"You did what?" Buffy said. Her cell phone was sitting between Damon and Stefan in the front seat turned onto speaker phone.
"I took her to the hospital." Jeremy said. "When you find your sister unconscious, you call 911.""Not when you have a parade of vampires at your disposal!" Damon argued.
"Every remaining Original is going to want Elena dead to stop Alaric." Stefan said. "She's a sitting duck in there."
"Well, Meredith wants to keep her here for observation." Jeremy said.
"No." Buffy said. "Get Elena home now. We're on our way back."
"Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you not being the dumbest brother on earth?" Damon said to Stefan.
Buffy smacked Damon's arm. "He was worried about her. He's not dumb."
"You know one of us needs to keep moving, right?" Stefan said. "If Klaus really is the sire of our bloodline…. We need to keep his body hidden before Alaric finds him, kills him, and we all end up dead."
"Our life is one big proverbial coin toss." Damon said.
Buffy sighed. "As much as I'd like to see him tossed in the Atlantic…. My obligation is to Elena."
"I'll go." Damon said.
"Are you sure?" Stefan asked.
"Yeah." Damon looked at Buffy. "Italy isn't going anywhere."
Buffy smiled slightly. "Deal."
Stefan pulled the car over. "You ok with going back on foot?" He asked Buffy.
"A twenty says I'll beat you there."
"No deal, cheater."
Buffy got out of the car on the driver's side just as Damon walked around. He pulled her to him and held her tightly. "I love you."
"Don't say it like that." Buffy said.
"Like something bad might happen."
"Something bad might. In case you forgot…. Alaric is out there and he's itching to take us out. You're heading back into the lion's den."
"Doesn't matter. We have a vacation in Italy awaiting us." She reached up and kissed him gently. "I wouldn't miss that for the world." He kissed her again, making it last longer this time. After a few breathless moments, she pulled away and walked over to Stefan. "See you soon." He blew her a kiss and she and Stefan disappeared.
"I'm being over-coddled." Elena complained from the couch.
Buffy and Stefan had arrived barely an hour ago. Matt was at the house watching over her. Tyler and Caroline had gone home to see their mothers. Dawn and Willow were in the office, each working on their own thing. At the moment, Stefan, Matt, and Buffy were in the kitchen making a late dinner for everyone.
"I feel completely fine." Elena said.
"You're on house arrest." Buffy said.
"You're supposed to be coddled." Stefan finished.
"You two are becoming way too much alike." Elena said. "It's like you really are brother and sister."
Buffy bumped Stefan's shoulder with hers. "That's because we are now that I've agreed to marry Damon."
"Wouldn't it be smarter if we just got you the hell out of town?" Matt asked.
"And do what?" Elena asked. "Go on the run for the rest of my life? No thank you." She stood up, angrily rolling her blanket up. "And I'm not an invalid. I'm done with the couch."
Matt turned and looked at Buffy. "So you're just going to let her call the shots?"
"I'm letting her make her own decisions." Buffy said with a shrug.
"Even if they're wrong?"
"There's nothing wrong with free will, Matt." Stefan said. "Trust me…. You don't realize it till you lose it."
"Buffy…." Elena said.
Something in Elena's tone made Buffy get a defensive grip on the knife she was cutting with and dash into the foyer behind Elena. Elijah was standing just inside the doorway. "Elijah." Buffy said.
"Hello again." Elijah said.
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm not here to harm anyone…." He glanced at the knife in Buffy's hand. "So the weapons aren't necessary. I'm here to strike a deal."
"A deal?" Stefan asked.
"To get Alaric away from Mystic Falls."
"What's the catch?" Buffy asked.
"I want my brother back."
Buffy looked at Stefan. He sighed, "We should call Damon. Elijah, won't you come in?"
"What's going on?" Willow asked, appearing in the doorway of the office. "What's he doing here?"
"Willow." Elijah said. "What a pleasant surprise!" He was obviously still smitten with her, despite the fact that she was gay.
"Who's this?" Dawn asked, walking out behind Willow.
"That's Elijah." Buffy said.
"It's so good to see you alive and well." Elijah said. "When I last saw you…. You were frozen at death's door."
"I'm going to call Damon." Buffy said, pulling out her phone.
A few minutes later, they were all sitting at the table with Damon on speakerphone. "All we need is to take that stake away from him." Elijah was saying. "Once he's been disarmed, the weapon's in my possession…. My family will scatter to the ends of the earth. And Alaric will follow us."
"And you'll just run?"
"We've done it before. Klaus and Rebekah spent the better part of a thousand years evading my father. What's another half century while Elena's able to live out the rest of her natural life?"
"We finally stopped him, Elijah." Elena said. "After everything he's done to us…. I can't just let you bring him back."
