nice college near Mystic Falls you can transfer to. Or you can use your laptop. Online classes are all the rage now!"

"Buffy."

"What?"

"I am not living with you."

"Then live with us." Elena said. "We have a spare bedroom you can use."

"I'm not going to win, am I?"

"Not a chance." Buffy and Elena said, laughing.

"It's not permanent." Buffy said. "I promise. Just until this whole thing blows over."

Dawn rolled her eyes. "Haven't you learned by now, Buffy? This whole thing never blows over." She turned and got into the car.

Elena looked at Buffy. "It'll be ok."

"I know. I hate this, though. She's happy in New York and I'm making her leave it."

"Like you said, it's not permanent." Damon said. "Come on." He wrapped an arm around Buffy's waist. "Let's get home. I'm sure Stefan is worried about us."

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