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Chapter 73

Chapter 73

Buffy moved around the house cleaning up after Matt and Jeremy. Willow was in the kitchen doing the dishes and Elena was on the phone with Bonnie. Stefan had asked Buffy and Elena to stay away from Damon. Elena would definitely let Damon out if he told her to since she was sired to him. Stefan had asked Buffy to stay away because she wouldn't like seeing Stefan bleeding Damon dry to keep him weak. Such a good brother-in-law.

"Where are you?" Elena asked. Buffy glanced over at her and listened to Bonnie's response on the other line.

"I told Caroline that I'd take her place at the decade dance prep, but none of the rest of you showed."

"I know. I'm sorry. I had to, though. Buffy has Jeremy and I under house arrest because Kol wants to kill Jeremy and Klaus wants to take him on some vampire-slaying road trip while I'm not allowed to leave because one or both of those Originals might use me to get to Jeremy."

"And since neither of them are invited in, it's the only place I can keep them safe." Buffy said into the phone, startling Elena with her sudden appearance.

"Why does it sound like you're under fire?" Bonnie asked.

"Apparently we're living in a fraternity house now." Elena said, glancing at Jeremy and Matt in the living room playing a loud video game.

"I'm training." Jeremy said.

"Me too." Matt added.

"Train yourself to do some dishes." Buffy said. "And put these weapons away before someone tries to use one on his sister." She paused and glanced at Willow. "Oh my god, I'm my mom!"

"That's not entirely a bad thing, Buff." Willow said.

"Listen, Buffy has a plan to end all of this." Elena said. "She wants Jeremy to kill Kol."

"She wants Jeremy to kill an Original?" Bonnie cried.

"Think about it. Kol's sire line must stretch to the moon by now. If Jeremy kills Kol, every vampire that he's ever turned, not to mention everyone that they've turned, will die. Which means the Hunter's mark will be complete and we'll have our key to finding the cure."

"I'm on my way. We'll figure it out. Do you think Caroline will notice if there's only 89 red balloons?"

"Yes!" Buffy called. She stuck her hands under the water over Willow's hands with a laugh, but it quickly turned into a grimace and she yelped in pain, yanking back and bumping into the island counter.

"What's wrong?" Elena asked as Jeremy and Matt rushed into the kitchen.

"What happened?" Bonnie asked.

"Somebody put vervain in the water!" Buffy said, wringing her hands out as the burns healed.

"You've got to be kidding!" Bonnie cried. "It was my dad. Had to be. I'll call him." She hung up and Elena set down her phone, walking over to check on Buffy.

"I'm fine." Buffy said, gently pushing Elena's worried hands away. "Already healed. Just try to stay away from the water."

"I'll go out and buy us some bottled water." Willow said.

"Be careful." Buffy warned, grabbing her keys and handing them to her best friend. "Kol could be anywhere."

Elena's phone rang and it was Bonnie again. "Kol just attacked me at the school."

"Are you ok?" Elena asked.

"I got away, but he was trying to kill me."

Buffy walked out of the kitchen and headed upstairs to her room. She grabbed her phone and dialed Stefan's number. "Damon's fine." He answered. "I locked him up with all the creature comforts he deserves."

"Thanks. But that's not why I called." Buffy said. "Kol just tried to kill Bonnie."

"What? Is she ok?"

"Yeah. It seems like Kol is pretty intent on murdering everyone who's looking for that cure."

"Yeah, Klaus has me trying to convince Rebekah to give up her dagger so he can take care of Kol."

"I don't want to just dagger Kol. I want Jeremy to kill him."

A motorcycle revved up to create noise. Buffy figured he was trying to cover their conversation. "What did you just say?"

"I became a vampire so I would have the power to take on an Original. I've fought Kol before so I know that can hold him long enough for Jeremy to get a clean shot."

"And then what? Klaus and Rebekah will kill every one of us out of spite. They may be dysfunctional bickering luntics, but they stick together no matter what."

"Then it's a good thing that you're looking for the dagger. You can use it on Rebekah. She can't exactly come looking for revenge if she's laying in a box."

"Yeah, I can't do that."

"I know you can't because vampires can't use the dagger, but Matt can. It's not like she doesn't deserve it. And don't worry about Klaus. I can take care of him."

"How?"

"I'll figure it out. I just know that once we get this cure, none of this will matter because we can use it against them."

"All right fine, but how do you plan to lure Kol in?"

"He's a talker, so I'm going to make him talk. You just work on Rebekah." Buffy sighed. "Seriously, how is Damon?"

