The Next Chapter

Chapter 88

A/N I am so very, very sorry for how long this took. I know I'm incredibly behind. That's what happens when you get the flu and the rest of your life gets backed up. I don't know why I let my mother talk me into getting a flu shot. I always get sick from it. Never fails. I don't know why I let myself get suckered into thinking this time might be different. Sometimes mother isn't always right.

Enjoy this chapter. I hope to hammer out the next couple soon and get caught up. HOPE. Not promise.

Chapter 88

"No, Damon! No!" Buffy yelled at her husband as they paced around their room.

"Why not? It's a good plan!" Damon yelled back.

"It's a stupid plan! One that you're hinging on the word of a psycho!"

"You left plans up to Klaus plenty of times and he came through!"

"Because, despite his inability to do the right thing for the right reasons at the right time, he cares about me and what I think of him. Silas doesn't care about anything or anyone except his long dead love! Why would he help us?"

"Because we'd be helping him out, too."

Buffy shook her head. "Oh, right, that's a great reason for him to not double cross us!"

"Then we keep our guard up!"

"Yes, because that always works." Buffy threw up her hands in frustration and paced towards the window. She took a few deep breaths and turned back to Damon. "Let's look at this from a different angle, then. Did you happen to think that maybe bringing Bonnie back would upset the balance her death created? That if she comes back, the balance shifts and takes Jeremy away?" At his confused face, she sighed. "Yeah. Didn't think so. I do know a little bit more about the witchy-woo-woo stuff than you do. Just because Silas's death creates a balance to bring Bonnie back doesn't mean that the balance Bonnie's death created won't shift and take Jeremy away."

"Well, what about Willow? Why can't she do anything about this again?"

"Because there are no more special urns out there. When she brought me back, it got destroyed. Without it, she would've died like Bonnie did. And no offense to Bonnie, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the world's most powerful witch, who by the way is my best friend, for the world's least competent witch."

"I wouldn't exactly call her the least competent witch. She did manage to bring Jeremy back."

"Yes, I am very happy that Jeremy is back, but she killed herself in the process. She thought she could do it without dying. That's why she hid from us all summer. She may be able to pull off small spells, but she always manages to seriously mess something else up with anything bigger than parlor tricks. Need I remind you about my seventeen year old self making a guest appearance and almost throwing a wrench in our fresh-off-the-I-love-you-train relationship? Or how about…."

"You can't tell me that Willow's never messed anything up."

"No, I can't. But Willow never allowed a thousands of years old almost-vampire manipulate her into destroying the world and wiping her mind of it. When Willow almost destroyed the world, she did it all on her own and was able to control it when she realized what she was doing was wrong. And that's where Bonnie and Willow seriously differ. Willow has control while Bonnie's never had any control over her powers. It's always been Willow that stepped in and fixed things."

"You do realize you're being incredibly harsh right now, right? I mean, you're outdoing me in the harsh category."

"Well, somebody has to be the voice of reason in this crazy plan you've concocted. And so far, my reasoning is kicking your reasoning's ass."

"Buffy," Damon took her hands and stared into her eyes. "Can we please just try this? It would make Elena happy to have Bonnie back."

"But it would devastate her if Jeremy was taken away again in the process. I'm tired of this back and forth with death, Damon. Let Bonnie's sacrifice stand and let Elena mourn and move on."

"What about Jeremy? He's in love with a ghost…. Again…. And he's miserable about it." Buffy was silent, not really knowing how to respond to that. "Let's let him make the decision. If he wants to go for it knowing what could happen, then we go for it."

"Why would we leave that big of a decision in his hands?"

"Because every teenager has to grow up at some point?"

"And signing his death warrant is a way of growing up?"

"Possible death warrant. There's no guarantee that bringing Bonnie back will kill Jeremy."

Buffy shook her head after a long moment of contemplative silence. "I can't believe that I'm seriously considering leaving this decision to a teenager who is in desperate need of a therapist."

"So, you're saying that Jeremy can decide what to do?"

"No." She sighed. "Maybe. On one condition."

"What's that?"

"That Elena has a vote too."

"What if she votes different from Jeremy? Obviously you and I have different opinions…."

"Then we call in someone neutral to the argument. Someone who's not friends with anyone involved."

