Buffy walked out of her bathroom with a towel wrapped around her. She was towel drying her hair with another towel, so she didn't notice her visitor lounging on her bed. "You should've told me you were taking such a long shower." Buffy jumped at the sound of Damon's voice and turned to glare at him. "I would've come to help you get those hard-to-reach areas."
"I'm sure." Buffy said. "What do you want?"
"I've got some errands to run and since you're so keen on keeping an eye on me, I was wondering if you would like to join me. You know…. make sure I don't kill anyone you deem as 'innocent.'"
"Fine. Let me get dressed and we can go." Damon didn't move. "Out."
"I'm comfortable where I'm at. Besides, if I see anything I haven't seen before, I'll throw a dollar at it." Buffy raised an eyebrow at him. "You're not the only one who knows how to spy." He winked at her and got up, walking out of the room.
Buffy rolled her eyes skyward as she slammed the door.
"Ok, so…. Who's house is this?" Buffy asked, pulling to a stop.
"This is Bonnie's grandmother's house." Damon said, getting out of the car.
"And we're here because….?"
"I need a witch." Damon bounded up the stairs and knocked.
An older woman opened the door and looked at them suspiciously. "Yes?"
"Hi there. I'm looking for Bonnie." Damon said, smiling.
"She's not here."
"Oh, do you know when she would be…."
"You have quite an opinion for someone who doesn't know me."
"You got some nerve knocking on a Bennett witch's door and asking her for anything."
"What'd I do?"
"Spirits talk, Mr. Salvatore and so does my granddaughter. You are no friend to us. Now get off my porch."
"Step outside and say that."
The woman stared at Damon as she stepped onto her porch and he began to scream, holding his head tightly. "I am not Bonnie. You don't want to mess with me." She ducked back into her house and slammed the door.
Damon collapsed to his knees and groaned. Buffy shook her head. "Not what you were expecting?"
"Come on." Buffy helped him to his feet. "Where to now, hot shot?"
"Our house. You wouldn't happen to know any witches, would you?"
Buffy shut the car door and walked around to the driver's side, slipping in. "Actually, I do. But she's in England."
"Think she'd help me?"
"Then what good does that do me?"
"Hey, you asked. I'm just answering."
"You're way too chipper about this."
"Damon, those vampires will wreak havoc on this unsuspecting town."
"I'm getting into that tomb and I'll help you put a stake in all of their hearts. I gave you my word. I just want Katherine."
"And I'm wondering what price you'll pay for that. You know that once an obsession is finally obtained, it's never what you set out to achieve."
"You sound like a fortune cookie."
"Well, sometimes they're spot on."
Damon shook his head. "I just don't get you. You don't want me to get in that tomb, but you seem to be resolved to the inevitability of it."
"Oh, big words."
"I meant you. That didn't hurt your brain, did it?" She patted his head with a laugh.
"You know, I think I'm actually going to miss you. I like our little banter we have going. It's very…. Stimulating." Buffy didn't have anything to say to that. "Speechless? That's a first. Don't tell me you're going to miss me."
"I think I'll just be relieved once you're gone." Buffy pulled into the driveway and slowed to a stop. She got out of the car and discovered Damon standing directly in front of her. Her pulse sped up as she looked up at him.
He smiled, said, "Uh huh" and walked away. She didn't miss the slight bounce in his step. Holding back a growl, Buffy followed him into the house. Stefan was home. He was walking around in the library
"Elena, are you ok?" They heard him say after he picked up his ringing cell phone.
"She's fine, for now." They heard Anna say on the other line. "Tell me you have the grimoire and she'll stay fine."
"I can get it."
"Which means your brother has it. And I have the witch. So one of you had better meet me in the very public town square in 30 minutes so we can safely discuss how fun it's going to be to work together."
Stefan turned to look at Damon standing in the doorway with Buffy a few paces from Stefan. "Go ahead. Grovel again." Damon said. "Oh, wait, no. I don't care." He walked off.
