Buffy sat in the graveyard looking at Alaric's headstone. It had been a full 24 hours since the mishap at the church. She hadn't been able to sleep, so she'd snuck out of the house and gone walking. She ended up at Alaric's grave hoping that she could see or hear him. Ever since she'd been turned, she hadn't been able to see ghosts. She was damn sure that she'd heard Rick the night before and she wanted to test it.
Unfortunately, the voice that she heard wasn't one she wanted to hear. "Hello, love."
Buffy closed her eyes, but didn't move. "Klaus."
Klaus sat down on the ground next to her. "I don't believe that."
"What do you want?"
"Just to see you." She turned her head to look at him. "There."
"I'm not apologizing."
"You already did while you were desiccating me." He held her passive gaze for a long moment and when she didn't respond, he growled and stood up. "You're infuriating!"
"Pot. Kettle." Buffy stood up and turned to face him, crossing her arms. "Can't you just give up on me? I'm with Damon. That's not changing."
Klaus smirked. "Just because you desiccated me, doesn't mean that I didn't hear your conversation with Stefan. And that doesn't mean I didn't see the look in your eyes while you held my heart in your hand. You have feelings for me."
"Did you miss the part about how they're not strong enough for me to leave Damon?"
"They're not strong enough for you to leave Damon yet."
"Why can't you accept the fact that I won't leave him?"
He was suddenly standing in front of her, pinning her to a tree. "As much as I would like to…. I just can't leave it alone after you admitted that you feel something for me. Hope is a cruel thing to give a man." Klaus smirked and brought his lips to Buffy's, just barely touching them. "And in that will be your punishment for what you did to me." He kissed her then, holding her against the tree. Buffy summoned all of her strength and pushed him off of her. Klaus laughed and turned to walk away. He called over his shoulder, "I am going to make your life hell."
Buffy watched him leave and then sat down next to Alaric's headstone. She leaned against it and laid her head on it. "What the hell have I gotten myself into?" She said to it, hoping against hope for an answer. None came.
Damon walked downstairs and heard Stefan in the carport. He walked over and opened the front door. Stefan was working on a motorcycle. "Good day for a midlife crisis. 164 years…. I'd say you're due."
"Elena's transition to vampire has been a little depressing. I wanna help her have some fun." Stefan said.
"Oh…. Those who can't do, teach."
"I see we're still fighting. Got it. Where are you going?"
"That hunter jacked Tyler Lockwood of his werewolf venom last night, so basically he's got vampire poison in a bottle. And I'm going to find him and I'm going to eat him."
"She's right here." Buffy said, walking up and shrugging her coat on. Her eyes were hidden behind dark Wayfarer sunglasses. Damon reached over and handed her one of the travel mugs he was carrying. "Thanks."
"You want me to go with you guys?"
"No. We got it." Buffy walked past both brothers and headed for her car.
Stefan watched her for a moment. "Is she ok?"
Damon shrugged. "She didn't sleep at all last night. But that's understandable with all that she's got on her plate."
"You coming?" Buffy called to Damon as she got in her car.
"Yup." Damon walked over and hopped in the passenger's seat. "Let's boogie." Buffy sighed and put the car in gear. She pulled out of the driveway and onto the main road in silence. "Is everything ok? I'm getting a vibe."
"Buff, you're not fine. Give me a little credit. I do know you pretty well by now."
"I'm just…. Overwhelmed."
"What happened on your midnight adventure?"
"You left the house last night. I thought about following you, but I thought you might get pissed. So I waited for you to get back and when you did…. You were tense. You don't usually lay in bed all curled in on yourself. Usually you're wrapped around me."
"My head is just swirling with everything that's happened. I feel like it's all crushing down on me and I'm not used to feeling this overwhelmed! Honestly, it's starting to feel like my emotions are moving backwards. Like I'm losing the control I've gained over myself."
Damon reached over and took her hand. "Hey…. We're together. No matter what comes our way, we're together." He kissed her knuckles. "I love you."
"I love you, too." She smiled slightly and pulled into a dirt road far enough to be hidden from the road. "Let's park here just in case he comes back. We can walk the rest of the way."