"And who would that be? Katherine?"

"Rebekah."

"Barbie Klaus? Seriously?"

"She's the only one that's impartial to the situation and doesn't give a damn about everyone involved."

"She gives a damn about you."

"Depends on what day of the week it is."

Damon sighed. "Fine. We have a deal." He smiled and wrapped his arms around her. "We're good at this arguing thing."

Jeremy was sitting on a chair with Buffy leaning coolly against the fireplace and Damon standing up in front of Jeremy. He was explaining the plan to Jeremy and letting him make the call. Buffy caught glimpses of Bonnie sitting in the chair beside Damon.

"So, as we know, in a psychotic lapse of judgment, Bonnie brought you back to life and died in the process." Damon said. "May she rest in peace."

"She's actually right over there." Jeremy said.

Buffy caught Bonnie waving at Damon. "Whatever." He said. "Look. The whole point is, I just happen to know a supernatural being who just happens to want to die, and in the spirit of nature needing balance and life for a life and all that stuff, I just think it would be a huge waste of a perfectly good death."

"Wait. You want to work with Silas?" Jeremy asked.

"From the beginning, Silas's whole bad-guy plan was to kill himself, pass on to wherever he was gonna pass on to, and reunite with his dead girlfriend, Amara. I want to use his death to bring Bonnie back to life. To die, he has to be mortal. If he's mortal, then he's a witch, and if he dies as a witch then he's stuck on the Other Side forever."

"He already tried to bring down the veil to the Other Side. He failed.""Maybe he has a plan B." Bonnie said. "Maybe he wants to do more than just drop the veil and let all the ghosts out."

Damon noticed that both Buffy and Jeremy were paying attention to the chair where Bonnie was supposedly sitting. "She knows I can't hear her, right?"

"She thinks Silas wants to destroy the Other Side completely." Jeremy said.

"Powerful spells are bound by something even more powerful…. The moon, a comet, a doppelgänger. The Other Side was made 2,000 years ago, and it still exists. That means she must have bound it to something that could exist just as long."

"Why is it that I can hear you just fine now, but you keep flickering in and out of my vision?" Buffy asked Bonnie.

"Because our relationship isn't exactly a great one, but you actually want to see and hear me, so you can…. Sort of."

"Oh. So it's like bad reception, then."

Damon shook his head. "Ok…. Back to my original question. Let's say Silas destroys the Other Side, cures himself, becomes a witch…. Is it supernaturally possible that he can do a spell that swaps her life for his life once he poof kills himself?"

"Supernaturally, yeah, it's possible, but this is the same Silas who murdered my father." Bonnie said. "He's ruthless, and whatever spell he could do, there'll be some consequences. There always is."

"That's what I said!" Buffy said.

"I know you did. And I agreed with you."

"Oh, you heard that conversation."

"I would call it more of a fight, but yeah. I heard it. And I agree with you. Bringing me back could make Jeremy go back to being dead. So no. My answer is, definitely not."

"What'd she say?" Damon asked. Jeremy looked at Buffy and Buffy leveled a told-you-so look at Damon. "Tell me?"

"She's in!" Jeremy said.

"What?!" Bonnie cried as Buffy said calmly, "No she isn't."

"Buffy!" Jeremy complained.

"Well, she's not. Don't lie."

Damon shrugged. "Well, Bonnie's vote doesn't count. The deal was Jeremy and Elena get to make a vote and if there was a difference of opinion, then we have a neutral party on standby."

"Buffy!" Bonnie cried.

"Sorry, but that was the deal." Buffy pulled out her cell phone. "Let's call Elena and get her opinion."

Buffy sighed and walked into the Mystic Grill behind Damon. Elena had said no to the plan. In fact, she'd had a few choice words about the whole plan for Damon after she'd learned about Buffy and Bonnie's fears over upsetting the original balance. So, Buffy had ended up calling Rebekah. Rebekah had been a bit annoyed at being called, but then had allowed them to explain the situation and the plan. She thought it over for a minute before saying that they needed to get rid of Silas and that it was only an 'if' holding them back. Her reasoning had been that the original price had been paid with Bonnie's death and that now there was a new deal and a new price and that it probably wouldn't affect the first deal.