"Where have you guys been?"
"To Bonnie's grandmother's house. He was looking for Bonnie." Buffy said.
"Still keeping an eye on him?"
"Well, you're a little preoccupied, so someone's gotta do it."
"I'm sorry you got dragged into this."
"No dragging. I stayed willingly, remember?"
Damon strolled back in wearing his jacket. "All right, Blondie, let's go."
"Where are we going now?" Buffy asked, throwing her hands up as she turned to face him.
"Anna wants someone to meet her. So, we're going to meet her while Stefan goes and saves Elena and Bonnie."
"I don't know where they're at!" Stefan called as Buffy followed Damon out. She started to tell him, but Damon covered her mouth.
"No cheating." Damon said, pulling Buffy out the door.
"He doesn't know…."
"He'll go to Bonnie's grandmother and she'll find them. They'll be fine."
"So, now you're a fortune teller?"
"It's just how it works. Keys. I'm driving this time."
Buffy sighed and tossed him her keys.
Buffy and Damon watched from afar as Anna made her way through the town square. Across the street at the Grill, Jeremy called after her, running to catch up. "Anna! Hey, what, uh, what happened to you last night?" He asked.
"Sorry, I had to leave." Anna said. "I told your sister to tell you."
"Oh, I haven't seen her."
"Well, I gotta run, so…."
"Hey, do you want to go to a party tonight?"
"Do I what?"
"The guy that's throwing it is a total douche, but it's, uh, it's supposed to be fun. I figured, you know, safety in numbers."
"So you're finally ready to go out with me, are you?"
"It's been a while since I've been to a party and I kinda want to get back out there. And not be such a loser. And, uh, I like you. You're fun, and you're also kind of strange and lurky, but I guess I like that, too. So, yeah, you should come to the party. With me. It's in the woods by that old cemetery."
"Oh. It's there, huh? That sounds cool. Uh, I'll meet you."
"Oh…. ok! Great! Cool. Ok!"
Anna smiled at him and continued on her way as Jeremy walked down the street and out of sight. Anna sat down on a bench and looked around. Suddenly, Damon was sitting next to her and Buffy was leaning against the back of the bench.
"Got a hot date, or are you just planning on nabbing the entire Gilbert family?" Damon asked.
"A party, right next to the old cemetery. Isn't that nice of them? Lots of warm bodies for starving vampires."
"I told you. I work alone."
"Yeah, so do I. But you're minus a witch and I'm minus spell book. So what do you say?"
"Stefan will come after you, you know that. For messing with Elena."
"Then he won't be too happy if I kill her when I don't get what want."
'When do you want to do this?"
"God, it's like 1864 all over again. You Salvatores are truly pathetic when it comes to women." Anna glanced at Buffy. "Though a Slayer could be a step up for you Damon. Tonight. After sundown. Meet at the church."
Buffy sat on one of the chairs and watched Damon move around the library. He was packing some books when Elena walked in. "I'm going to have to change the locks." He said.
"I convinced Bonnie to help you." Elena said.
"I doubt that."
"I'm not going to say that I'm sorry we got the grimoire without you last night, because I'm not, really."
"Well, at least you're honest."
"I was protecting the people I love, Damon. But so were you in your own, twisted way. And as hard as it is to figure, we're all on the same side…. After the same thing."
"Yes, you are. Because you were willing to work with us yesterday."
"Fool me once, shame on you."
Elena looked at Buffy for help, but the Slayer's face was blank. "Ok, when we were in Atlanta, why didn't you use your compulsion on me?"
"Who's to say I didn't?"
"You didn't. I know you didn't. But you could have. You and I…. We have something. An understanding. And I know that my betrayal hurt you…. different from how it is with you and Stefan…. But I'm promising you this now, I'll help you get Katherine back."
"I wish I could believe you. Please leave."
Buffy stood up. "Elena, don't worry, ok. I've got this covered. You don't need to make any deals with the devil because I've done it for you."