"Good idea." He got out of the car and moved over to Buffy's side. As soon as she'd shut the door and turned around, Damon pinned her to the car with his body and kissed her fervently. He ran his free hand that wasn't tangled in her hair up her shirt and across her lower back. She pushed back into him, tangling her fingers in his hair. After a long, breathless moment, Damon pulled back from the kiss, both of them breathing heavily.
"Sorry. I just felt like you needed that." He smirked and cocked his eyebrow in that sexy way of his, keeping his face mere inches from hers.
"If we didn't have something to do at the moment, I'd finish what that kiss started."
He kissed her lightly and stepped back, taking her hand. "Let's get this over with quick, then." They moved off into the woods and made their way towards the little campsite Connor had set up.
"At least it's a nice Winnebago." Buffy said with a shrug, moving her sunglasses up onto her head. Damon noticed that her eyes were a lighter blue than normal and almost glowing.
"Do your eyes always do that?"
"Look like there's a fire burning behind a thick layer of ice."
"How poetic of you…."
Damon shrugged as he held the door open for her and they stepped inside. "I didn't know how else to say it." Buffy chuckled as she inspected the items on the table. "Somebody's playing mad scientist."
"It worries me that it's empty." Buffy said, going through some papers. Damon moved over a step and an arrow suddenly pierced his chest. Buffy moved towards him, but another arrow shot her through the stomach. There were strings attached to the arrows. Buffy followed the string from her arrow and saw that it was attached to a mine. "Don't move."
"Yeah, I'm attached to one too. Are you ok?"
"Yeah." She inspected the string and tugged slightly at the arrow in her stomach. The wound was clean, but there were hooks on the back of the arrow that made it nearly impossible to just yank it back out. "I'm not sure how to get this arrow out with blowing us to pieces."
"Mine's in an awkward spot and there's hooks back there. I don't want to risk it." He sighed. "What do we do now?"
"I'm calling a doctor." Buffy slowly reached into her pocket, careful not to move, and dialed Meredith Fell's number.
"Buffy?" Meredith answered.
"Hi Meredith!" Buffy said cheerfully. "Are you by any chance busy at the moment?"
"Uh…. Not really."
"Well, Damon and I kind of need your help."
"Why don't I like where this is going?""You haven't even heard what we need help with."
"With you two…."
"Point taken. Look, there's a Winnebago just off the I9 parked back into the woods. It's the second turn off coming out of town. We're kind of stuck."
"Why do you and Damon have a Winnebago?"
"It's not ours."
"You're stealing it?"
"No. We were snooping and now we're in a bit of a situation."
Meredith sighed. "I'll track your phone with Latitude and be there soon." She hung up and Buffy smiled at Damon.
"Help's on the way."
"What do we do till then?" Damon asked, smirking.
"Stand very still and try not to explode."
"Good thing we've got superpowers."
"I'm going to snoop through these papers."
"Please don't explode us."
Buffy rolled her eyes at him. It took Meredith about 15 minutes to finally get to the Winnebago. She opened the door and poked her head in. "Why were you being so cryptic?"
"Come in and close the door." Buffy said.
Meredith did as she was told and finally noticed the arrows protruding from Buffy's stomach and Damon's shoulder. Her eyes tracked the string and she gasped. "Tell me that is not a bomb."
"Ok." Damon said. "It's a kitten. It's an adorable, exploding kitten."
"Meredith, you're going to be ok." Buffy said calmly. "We just need you to cut these arrows out. We can't move or else we'll…. You know…. Explode the kitten."
Meredith took a deep breath. "Ok." She reached over and picked up the wicked looking knife sitting on a counter.
Buffy gritted her teeth as Meredith started to dig around the arrow. "How well did you know Pastor Young?" Buffy asked, trying to distract herself.
"He was a patient of mine. He was always a nice guy."
"A nice crazy guy." Damon quipped.
"He wrote a letter about sacrifice and war brewing in Mystic Falls." Buffy held up the letter and showed it to Meredith.
She stopped working on the arrow to read the letter. "What does he mean 'a greater evil is coming'? Don't we have great enough evil already?"
"You would think." Damon said.
"In my experience, words like the ones in this letter are always bad news." Buffy said. "And they always trigger research."
"There." Meredith said. "That should be good." Buffy took a deep breath and pulled the arrow out. The bomb didn't go off. Meredith moved over to Damon. "You're turn."
Buffy picked at her destroyed shirt as she and Damon made their way back to their room. "I really liked this shirt." She complained.