"I give you my word, Elena. I will not revive Klaus within yours…. Or even within your children's lifetimes. Perhaps that will finally teach him some manners."
"Why should she trust you?" Matt demanded. "All you've done is screw her over!"
"For that I'm deeply ashamed. But know this: She could've been dead the instant I walked through that door tonight. So, Elena, I leave it to you to make the decision…. Whether to trust me or not."
"Not!" Damon said from his end of the line. "Hello! Did that concussion give you brain damage? His lunatic siblings will kill you the first chance they get!"
"Rebekah and Kol will honor the terms. If you return Klaus's body to us, Elena will come to no harm. Do we have a deal?"
"No! No, no, no, no…. Did I mention no!"
Buffy sighed. "Elena, it's up to you."
"Oh, come on!"
"Be quiet, Damon!" Buffy said.
"Why do you want Klaus's body?" Dawn asked.
"He's my brother." Elijah said. "We remain together."
Elena looked at Buffy for a moment, then back at Elijah. "We have a deal."
"What!" Damon demanded.
"Damon, find somewhere safe and wait for Elijah to come get Klaus." Buffy said.
"I'll send Rebekah to do it." Elijah said. "I'll serve as bait for Alaric."
"Seriously?" Damon asked."Yes, Damon. We want Alaric gone…. This is the way to do it." Buffy said. "Willow…. Will you meet Damon and spell that coffin so no one can see it except us?""Are you sure?" Willow asked.
"Bonnie did it before…."
"I meant about this whole thing."
Buffy sighed. "Yes. If it's what Elena wants…."
"Ok. Damon, I'll meet you soon." Willow said. "Text me where. I need to call Bonnie so she can give me a rundown of that spell. I've never done it before." She walked out to grab her notebook and some supplies before leaving the house. Jeremy and Matt headed outside while Stefan sat down with Elena. Elijah wondered off, probably to follow Willow. Dawn got up and started cleaning up the beginnings of dinner.
"Damon, I'll see you soon." Buffy said, grabbing her phone and taking it off speaker. She walked into the foyer and sat down on the stairs. Willow walked out of the office and headed out the door, waving Buffy's car keys at her to let her know she was taking her car.
"Are you coming up here with Willow?" He asked.
"No. I need to stay down here with Elena. But as soon as Rebekah gets Klaus, you come home."
"What about Italy?"
"I haven't forgotten. I still plan on making it there with you as soon as this is over."
"Good. It's all I can think about."
"Damon…." She sighed. "I love you so much."
"Don't say it like that."
"I love you too." He hung up.
"Buffy." Jeremy said, walking in from outside. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure." Buffy stood up and followed Jeremy into the living room. "What's up?"
Elijah, Elena, Dawn, and Stefan walked in behind Buffy. Jeremy considered not telling them, just Buffy, but he thought better of it. "Alaric came to see me at the Grill tonight when I was getting some food."
"Are you ok?" Buffy asked, suddenly checking Jeremy for wounds.
"Yeah! Yeah…. I'm fine. I'm ok."
"What did he want?" Elena asked.
"He tried to get me to help him kill Klaus. He wants me to call him and tell him where Klaus's body is being hidden."
"You didn't tell him, did you?"
"I don't even know where Damon is, Elena."
"Don't' snap at your sister." Buffy scolded. "We need to use this, though."
"We could tell him somewhere fake and have Elijah there while Rebekah gets Klaus." Dawn said.
Buffy nodded. "That could work." She turned to look at Elijah. "We could tell Alaric that you and Rebekah took Klaus's body and then you could run."
"Yes." Elijah said.
"We should tell him somewhere out of town, but not too far." Stefan said.
"I know where." Jeremy said.
"Make the call." Buffy said. Jeremy nodded and grabbed his phone. He took a deep breath and dialed Alaric's number.
"Yes?" Alaric answered.
"I know where Klaus's body is." Jeremy said.
"Good. Tell me."
"Damon's on his way to bury him in the woods off route 12. I'll text you with the specifics."
"Thank you, Jeremy. You're doing the right thing for your sister."
Jeremy looked at Elena. "I know." He hung up. "He bought it."
"Good." Buffy said. "Let's just hope this works."
Buffy sat on the stairs waiting for Stefan. She and Stefan were going out to the woods to wait for Alaric and meet Caroline and Elijah there. Jeremy was going to meet Alaric to show him where to go. Matt and Dawn were going to keep an eye on Elena. Willow had texted Buffy to let her know that Bonnie was coming with her and they were almost to Damon. Damon was holed up in a storage unit on the other side of Richmond, about an hour away.
The doorbell rang and Buffy looked at it in surprise. She got up and opened the door, expecting to see Alaric, but to her surprise it was Angel and Spike. "Hey." Angel said.