Buffy didn't agree with that reasoning and had wanted to call someone else, Damon hadn't let her. They'd made their deal and Rebekah had been the impartial tie breaker. There's been no doubt about the impartial part when she said that she hoped they all got killed anyway and hung up.

"She's such a joy." Damon said, opening the door to the Grill for Buffy.

"Apparently it's not a good day for me." Buffy said. She gestured at the bar where Silas was sitting. "There he is."

"You sure it's not Stefan?"

"Positive. It doesn't feel like Stefan. Besides, you called him and told him to meet us here. Stefan is avoiding you and you tend to frequent this place a lot, so he isn't coming here."

"You've talked to him?"

"A couple of times. He likes me, remember." Buffy took a seat two away from Silas so Damon had to sit between them.

"Why did you call me?" Silas asked.

"Same reason you answered. You need help, and we're gonna help you." Damon said.

"What makes you think that I need help?"

"Well, for starters, you're still here, as in, why do you suck so badly at killing yourself?"

"If you're just going to insult me…."

"The question should be: What do we need to do to help you kill yourself?" Buffy asked. "Preferably without bringing down the barrier and releasing our supernatural enemies."

Silas smiled at Buffy and slid her over a drink. "There's a mystical anchor. That's what binds her spell to the Other Side. I want to destroy it. Qetsiyah, or Tessa, or whatever the hell she's calling herself these days, she wants to protect it. So, she's the only person that knows where the anchor is hidden, but fortunately, she will be at the Whitmore Historical Ball this evening."

"Really?" Damon asked.

"Mm."

"I thought you said you lost all of your psychic powers."

"Oh, I did, but I still have my incredible powers of observation, and I observed her buying a Cleopatra costume today."

"So you want to go to that party? That's not too much of a problem." Buffy said. "We can get in because we know two people that happen to go to Whitmore. Done deal."

"What do you want from me?"

"When you die, we need you to perform a spell that will kill you and bring back a witch friend of ours." Damon said.

"Ok. Fine."

"So, we have a deal."

"Well, we have half a deal. I'm resurrecting some witch with my death, but we have yet to discuss how you're helping me."

"Well, you've yet to tell us what you want…."

"Oh, it's fairly simple, actually. I want you to kill your brother."

"Um…. No." Buffy said. "Not going to kill Stefan."

Silas chuckled slightly. "I don't mean for good. Just long enough so I can use my powers to read Qetsiyah's mind and find out where the anchor is."

"So, snap his neck and knock him out." Damon said. "That's simple enough."

"Too simple." Buffy said. "What's the catch?"

"There is no catch." Silas said. "Just keep him out until I get the anchor."

"Fine." Buffy stood up. "Damon, we need to find costumes for the ball."

"Elena's going as Queen Elizabeth I. We should go as her parents." Damon said with a bark of laugher, following her out.

Buffy looked down at her dress and adjusted the corset underneath it again. It was incredibly tight, but Damon assured her that she looked amazing in it. She toyed with the pearl necklace around her throat and adjusted the gold B before smoothing out her brown wig. Damon had opted for the sexier version of Henry VIII. He was wearing a white billowy shirt that showed off part of his chest, a large chain around his shoulders, and tight pants with knee high leather boots.

Elena spotted Buffy and Damon walk in and made her way over to them. "I didn't know you guys were coming."

"Willow invited us." Buffy said.

"Are you two seriously Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII?"

"We thought you'd appreciate it, Liz." Damon said.

"Well, you guys look amazing."

"You're not so bad yourself." Buffy said, toying with Elena's red wig.

"Where's Willow?" Damon asked, looking around. "Or should I say: where's Amelia Earhart?"

"She looks pretty awesome." Elena said. "Last time I saw her, she was talking to one of her professors near the bar."

"Is that Stefan?" Buffy asked.

"He came here with Caroline and Tyler. They're Bonnie and Clyde."

"How are you doing?"

Elena sighed. "Bonnie died 3 months ago, and what was I doing? I was having the summer of my life on the trip of a lifetime."

"Ah, guilt." Damon said. "Don't know it, but I've heard it can be a real bitch."

"I know it's not my fault that Bonnie died, but it is my fault for not figuring it out sooner."