"You wouldn't have worn it again." Damon said.
"I think I would've. It's a multifunctional shirt. Now I won't get a chance too." She opened the door and discovered a mess on the floor. Elena was digging through one of the dressers in the closet. "Should I ground you for going through our things?"
Elena turned around. "Sorry. I need bourbon to get through Rebekah's party. Damon's is better than Stefan's."
Buffy crossed her arms. "Not buying it."
"Honestly, Elena! I'm a Slayer. Did you really think that I would just leave the last remaining white oak stake where anybody could just walk in and take it?"
Elena tried to hold eye contact with Buffy, but she couldn't. She looked at Buffy's and Damon's bloodied shirts. "What happened to you guys?"
Damon shrugged and headed for the bathroom. "Hunter mishap."
"Did you know he was at my school today?" Elena asked, moving towards Buffy.
"Yes. I did. Jeremy told me." Buffy said, crossing her arms again. "Don't change the subject. Why do you want the stake?"
Elena sighed and moved over to sit down on the bed. Buffy turned to face her. "Rebekah is getting under my skin!"
"Your emotions are just heightened." Damon said, leaning against the wall just inside the bathroom.
"Can I please have the stake, Buffy?"
"No." Buffy said.
"I'm sorry, Elena, but that stake is dangerous. You're a newly turned vampire and Damon's right. Your emotions are crazy. You're not going to kill Rebekah."
"For one…. you're not strong enough. She would kill you faster than you could blink."
"Have a little faith in me."
"I have plenty of faith in you, but I am supposed to protect you. No stake. Go to the party, have a good time, let Stefan take you out for some fun…. Be a teenager."
Elena sighed angrily and stormed out. Damon shook his head. "Well, you wanted her to be a teenager."
"Yeah." Buffy sighed. "Now it's time to call Tyler and let him know we're going after that wannabe Slayer."
"Jeremy hasn't texted you back."
She shrugged. "I trust him."
Buffy put the phone to her ear and let it ring.
She rolled her eyes at Klaus's voice. "Where's Tyler?"
"Tyler's otherwise occupied making big decisions about honesty and whatnot. Is there anything I can do?"
"Oh, come now. You didn't just call Tyler Lockwood for a chat. What's going on?"
Buffy glanced at Damon. He was watching her closely, but trying to play it cool. She sighed and said, "Damon and I are going after the hunter that tried to kill him and Tyler."
"That sounds like fun."
"Well, I bet Tyler would have a ton of fun, but you're not invited."
"I love a good party. Where shall I meet you?"
"Were you that annoying kid that always crashed the cool kids' parties because you thought you were one of them?"
"Don't worry, I won't tell your fiancé that you kissed me."
"I did not!" Damon turned to look at her full on. She scowled at the phone. "We're luring him to the hospital. I'm just waiting for my contact to tell me when they'll be there."
"That wasn't so hard, was it? I'll meet you and Damon there." Klaus hung up Tyler's phone and Buffy tossed hers onto the bed.
"What didn't you do?" Damon asked from behind her.
"Huh?" Buffy turned around and looked at him. How had he gotten so close to her without her noticing?
"You said 'I did not' really loudly."
"Oh, uh…. He said that I said something that I didn't say. He still thinks that he has a shot with me."
Damon huffed as he made his way over to the closet. "After you desiccated him? That guy can seriously hold on to his issues." He plucked a pretty cerulean blue tank top out of a drawer and tossed it to her. "Brings out your eyes." She smiled at him and started to change out of her bloody top.
Buffy finished setting up the bomb on one side of the room while Damon finished his on the other side. "I'm still not loving blowing up a hospital." She said.
"This is the storage area." Damon said. "There's no patients in the rooms around here."
"It's still a hospital."
"This is no time for a conscience, love." Klaus said from where he was leaned against the wall watching her.
"Somebody has to have one." Buffy shot back.
"I would've thought by now you would've given in to your vampiric nature." He moved closer to her. "Drained a human dry. Turned off your humanity switch."
"Why would you think that?" She turned to find him right in front of her.
"Because you enjoy being a vampire. You enjoy all that power in you. It's only natural."
"Well, not all of us can be a dick like you." Buffy smiled and stepped around Klaus. She checked her phone and saw a new text. "Jeremy's here with the hunter."