"You really want to know?"

"Yes."

"I drained him not long after I first got him here so he wouldn't be strong enough to escape. I've been feeding him small tubes of blood so he doesn't desiccate. He's not happy about it."

"I imagine not." She paused. "Wait…. If you're going to work on Rebekah, who's watching Damon?""Well…."

"No…."

"He offered."

"Of course he offered, Stefan! He's got Damon alone with him now and Damon's not exactly at 100. You know how he gets when he's like that. And there's no telling what Klaus will tell him."

"He promised to be on his best behavior."

"I swear to god, Stefan, if this backfires I will hurt you so bad."

"It'll be fine, Buffy. I gotta go." Stefan hung up before she could argue any further. She stared at the phone in disbelief for a moment.

"Everything ok?" Elena asked, poking her head into the room.

"No." Buffy sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed.

"You wanna talk about it?"

"Stefan left Klaus to watch after Damon and make sure he doesn't come after Jeremy. I mean, Stefan of all people knows exactly what Klaus will say to hurt Damon while he's weak."

"Damon knows that it's all a lie." Buffy looked at Elena. "It is all a lie, isn't it?"

"Which part?"

"You have feelings for Klaus?""Not…. Feelings feelings. But…. There's…. It's complicated."

"How complicated?"

"Klaus knows that I have a minute amount of feelings for him because he heard me telling Stefan after I desiccated him and now he's promised to make my life a living hell until I tell Damon myself that I feel something for Klaus."

"So tell Damon. He'll understand."

"Seriously, Elena? You're sired to him. Tell me how happy that would make Damon if I told him that I felt something…. Even a tiny, ice-cube's-chance-in-hell, itsy-bitsy something for Klaus."

"Not very. But he has to look at it that you love him and you chose him."

"It doesn't matter how many times I tell him that. He's always been self-conscious about himself when it comes to our relationship. Like he can't believe that I love him. There is nothing about this that he will understand."

"You love him. You're not leaving him. He'll see it one day."

"And until that day, I'd like him to never know about my weirdo feelings for Klaus." Buffy sighed. "Is Bonnie ok?"

"Yeah. She's gotta head home for a little bit, but then she's coming over."

"That won't be necessary."

"Why?"

"Because I'm going to talk to Kol about a truce."

"What?"

"Stefan is going to distract Rebekah and look for the dagger to take her out of the picture. Klaus won't give up the opportunity to torment Damon all day. That gives us plenty of time to get Kol talking, learn more about why he's so scared of Silas, and have Jeremy stake him."

"Jeremy Gilbert." Kol answered. "Nice to see I'm still on your speed dial, mate. Hey, you want to meet up at the batting cages?"

"Actually, it's his legal guardian." Buffy said, glancing at Jeremy as he loaded up the weapons. Willow and Elena stood off to the side watching her while Matt waited by the back door.

"What a treat! The lovely Miss Summers. I never get to talk to you. In fact, I was just thinking of all the clever ways I could have your youngest killed and leave you a pretty message with his body, but I think I might just settle for ripping off his illustrated arm instead."

"Now why would you piss off the person that kicked your ass? I thought you were supposed to be clever."

"I am clever, darling. And you didn't kick my ass."

"We'll just agree to disagree on that point. Where are you?"

"Why?"

"I want to call a truce and talk to you in person about Silas."

"You want to talk about Silas?"

"I'll meet you wherever you want."

"I'll tell you what. How about I come to you?" The doorbell rang and everyone turned in surprise. Jeremy cocked his gun and pointed it at the door. "If you want a truce, open the door and invite me in."

Buffy looked at Willow and motioned to her head. What do we do? Willow thought.

Tell Matt to go help Stefan find the dagger. You, Jeremy, and Elena are staying here.

"I'm waiting. Let me in and let's talk truce."

"Wouldn't that be kind of stupid to invite you in?" Buffy said, stalling as Willow looked at Matt and used her telepathy to tell him Buffy's message. He looked startled, but quickly nodded and rushed out.

"On the contrary. I can't kill your little Jeremy with my own two hands or I'll suffer the hunters curse and spend the next 20 years trying to off myself in gruesome ways. And I've heard that vervain's back in town, so I can't compel you to kill him either. So I think it's fair to say you're semi-safe, for now."

Buffy moved from the kitchen as Jeremy and Elena went into the living room. Willow stayed by Buffy's side as she opened the door for Kol. "You'd think being alive for over a thousand years would teach me some manners, but I couldn't resist stopping by." He said as he rolled up his iPhone earbuds. "Are you going to invite me in?"