"Elena, you are allowed to be happy once in a blue moon." Buffy said. "None of us knew about Bonnie."

"Except Jeremy." Damon said. "He was lying to us all summer."

"Damon." Buffy warned.

"I should've figured it out." Elena said. "I know that it's not the same, but I'm not gonna let Megan's death fall through the cracks, too." She looked over at a guy sulking around the party in a tuxedo shirt.

Buffy followed her gaze. "He's kinda cute. Who is he?"

"It's Megan's hometown friend, i.e. the latest person of interest in the Whitmore mystery. I'll be right back." Elena walked away to go talk to the tuxedo t-shirt guy.

Buffy looked over to see Damon texting Silas that Stefan was at the party. He put his phone back in his pants with a smirk and said, "Lady Anne Boleyn, who in their right mind would cut off a head so gorgeous?"

Buffy smiled and shook her head. "You, my king and not-so-loving husband."

"Well, maybe I can dance my way out of this doghouse."

"Maybe. We'll see." Buffy took his hand. "You can definitely buy me a drink while we search for Amelia."

Damon laughed. "Why do I feel like we're going to be looking for a long time?"

"Probably because people are still searching for the real Amelia. Fortunately for us, we're just searching for her doppelganger and we have experience in that field."

"That we do, Mrs. Salvatore."

"Speaking of doppelgangers, there's Stefan." Buffy said, motioning to Stefan at the bar. "And he's with Tessa."

"Nothing personal, little ex-boyfriend drama." Tessa was saying. "Let me make it up to you. Buy you an 'I'm sorry' drink?"

"More like an 'I'm sorry' keg." Damon said as he and Buffy joined them.

Stefan turned his back to Damon and gave Buffy a dazzling smile as he checked out her costume. "You look ravishing, Mistress Boleyn."

"Thank you. It's a good thing I don't need to breathe." Buffy said, tugging at the corset. "Can I talk to you a moment?" She glanced at Tessa. "Alone?"

"Sure." Stefan held out his arm and Buffy looped hers through it.

"Give us a minute, Damon." She said as she led Stefan off to another room.

"I have to say…. You look better as a blonde." Stefan said as he inspected her wig.

"Yeah. It's starting to itch, too. And who are you supposed to be?"

"Caroline tells me that I'm James Dean."

"Ah." She adjusted the collar on his leather jacket. "That's a good look for you."

"Are you hitting on me?"

Buffy shook her head. "Ew. Not a chance. Look, I know you think that I'm some victim in all of this, but I'm really not. Elena loves you. She was just confused because of a sire bond. But that's gone now. Damon loves me. He would never cheat on me with someone he views as a daughter. Even though it takes a very large amount of alcohol for him to admit that."

"From what Tessa told me…."

"Stefan, Tessa is insane. I'm telling you because I love you…. and I really miss you. I know you don't have your memories, but you were one of my best friends. For a while, you were my only best friend because Damon killed mine."

"He killed Willow?"

"No. He killed Lexi. Who you would remember as your very best friend…."

"Until my brother killed her."

Buffy shot him an annoyed glare. "Who you would remember if the crazy bitch hadn't fried your brain." She smiled slightly and playfully punched him in the shoulder. "It was you and me against the world for a while after Lexi died, brother."

"Until you married your best friend's killer."

"It all worked out. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding with a couple of my other best friends…. Dead and alive."

"You seem have a lot of best friends. Should I be offended?"

"Well, to me, if I call you a best friend, it means I consider you family."

"If you and Damon are married, then we are officially family."

Buffy smiled. "Yes, but I considered you a brother long before Damon and I even got together."

That caused Stefan to smile and give her a tight hug. "God, that corset isn't cheap." He said, poking the strict boning that had jabbed him.

"No. It was pretty expensive. I was assured that it was a very good corset and that it is as authentic to the time period as possible…. Without killing any whales." She tugged at the corset again. "How the hell anyone could stand to be in one of these for longer than an hour is beyond me! Anyway, I have a favor to ask of you…. As my best friend and brother in law."

"Ok. Shoot."

"So, Damon has come up with this crazy ass plan to bring Elena's best friend back from the dead, but in order to enact said crazy ass plan, we need to help someone else out."

"I don't think I'm going to like where this is going."