"Meredith should be headed this way." Damon said. "Places." The three of them moved into their positions and waited. Meredith walked into the supply room and headed out the other door. Buffy moved quickly and set up the trip wire just as she heard Connor open the door.
"Is the hospital really the best place for a germaphobe?"
"Did I say I was a germaphobe?" Damon said. "Pft! I meant vampire." Connor moved forward with his gun drawn and kicked the trip wire. The first arrow struck his upper arm and he went down. As he reached for his dropped gun, the other arrow fired and landed in his side. "Stings, doesn't it?"
Connor reached for his gun again, but Buffy was suddenly there with it in her hand. "Real vampire Slayers don't use guns." She said, tucking the gun into the back of her pants.
"You're a vampire." Connor said.
Buffy shrugged. "Not all vampires are bad."
"They kill humans. Innocents."
"Like I said…. Not all of them." Buffy stood up and took a step back. "I'm the longest living Slayer because I realized there's a gray area and that's where I live."
"Were the longest living Slayer." Klaus said, stepping out into the open.
Buffy shrugged. "Technicalities."
Connor reached behind him and tried to pull out the arrow. "Keep it up, buddy. We'll be scraping you off the ceiling." Damon said.
"You three are going to kill me anyway." Connor said.
"Well, let's not be too hasty." Klaus said. "I feel like we're just getting to know each other."
"Let's start with the basics." Damon said, walking forward. "Where are you from? What do you know?"
Buffy pulled Pastor Young's letter out of her pocket. "Maybe you can clue us in on this greater evil…. Cause seriously, I've fought the First Evil and you don't get much greater evil than that."
"I'm not telling you anything." Connor said.
"You think by killing me this will all be over? There's another waiting to take my place."
Buffy growled and grabbed Connor's face. "You are not a vampire Slayer. We protect the world, not puny little humans with silly disappearing tattoos." She released Connor's face angrily.
"What do you mean tattoos?" Klaus asked.
"Don't bother. You can't see the damn thing." Damon said.
Klaus leaned down next to Buffy and looked Connor in the eyes. "There's more to you than meets the eye."
Buffy caught Connor's stake before it could pierce Klaus's chest. "Sorry. I'm faster than your average vampire." She inspected the stake. "Are you still peddling these horribly whittled stakes? If you weren't trying to kill me and my friends, I'd give you a class in stake whittling.""Let me see that." Klaus held out his hand and Buffy handed him the stake, standing up to look at the symbol on it.
"You know the symbol?"
"You're one of the Five."
"The what?" Damon asked, moving forward.
"I'm faster than your average hunter." Connor said.
Buffy barely had time to grab Damon and get them out of there before Connor pulled the string on one of the arrows. The supply room exploded behind them. Damon rolled over and looked at Buffy. "Are you ok?"
"I'm fine. Where's Klaus?" Buffy asked, getting to her feet.
"He must've gone out the other door." Damon looked around the still burning hallway.
Buffy's phone went off and she answered it. "Stefan."
"You need to get home." Stefan said.
"Elena's been poisoned."
"The hunter slipped werewolf venom into the beer at Rebekah's party. Elena drank some."
"On my way." Buffy hung up and looked at Damon.
"Go. I'll deal with this." He waved her on and she disappeared.
Klaus was in the parking lot by his car. He turned around and smiled. "Happy to see you made it out, love."
"You're coming with me." She grabbed his hand and pulled him towards her car.
"I like this, but I would prefer our first time to be in my bed, not your car."
Buffy turned around and slapped him hard. "Stop. Elena's dying and only you can help her."
"What are you talking about?"
"That wannabe Slayer spiked your sister's beer with werewolf venom and Elena drank it. Your blood is the cure."
"And what would you have done if I wasn't here? If you and your friends had succeeded in ridding the world of me? Let's play that game for a moment, shall we?"
"I don't have time for games!"
"Neither do I!"
"What do you want, Klaus? What? I'll do anything to save her and you know it. Name your price!"
Klaus smirked. "I don't want anything from you…. right now. Let's go save Elena." He opened the passenger door and got into Buffy's car. She sighed and got into the driver's side.