"Jer?" Buffy said.

"Come in." Jeremy said, glancing at Elena.

Kol smirked and stepped over the threshold. "You know the thing I love about the modern age is music anytime you like." He put his phone and earbuds in his pocket, giving Buffy a clear view of the white oak stake in an inner pocket inside his jacket. "So…. this is the part where you offer me a drink so we can have a proper chat."

Buffy held up her hand and stopped him. "First, I want to set some ground rules. Elena and Jeremy are not a part of this. You leave them alone. In fact, they need to go up to their rooms."

"What?" Jeremy cried.

"No!" Elena protested.

"Go." Buffy ordered. Make sure Jeremy stays ready. She thought at Willow.

Stay close. Willow thought at Jeremy. He glanced at Willow as he and Elena walked up the stairs to let him know he'd heard.

"Fair enough." Kol said. "Good mothering skill, by the way."

"Thank you." Buffy said. "Second, this is my friend Willow. Not sure if you've heard about her."

"I believe my brother has mentioned a Willow. Something about a witch, I think."

"A very powerful witch. The very witch that created the thousands of Slayers all over the world, actually. So one wrong move and you will be very sorry you ever crossed her."

Kol glanced at Willow. "Very well." He glanced over at the video game that Jeremy and Matt had abandoned. "Do you mind if I play while you rustle up some drinks?"

"Help yourself. I'll be back." Buffy glanced at Willow and though, Keep an eye on him. Willow nodded and stayed in the doorway between the hall and the living room. Buffy headed down to the basement where Damon had decided to start stashing alcohol. She looked around at the bottles and decided there was no way that she was giving Kol any of the good bourbon. There were a couple of bottles of wine that Buffy had insisted on having and then there was a bottle of gin. She wrinkled her nose at it, but finally sighed and grabbed it.

Upstairs, Kol was staring at the game, his fingers moving over the controls with rapid speed. "Sorry, all I seem to have is the old people alcohol." Buffy said.

Kol turned around and paused the game. He began to walk over to the kitchen. "Yeah, that's the problem with people today. They have no drinking imagination. Turn-of-the-century New Orleans…. Now, they knew how to make a drink."

"You lived in New Orleans?"

"We all did. Till Niklaus shoved a dagger in my heart."

"Why? What did you do?"

"What makes you think I did anything? Has your alliance with my brother softened you to his horrors? Or are you, in fact, actually in love with him as he claims?"

"I'm not in love with Klaus!" Buffy growled. She took a deep breath and made sure she didn't chuck the gin bottle at his head. "Look, Klaus and I had a mutual interest in finding the cure…."

"Had?"

"Yes. I'm willing to give up looking for it if you promise to leave my kids alone." Kol didn't reply and Willow shrugged behind him. Buffy picked up a mixer she'd found with the gin. "Now, can you teach me how to make this?"

Kol took the mixer and moved past her into the kitchen. "Would you ladies like one?"

Buffy looked at Willow. Willow shrugged and said, "Sure, why not?" Kol took the bowl of ice that Buffy pulled from the freezer and put the ice in the drinks. Willow looked at Buffy and Buffy shrugged. Willow rolled her eyes and said, "You're really good at that game. Are you sure you spent the last hundred years locked in a coffin?"

"I'm a quick learner. Speedy reflexes. It's not much like the real thing, though, is it?" Kol turned his gaze on Buffy. "You've killed a human, haven't you? Or are you one of those Mary Sue vampires?"

"I'm not a Mary Sue. I've killed. Everyone in this room has. But I'm guessing your number's a lot higher than ours."

"You lose track over the years as I'm sure you'll find out." He smirked. "So are we going to talk about Silas or just jibber-gabber?"

Buffy shrugged and gestured to the living room. Kol walked over as Buffy pulled out her phone. There was a text from Matt saying, "No dagger yet. Need time." She rolled her eyes and followed behind Willow. "Nobody else seems to think Silas exists, so why do you?" Buffy asked.

"I used to run with some witches. Africa in the fourteenth century. Haiti in the seventeenth century. New Orleans in the nineteen hundreds. They all knew about Silas…. That he needed to stay buried." Kol looked at Willow. "I actually hold witches in high esteem." Willow just gave him her resolve face and it actually made his smirk dim.

"Why are you so afraid of him?"

"They said if Silas rises, he'll unleash hell on Earth. I happen to like Earth just the way it is."