"What…. Are you two doing here?" Buffy asked.
"Dawn called us and told us about Alaric."
"We figured you could use a hand." Spike said.
Buffy sighed. "I guess we could in case this plan doesn't work." She stepped back to let Angel and Spike in. Angel walked over the threshold, having been invited in before, but Spike ran into the barrier. "Oh. The kids are busy…. Let's talk outside." She led them out onto the porch and sat down on the swing. Spike sat down next to her and Angel leaned against the wall.
"So, what's the plan?" Angel asked.
"We're turning Klaus's body over to Elijah and Rebekah, but we've set a trap for Alaric." Buffy said. "If this doesn't work…. I hope Rebekah can get Klaus far away."
"Is Klaus the sire of your bloodline? The last time I talked to you, you were trying to figure that out."
"Yes. At least he says he is. You never really know with him."
"I'm sorry about your friend, pet." Spike said, taking her hand.
"Me too." Buffy looked down. "You know, in all this crazy…. I haven't had time to mourn him."
"You will." Angel said.
"Where's Damon?" Spike asked.
"He's got Klaus's body in Richmond waiting for Willow and Bonnie. They're supposed to put a spell on Klaus so no one can find him or see him even if they're standing right next to him. Bonnie did that to the Originals' coffins when we had them."
Stefan opened the door and walked out. "Hey, there you are. Oh…."
"They came to help." Buffy said. "Dawn called them."
"Well, the more on our side, the better." Stefan shook Angel's hand. "I'm sorry about what I did to you that night of Elena's party."
"Thanks." Angel said. "You weren't yourself."
"Where's Elena?" Buffy asked.
"She's upstairs resting."
"Ok." Buffy stood up just as her phone started ringing. "It's Damon." She answered it. "Hey."
"Bonnie and Willow just left. Rebekah should be here soon to pick up the body." Damon said.
"Good. Caroline and Elijah are in place. Jeremy's going to lead Alaric to us."
"You just had to let her make the choice, didn't you?"
Buffy smiled slightly. "Well…. What would you have done?"
"Grabbed her, gagged her, throw her in a well…. I don't know! Anything other than letting her trust Elijah!"
"She'd hate you for it."
"Yeah, but she'd be alive to hate me."
"Yeah." Buffy sighed. "As soon as we get the stake…. Give Rebekah the coffin and come home. Alaric's got half the police looking for Klaus's car."
"Will do. Gotta go. The Original sister's here. See you soon, babe."
"See you soon." Buffy hung up. "Let's go."
"Uh…. I've only got room for us in my car." Stefan said.
"We'll follow." Angel said.
Buffy, Stefan, Angel, and Spike arrived in the woods where they were supposed to meet Caroline and Elijah. To their surprise, Jeremy was there. "Where's Alaric?" Stefan asked.
"I don't know. He didn't meet me." Jeremy said.
"What?" Buffy asked.
"I don't know!"
Buffy looked at Stefan. "What now?" Just then, her phone started ringing. "Damon?"
"Bad news, baby." Damon said. "Alaric staked Klaus. He's dead."
Buffy looked at Stefan, knowing he'd heard. She took his hand and he pulled her to him, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Angel and Spike looked at them in confusion. "I feel ok. Do you feel anything?"
"It took Sage about an hour before she got sick." Stefan said.
"Yeah or Klaus was lying about being the sire of our bloodline."
"Well, if he wasn't lying…. An hour's not enough time to get you back home." Buffy said, tears beginning to fall. "But I can make it. I'm fast."
"I'll see you soon." She hung up and looked at Stefan.
He grabbed her into a tight hug. "I love you, Buffy."
"I love you, too, Stefan. Tell Elena I love her and I will always watch over her." Stefan nodded and let her go, kissing her on the forehead before she turned to Angel and Spike. "Thanks for coming."
"What's going on?" Spike asked."Alaric staked Klaus. I'm leaving to get to Damon before…."
"What if he was lying?" Angel asked, clearly desperate not to let this happen. "Klaus was good at lying."
Buffy shrugged. "If he wasn't, then I'll see you later." She reached up and gently held Angel's face. After a moment, she reached up and kissed him gently. "I'll always love you."
Angel nodded as he held her. "I love you."
"Look after Dawn for me?"
"You know I will." Angel reluctantly let her go, tears falling from his eyes.
Buffy turned to Spike and he pulled her to him in a tight embrace. He couldn't speak because if it was really the end for Buffy, then he didn't know what to say. When he let her go, she disappeared from the clearing.
"Stefan…. Uh…." Jeremy said. "Elena…. She's not at home. Matt and I are getting her out of town."
"It's ok." Stefan said. "It's going to be fine. Klaus was lying. We're all going to be ok."