Buffy sat on Elena's bed and looked around at all of the teen's things. It made her incredibly sad to see it all. To see the remnants of a life that was stolen from her. Klaus had given Elena his blood and saved her and then ran off. Elena hadn't wanted to stay at the boarding house, so Buffy had left a message on Damon's phone to let him know to come to Elena's house when he was done at the hospital.
Elena had called Matt over because she'd been hungry. She still couldn't keep any blood down besides the blood straight from a vein. Thankfully Klaus's blood didn't have to stay ingested to work its healing power.
Downstairs, the door opened and Matt called out, "Elena! Hey! If I'd have known that you were gonna go to that party, I woulda never told Connor about Rebekah."
"I already had this conversation with Jeremy." Elena said. "There's no way you guys could've known. I mean, I was surprised that I went." There was a long pause before Elena said, "Stefan warned me that I would feel things more powerfully, but…. Matt, the hatred that I felt today…. I almost staked her. In front of everyone! In the middle of a party. That's not me. Or at least it didn't…. Didn't used to be."
"Honestly Elena, Rebekah kinda deserved it."
Stefan had let Buffy know that Elena had gone up against Rebekah and had almost tried to stake her at the party. Rebekah had taken Elena's ring and tossed it down the garbage disposal, leaving Elena stuck in the shadows until she'd braved the sunlight to get the ring. Honestly, Matt was right. Rebekah had deserved to be staked, but Elena didn't deserve to be outed that way because her emotions were crazy.
"But it's not just about Rebekah…. It's about my mind." Elena said. "I'm having these terrible thoughts…. These violent images…. And it's all driven by one simple thing: This hunger!"
"Hey, uh…. Elena, are you sure you wanna take that much? Elena? Elena, that hurts!"
Buffy rushed down the stairs just as Damon walked in the front door. He heard Elena slam Matt against the counter and they both rushed in to intervene. Damon grabbed Matt and Buffy grabbed Elena and hauled her away. Elena rushed at Matt, but Buffy strong armed her backwards.
"Stop!" Buffy demanded. "Elena, stop!"
Elena looked between Buffy and Matt as her eyes changed back. "Oh my god…. Matt, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I…. I didn't mean to…." She started to panic and sob.
"Shh…." Buffy held Elena to her and looked at Damon.
Damon caught Matt's eye and said, "It's ok. Forget what just happened. You came over, she fed a little bit, and you left. Now go home." Matt turned and walked out.
"What have I done?" Elena cried into Buffy's shoulder.
"Nothing you should be ashamed about." Buffy said.
"She's right." Damon said, walking over. "You are a vampire now. You just have to learn the right way to be one. And I'm going to teach you."
Elena looked at Buffy. "He's right." Buffy said. "You need to learn to control this and Damon is your best bet. I love Stefan, but he's not right for teaching you how to be in control of yourself. Just remember: I'm learning right along with you, ok? You're not alone." Elena nodded. "Come on. Let's get you to bed."
Damon sat on the bed in the room that Elena and Jeremy had picked out, painted, and decorated for Buffy. Buffy came out of the bathroom and walked over to him. She sat down next to him and laid her head on his shoulder. "Hell of a day, huh?" Damon said."Pft!" Buffy huffed. "I'm exhausted."
"So listen, I was thinking…. Isn't Elena going with Willow and Bonnie to Whitmore in a couple of days?"
"And it's almost Halloween."
"Well, just think of how perfect a setting that will be. A Halloween party, lots of liquored up kids, a variety of college co-eds to choose from…. The best setting possible for teaching a baby vamp to feed properly."
Buffy sighed. "I don't know. I haven't had a good experience with Halloween since I became a Slayer."
"I keep telling you: it's because you didn't have me in your life. Your last birthday, the first one with me in it, was not bad."
"Not bad? You got vervained by Meredith, I got harassed by Klaus, he threatened to dismember you while I watched, I had to carry a coffin down into a crazy underground tunnel system by myself…."
"You got officially engaged, all of your friends gave you amazing gifts, and you had crazy, awesome vampire sex to end the day. Compared to oh, say…. You're seventeenth birthday…. I would call this one a huge success." He grinned at her.
"Ok fine. It's wasn't that bad."
"So, we'll all dress as something really cool just in case we get turned into our costumes or a crazy hell beast tries to rise under our feet."
Buffy smirked. "Fine. We'll crash the college trip."
"You are going to have so much fun." He leaned over and kissed her.