"Tell Bonnie if she's really doing this for him, then she needs to meet us at the church." Elena nodded and left.
Buffy turned around and was suddenly pressed against Damon…. Again. "I'm trusting you." He said, his eyes burning into hers as he moved the hair out of her face and behind her ears. "Don't make me regret it."
"What more do you want from me, Damon? I'm here. I'm helping you. Let's just get this over with so you can get the hell out of this town." She turned on her heel and marched off.
Buffy sighed as they got out of the car and heard the sounds of laughter and teenagers talking and drinking. "I hope they stay clear of the church."
"Your hope, not mine." Damon countered. Buffy smacked his chest.
"Buffy, hey!" Caroline called, walking over with Matt. "I'm glad Elena invited you. Have you seen her?"
"Oh, no. She, uh…. She was going to meet me here, but…."
"Long story, no time to tell it." Damon said, cutting Buffy off.
"Wasn't talking to you." Caroline snapped.
"Sure you were."
"We haven't met. I'm Matt." Caroline's boyfriend said.
"Buffy. I'm a friend of Stefan's." Buffy said. "And this is…."
"Matt, there's a reason we haven't met." Damon grabbed Buffy's arm and pulled her towards the church. "You and I are going that way."
"Sorry, you guys." Buffy called over her shoulder. "I'll be back. If you see Elena, let her know I'm here!"
"Ok!" Caroline called back.
"You don't have to be so pushy. I was being nice."
"We don't have time for nice." Damon said. They spotted Stefan standing with Elena, Bonnie, and Bonnie's grandmother. "Brother, witches." Damon greeted.
"Everything ok?" Stefan asked.
"Can we just get this over with? Are you ready?" Buffy asked.
"I guess so." Bonnie said.
Damon was the first down into the tomb, followed by Buffy, then Elena, Stefan, and finally Bonnie and her grandmother. There were torches set up at the five points of a pentagram. On the far wall was a door with a pentagram carved into it. Buffy assumed that's where the vampires were.
Grams grabbed a lighter and began lighting the torches. "Air. Earth. Fire."
"Water." Bonnie said, holding up a jar.
"That's it, just water from the tap?" Elena asked.
"As opposed to what?" Grams asked.
"I just figured maybe it would have to be blessed or mystical or something."
"What's that?" Stefan asked when Damon pulled out a bag of blood.
"It's for Katherine." Damon said. "Gotta have something to get her going. Unless your girl's offering a vein to tap." Stefan growled slightly. "Admit it…. You can't wait to get rid of me."
"I can't wait to get rid of you."
"We're ready." Bonnie said. The two faced each other and began chanting.
"What is that?" Damon asked.
"It sounds like Latin." Stefan said.
"It's not Latin." Buffy said. The two vampires looked at her. "My best friend's a witch. Latin is very familiar to me. That's not it."
The torch flames suddenly shot up and Elena moved away. "What's happening?" The door with the pentagram on it opened on its own.
"It worked!" Bonnie said.
"Of course it worked."
"We have some fires to build?" Damon asked.
"I'm gonna go get the gasoline, I'll be right back." Stefan said. He walked out of the tomb.
"Got enough stakes, Blondie?" Damon asked.
"Got plenty." Buffy said, holding up her bag.
"What?" Elena grabbed Buffy's arm. She didn't want her friend to go in that tomb.
"You think I'm going to go in there by myself so you can seal me in?" Damon said to the witches.
"Don't take her in." Grams warned. "I'll bring the walls down."
"You'll bring the walls down if I don't. You think I trust you?"
"As much as I trust you."
"Enough!" Buffy ordered. "Both of you. He needs leverage and I need to make sure those other vampires die. Stefan's gonna cover the entrance with the fire element."
Damon reached down and grabbed a torch. "May I?" With his free hand, he grabbed Buffy's free hand and they walked into the tomb.