Elijah and Caroline showed up in the clearing just then. "What happened?" Elijah asked.
"Stefan?" Caroline asked.
Buffy ran with everything her vampire/vampire Slayer speed would offer to get to Damon. If they were going to die, she was going to be in his arms. The trip that should've taken an hour, only took her 35 minutes. The storage unit where Damon had holed up was just ahead of her. She could hear the sounds of a fight behind the building and struggled to push her speed further.
"Damon!" She screamed. "Damon!" When she burst around the corner, Alaric was holding a stake at Damon's heart. Without slowing, she tackled Alaric away from Damon, throwing them both through the concrete wall behind them.
"Buffy!" Damon yelled. Buffy jumped up and rushed over to Damon. He caught her in his arms and held her tightly. "That was fast."
"Yeah." Buffy said.
Damon pulled away and placed a hand on each of her cheeks. "How do you feel? Are you ok?"
She mimicked Damon, holding his face between her hands. "I feel fine. You?"
"The same. Why do we feel fine? Look out!"
Alaric charged them from behind and Damon threw Buffy out of the way. Alaric tackled Damon to the ground, but before he could get the stake near Damon's heart, Buffy grabbed Damon and pulled him away. She blocked Alaric's downward swing with her forearm and shot her other hand out into his chest, sending him skidding back a few feet. He came at her again, but she dodged him, twirling out of the way. He moved towards her again, but he stumbled. "What…." He looked at her in confusion. "Ah!" Buffy caught him as he fell forward. "What's happening?"
"No…." Buffy said, understanding beginning to dawn on her.
"What's happening?" Alaric asked again as he began to desiccate. Buffy and Damon both guided his body to the ground as he faded away.
"Rick?" Buffy shook him as she started to cry. "No. No! Don't be dead. Wake up! Fight me, damn it! Come on, Alaric! You are not dead!" She shook him harder. "Elena! You are not dead! Elena, no! No, no, no, no, no…." She broke down into sobs, shaking like a leaf from head to toe. If she could throw up, she would. "No…. Elena!"
Damon's arms were suddenly around her, rocking her and holding her tightly. She fell into him, sobbing and struggling to breathe. "Shh…."
"Elena…." Buffy cried. Damon buried his face in Buffy's hair, the tears falling and leaving wet streaks where they fell in her strands. The two of them stayed that way for a few long moments, before Buffy surged to her feet. "She's not. She can't be." She searched for her phone, but she'd lost it somewhere. Probably running to make it to Damon.
"Here," Damon said, handing her his phone as he wiped at his face.
Buffy hit Stefan's number over and over, but he never answered. The world started to shrink around Buffy as number after number wasn't answered. "We've got to go to her. We've got…. We've got to…."
"Come on." Damon took her hand and they left, heading for Klaus's SUV.
The ride back was unbearably long, but Meredith sent Buffy a text that Stefan had brought Elena to her at the hospital along with Matt. Angel had called Buffy to let her know that Stefan had texted him and told them that Matt and Elena had been in an accident at Wickery Bridge. He and Spike were headed to the hospital after checking on Dawn, Willow, and Jeremy.
Buffy and Damon burst into the hospital. Damon was barely able to keep up with Buffy. Angel and Spike were standing in the hallway, waiting. Meredith was down the hall a little ways talking to another doctor.
"Elena!" Buffy called. "Elena!" Meredith left her conversation to intercept Buffy and Damon and Angel and Spike rushed down the hall towards them. "Where is she!"
"Buffy…." Angel started.
"Where is she!" Buffy's eyes changed as her anger and fear moved up a notch. Angel and Spike each took an arm to keep Buffy from attacking anyone.
"Buffy, stop! Wait!" Meredith moved in front of Buffy. "You need to know that when Jeremy brought Elena in here earlier tonight, her injuries were worse than I let on. It wasn't a concussion. It was a cerebral hemorrhage. Bleeding on the brain."
Buffy shook her head. "Speak English!"
"He was so worried…. I didn't want to tell him…. I helped her. She needed my help."
The words finally sunk in and Buffy shook her head slowly. "No." Her head moved faster as the words spilled out. "No! This isn't…. No…. She didn't…."
"You…." Damon shook his head too, but it wasn't the frantic motion that Buffy was stuck in. "Oh God…." He focused on Buffy, gently taking her face in his hands and stopping her frantic head shake. Angel and Spike let go of Buffy's arms as she went limp in Damon's arms.
Buffy looked up at Damon, tears streaming down her face as her eyes changed back and she was just a parent scared for her child. "She didn't want this."
A/N I'm working on the first entry for Footnotes (the in between moments of this story). I'd still like to know what you guys want to see, so leave a review or send me a message with the moments you want to see. I can't wait to continue this story when Vampire Diaries comes back on in the fall.