"That's fairly biblical." Willow said.

"Well, that's the other problem with people today: they've lost faith. And in that loss, they no longer know who they should fear."

Buffy sipped the drink Kol had made and grimaced. "Ew. Still not a fan of gin."

"It's an acquired taste."

"Well, I'm not acquiring it. I'm getting a bottle of wine."

"What if I said I don't believe you?"

"Ok…. Sorry I lied about only having gin. Can't blame a girl for wanting to horde the good stuff."

"It just seems odd that you'd be so willing to give up something you want so much for Elena."

"I would do anything for my kids, but if what you're saying about Silas is true…. What does it matter what I want if it puts everyone else in danger? Did you forget that I have a habit of sacrificing things I want for the good of world? It's kind of part of the Slayer gig."

"Well, this has been enlightening." Kol set down his glass. "Thanks for the drink." He headed for the door and Buffy and Willow exchanged worried looks. "I'll take your request for a truce under advisement."

"Is there any chance you could be wrong about Silas?" Willow asked suddenly before Kol could walk out the door.

"Trust me, some things are better left buried." Kol nodded and walked out.

As soon as the door shut and Buffy was sure Kol was gone, she groaned and sat down on the stairs. "Crap!"

"When was Jeremy supposed to come down and kill him again?" Willow asked.

"I'd like to know that too." Jeremy said, walking down the stairs with Elena.

"He's got the stake with him." Buffy said. "Grab your stuff, we're going after him." She jumped up and headed for the kitchen with Jeremy. "Wills, you…." The doorbell rang and everyone looked at it.

"It's probably Bonnie." Elena said.

"You didn't call her to tell her not to come over?" Willow asked. Elena shrugged as Buffy headed over to the door.

"I've considered your request for a truce. Request denied."

"Run!" Buffy yelled, slamming the door on Kol.

"I'm sorry! I've already been invited in!" Kol kicked the door open and walked in only to see everyone was gone. "Hide and seek? Fine by me."

Buffy, Willow, Jeremy, and Elena stood in the study and waited for Kol to walk by. She shushed them and walked over to the slightly open door. Kol pulled out his cell phone and walked towards the kitchen. Buffy pulled Elena and Jeremy over and pointed upstairs, mouthing the word fast. Elena nodded and took Jeremy upstairs using her vamp speed.

"Did you know that your darling Slayer and her witch are trying to kill me?"

Must be talking to Klaus. Buffy rolled her eyes at Willow.

Are you sure you're ready to take him on? Willow thought.

"Don't pretend like you're not in on it. Your obsession to find the cure clearly triumphs any sibling loyalty you once felt. I'm going to rip off Jeremy's arm, then kill Elena just for sport…. And as for your precious little Slayer…. Well…." Kol laughed. "Then, I'm coming for you."

At least he doesn't think you're a big deal. Buffy thought.

That kind of hurts my feelings. Willow pouted.

Get upstairs and get Jeremy. He's the one that needs to be ready. I'll take care of Kol. Buffy stepped out of the study and used her speed to go into the kitchen, around Kol, and grab one of her crossbows.

Kol turned around and she shot him in the leg. He screamed in pain and she rushed over and kicked him in the face. Kol hit the doorframe between the kitchen and the dining room and Buffy was on him again, punching him in the face and stomach. He shot out an arm and knocked her back a couple of feet, but she was on him again barely a heartbeat later, her eyes changing and her fangs descending.

Kol did his best to block her blows, but she was fast. Faster than he remembered from their last fight. She was getting stronger. That made him nervous. Buffy slammed his head into her knee and flipped him onto his back. He groaned in pain and she yanked the white oak stake out of his pocket.

Jeremy came running down just then and caught Buffy's attention. Kol took the opportunity to grab one of the swords off the table and shove it through her abdomen, pinning her to the wall. He went to grab the white oak stake, but Elena tackled him across the kitchen. She pinned him to the cabinets and Jeremy grabbed the extendable faucet spout. He sprayed Kol with the vervain water and Kol grunted as Elena moved away. Jeremy kept the water on Kol as Willow pulled the sword out of Buffy.

Buffy threw the white oak stake to Jeremy. "Jeremy, now!"

Jeremy caught the stake and shoved it in Kol's heart. Kol screamed as he caught on fire and tried to run, but Willow shot out her hand and used magic to pin him to the floor so he would continue to burn. Jeremy and Elena rushed over to Buffy, but her attention was on the door.