"Yeah? Join the club. I lost the vote, so I've got to go along with it. Damon was just going to jump right in, but I'm going to be a little more civilized about it and give you a choice."

"Sounds like Damon isn't going to give me a choice either way."

Buffy shrugged. "I won't let him if you choose not to help. But even without your memories, I have faith that you're still the same Stefan."

Stefan sighed. "Ok. What do you need from me?"

"I need to break your neck so you can be temporarily out of it so we can help Silas become mortal so he can do the spell to bring Bonnie back and kill himself in the process." He blinked at her, processing everything that she'd said. "Look, I know Silas is the bad guy and I will take every pleasure in watching him die, but we're going to try and get something good out of it."

"Refresh my memory. Bonnie is…."

"Elena's best friend who died bringing Elena's little bother…. My adopted son…. Back to life. She did an amazing thing and we'd like to try and repay her by bringing her back to life."

"You said you lost the vote."

"I don't want to work with Silas. I don't trust him as far as a chipmunk could throw him. But I won't sacrifice my best friend Willow to bring back Bonnie. So, Silas is the only witch that I know who's willing to die and bring Bonnie back."

"And you need to snap my neck why?"

"Because the binding link gets temporarily severed when you're temporarily dead and Silas can read Tessa's mind to find out where this thingamabob is that will destroy the Other Side so he can die. It's a long and complicated story and honestly, I kind of tuned some of it out. I got the gist of it, though. But I promise, it won't take long. You'll only be out for a little while."

Stefan sighed. "I'm trusting you."

"You'll do it?"

"Yes. I'll do it. It seems to be important to you and I like you. I also trust you because you told me the truth and didn't break my neck on the sly. So, go ahead." Stefan closed his eyes and steeled himself to have his neck broken.

Buffy reached up and gently took his head between her hands. "I promise it'll be as quick as possible. And I'm sorry." She quickly turned Stefan's head and broke his neck. He collapsed and Buffy caught him, awkwardly carrying him over to a chair and sitting him down.

Damon walked in with Silas. "I thought I was going to do that."

"Hurry up. I promised him he wouldn't be out long.""You asked him?"

"Of course I did. I'm nice." Buffy took Stefan's jacket off and handed it to Silas. "So, get moving."

"Daylight ring, please?" Silas said.

Buffy sighed and took Stefan's ring, tossing it to Silas. "I want that back."

"You will have it back ASAP, Mrs. Salvatore." Silas gave a slight bow and walked out of the room.

She sneered at his retreating back. "I really don't like him."

Willow walked into the room and looked at Stefan's unconscious form. "Um…."

"Will, you look amazing!" Buffy said with a bright smile.

"So do you guys…. Uh, what's going on? Is that Stefan or Silas?"

"Oh, that's Stefan."

"Is he ok?"

"He's fine. I just broke his neck."

"You…. What!? Why?"

Buffy sighed. "Because Silas needs to read Tessa's mind so he can figure out where this anchor thing is so he can get rid of the Other Side, kill himself, and bring Bonnie back to life in the process." Willow stared at Buffy like she'd lost her mind. "It was Damon's plan. I lost the vote."

"It's an insane plan!"

"I said that."

"Damon, bringing Bonnie back could kill Jeremy. Her death was the balance that brought him back."

"I said that, too."

"We have to try." Damon said.

"And working with Silas!? What is wrong with you!?" Willow cried.

"Ok, keep your voice down. We don't need you to cause a scene. Yes, I know all about the possible consequences thanks to my lovely yet berating wife. We even put it to a vote."

"With who? Klaus and Rebekah?"

"Actually, Klaus was against it like me, but I promised that Rebekah could be the tie breaker because she's impartial." Buffy said.

Willow blinked at Buffy. "So basically you've lost it too?"

"Yeah. Pretty much." Buffy sighed. "Look, as much as I'm against it…. Bonnie deserves a second chance at life. What she did for Jeremy…. It was amazing. And if this works, then she'll be back."

"But Jeremy could be dead again."

Buffy looked away. "It's his choice."

"You left it up to a teenager? A teenager who has done some pretty dumb teenagery things not that long ago?"

Buffy sighed. "Jeremy's been through a lot. Yes, he's a teenager, but he's also grown up."