"So, you think your girlfriend's gonna be jealous if she sees you holding my hand like that?"
"I think she'll be too hungry to care."
"Touché." Around them, they heard whisperings. "What is that?"
"They can sense you."
"Figures. Slayer blood would be like wine to an alcoholic for these guys. What the hell was I thinking?"
"Where is she?" Damon moved off, leaving Buffy alone in the dark.
"Damon, you ass!" Buffy called. "Would you wait!" She started to follow, but heard a noise behind her.
"Let go of me!" Elena cried.
"Shut up." Anna said. "You must have a taste for it. You scream and shriek and even bother to escape, but then you just come right back to it. Mother! Your boyfriend did this, you know."
"His father did."
"And Jonathan Gilbert. Made a choice a long time ago that it would be Gilbert blood that brought her back to life. I had Jeremy all ready to go, but…." Elena screamed when Anna bit her. Anna gave the blood to Pearl.
"Please don't! No!"
"Let her go!" Buffy said, pulling Anna away from Elena. Stefan was suddenly there, pulling Elena away from Pearl.
"No!" Anna cried.
"Go, go. I'll be right behind you." Stefan said, pushing Elena in the right direction.
"Anna! Where am I?" Pearl asked, her voice faint.
"Buffy, go." Stefan said.
"You're coming too." Buffy grabbed his arm and pulled. They made it to the door, but Stefan stopped. "Stefan what are you doing?"
"It's gonna be ok." Grams said.
"We'll fix it." Bonnie promised.
"I can't." Stefan said.
"Can't?" Buffy asked.
"Can't what?" Elena asked.
"The spell's still up. We can't get them out." Bonnie said. "Yet."
"You went in there not knowing if you could come back out?" Buffy asked.
"I heard Elena scream."
"Damon's in there. We can't leave him in there. I promised him."
"Even if we're able to break through the seal, we won't be able to hold it for long." Grams said.
"Well, get started. I'm going to find Damon." Buffy rushed back into the tomb, dodging Stefan's outstretched arm. "Damon!" She found him only moments later. He was angry and screaming at a wall. "She's not here!"
"Damon…." Buffy started.
"She's not here!" Damon threw the blood bag against the wall.
"She's not here!"
"Damon, we need to get out of here."
"It doesn't make sense. They locked her inside."
"If you don't leave now, you're not getting out."
"How could she not be in here?"
"It's not worth spending all of eternity down here! She's not worth it!"
"Damon! Please." He acted like he didn't hear her. So, Buffy did the only thing she could think of to snap him out of it. She grabbed his face and kissed him, pressing her body completely against him. It worked. Damon seemed to snap out of it a heartbeat later and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tighter to him. His fingers tangled in her hair as he tried to pull her even closer. After a long breathless moment, Buffy pulled away. "We have to go now." Damon nodded and he blindly followed her out. As soon as they were through the door, it slammed shut behind them. "Where's Stefan and Elena?"
"They're checking on Jeremy." Bonnie said. "Anna had him." She helped her Grams out of the tomb.
Buffy turned to Damon. He looked so broken. She couldn't help feeling for him, so she took him in her arms and hugged him tightly. "I'm sorry, Damon."
Later that night, Damon walked into Buffy's room and slid onto the bed next to her. She woke up and rolled over. "Hey."
"Hey." He said quietly.
"Are you ok?" He shook his head. "Is there anything I can do?"
"I don't want to be alone."
Buffy nodded. "You can stay in here." Damon nodded and laid his head down on the pillow next to hers. She watched him for a while, staring into his haunted eyes. She recognized that look. She'd seen it before looking back at her from a mirror once. With a sigh, Buffy ran her fingers through Damon's hair and kissed his forehead before closing her eyes and drifting back to sleep.
A/N Hey guys! I love that you're loving this story! I've worked really hard on it (and I'm still working really hard on it with every new episode). Just remember, I do love feedback. Reviews are encouraged and encouraging. :) Thanks for reading!