Klaus was standing at the open door and was obviously pissed. "What did you do?"

"We didn't have a choice. He was trying to kill us!" Buffy said, moving Jeremy and Elena behind her.

"Lies. He never would have gotten inside if you didn't set a trap for him."

"You said you were going to put him down too." She tried using a calm reasonable voice, but Klaus was beyond calm and reasonable.

"I was going to make him suffer on my terms!" He looked dead at Buffy now. "I'm going to burn this house to the ground. And then, when you try to flee for your lives, I'll kill you all without blinking."

"You kill us, you'll never get to the cure." Jeremy said. "You'll never be able to make any more hybrids."

"Hush." Buffy commanded.

"You really think I care for an instant about my bloody hybrids?" Klaus shouted. "I want it so I can destroy it. I would have killed you all the second we dug it up. But now, I'm just going to watch you burn instead."

Willow stepped forward just then and Klaus grabbed his head and started screaming. Her hair started to turn white and her eyes began to glow. "Invite him in."

"Willow…." Buffy started.

"I have a plan."

"Invite him in, Jeremy."

"Come in." Jeremy said after a moment of hesitation.

Still screaming, Willow closed her held out hand and yanked like she had a rope attached to Klaus. She flung him in the living room and dropped her hand. Klaus growled and got to his feet. He lunged at them and Buffy prepared to attack, but Klaus slammed into a barrier. Her punched at it and went towards the kitchen, but he hit another barrier.

"Good thinking, Will!" Buffy said. She walked over and took the white oak stake out of Kol's body.

"You can't do this to me." Klaus growled.

"I'm fairly certain we can and just did."

"You stay here, Klaus." Willow said. "We'll get the cure and then deal with you later."

"I will hunt all of you to your end!" Klaus screamed as Buffy, Willow, Elena, and Jeremy walked out the door. "Do you hear me? Do you?"

Later that night, Jeremy was pacing in front of the fireplace at the boarding house. He kept staring at his bare arm while Willow, Elena, and Bonnie sat on the couches. Buffy stood in the doorway leaning against the frame. Damon was upstairs getting cleaned up. Bonnie had joined them and told them about her dad having a supply of vervain and that they had tried to use an intervention on her. Willow had sent Buffy a mental message that they would have to do the same eventually.

"It didn't work." Jeremy said.

"It took time for Finn's line to die off." Buffy said. "It'll work."

"What if it doesn't?"

"Where's that Gilbert optimism." Damon asked as he appeared behind Buffy. She turned around and hugged him tightly. "Sorry I missed all the excitement."

"I'm just happy to see you." Buffy said. She searched his face for any signs of Klaus opening his mouth, but he was genuinely happy to see her.

Stefan walked in just then with the tombstone. "Looks like I didn't miss much. Got the Silas headstone."

"We're just waiting for Jeremy's mark to grow." Elena said as Stefan put the tombstone down. "Klaus is trapped in our living room."

"Temporarily." Willow said. "I had to draw on the new moon to bind the spell. We have three days to find that cure. Four max."

"If we don't, we might as well look up Katherine Pierce and see if she wants some company in hiding. Cause he will come after us." Jeremy said.

"We'll find it." Buffy assured him. "Now, that we got Rebekah taken care of, all we need is professor Shane, and then, we'll have everything we need."

"Yeah, I didn't uh…. I didn't dagger her." Stefan said.

"What? Why not?" Elena asked.

"I didn't need to. She's on our side."

"On our side? Did you…. Did you really just say that?"

"Yeah, she handed over the headstone. I mean, she wants to find this cure more than any of us."

"Why would you possibly think that we could trust her?"

"Let me guess, she pledged her allegiance to you while you were naked in the sack?" Damon asked.

"I bet you were just dying to get that out, weren't you, Damon?" Stefan snapped.

"Oh, was that supposed to be a secret? Maybe you should have made that a little clear while you were bleeding me dry in the cellar."

"Yeah, to keep you from killing Jeremy."

"Stop it, both of you." Buffy said. She turned to Stefan. "But I'll warn you now: you have officially made Rebekah your problem. If she gets out of line, I expect you to take care of it."

"She won't get out of line." Stefan promised."We'll see about that."

Jeremy started screaming suddenly. He ripped off his shirt as the mark grew up his arm and across his chest. "It's happening." He gritted out.

"Oh my god…." Elena gasped.

"You can see it?" Buffy asked. Elena nodded as they all watched the mark grow.

"Here we go." Damon said.

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