"He was expelled for getting into a fight only a couple of weeks ago."

"Willow, tone down the judgment. Jeremy is my kid and I think he's capable of understanding what's at stake."

"Then why did you bring in Rebekah?"

"Because I know what's at stake and I really don't like it. But I know there are choices that I made that my mother didn't like. She hated a lot of them, but she let me make them because they were mine and I had to learn from them. If you have a better spell to offer to the situation, then I'm all ears."

Willow sighed and looked away. "I don't have anything that isn't dark magic and won't sacrifice an innocent human life."

"I didn't think so."

"If I had an Urn of Osiris…."

"You don't. It's gone. So, we're in it now. Let's just see how this pans out. Could you please go out there and keep an eye on Tessa and Silas? I'd like to make sure this happens quickly."

"Yeah, I guess." Willow turned and walked out.

"Boy, she's pissed." Damon said.

"Yeah? So am I." Buffy sank into the chair near Stefan and let out a groan. "Ugh! I can't even sulk in this damn thing."

"But you look hot."

"I'm glad you decided to go with the Jonathan Rhys Meyers Henry VIII instead of the Eric Bana one. I can't picture you in all those layers."

Damon leaned over her, bracing himself on the back of the chair. "That shade of red is particularly fetching on you Mistress Boleyn.""Why thank you, Your Majesty." She tilted her head back to allow Damon to kiss her.

"Would this be considered makeup sex?" He asked against her lips.

"We're not having sex right now." Buffy ran her hands against his exposed chest.

"Oh why not?"

Stefan groaned beside them and Buffy gestured at him. "That's why."

"That was fast."

"He's been drinking human blood."

"Is it done yet?" Stefan asked groggily.

Buffy leaned towards him. "Sadly, it's not. I know I promised it would be over quick. Do you mind?"

He sighed. "Go ahead."

Damon snapped Stefan's neck quickly and his wife leveled a glare at him. "What?" He asked.

"You're very rude."

"It's an endearing quality."

"Not all the time." Buffy stood up and moved around the room. They'd ended up in a library. She ran her fingers across the spines of the books, reading the titles on them as she went by. "They should get some better books. For a college, this library kind of sucks."

"Not every school can stock their libraries with the history of the demonic world and spell books from other dimensions."

"They should strive to. It makes for a colorful syllabus to pepper your school days with."

"Oh, I love it when you talk academically. Gets me all hot under the collar."

Buffy rolled her eyes at him. "Silas needs to hurry this along. I'm not enjoying this party."

"All we have to do is lock the door…."

"I already said no."

"Stefan's not going to wake up for a little while."

"I love you, but I'm not going to have sex over your little brother's unconscious body."

"It wouldn't be over his body." He pouted.

"Hit me up later after we get home and my answer will be different."

"I'll take you up on that." Damon grabbed a random book off the shelf and sat down in Buffy's vacated chair. "Let's see what fascinating read I've chosen to pass the time." He looked down at the book with a smile that faded. "To Kill A Mockingbird."

"I had to read that three years in a row back in school for English class. It is not my favorite book."

Damon tossed it over his shoulder. "Mine either." He started rummaging through a drawer in the end table next to him. "Oh! Cards. We could play strip poker."

"Good luck getting me out of this corset and then back into it." Buffy wandered over to the displays and looked in on a few of them. "Not sure why people find old cups to be exciting." She tapped on the glass with a fingernail. "Where are the weapons? Those are the exciting things."

Damon followed her into the next room where there were more exhibits. "I don't think these stuffy Whitmore people will have anything interesting like weapons."

"Well, Tessa sure thinks there's something here."

"Why do you say that?"

"She's here. And not just for a good time. She's probably looking for something."

"We can't know what unless Silas reads her mind and tells us."

"Which he won't. But Willow might be able to tell what Tessa's after." Buffy turned and looked at Damon. "She's a powerful witch. Why wouldn't she be able to sense something mystical that a witch would be after?"

"You are a genius."

"Stay here and watch over Stefan. I'll go find Willow." Buffy kissed Damon quickly and rushed out to find Willow. She found her talking to a professor off near an exhibit room. "Hey."

Willow excused herself and walked away with Buffy. "Don't worry, I've been keeping an eye on Tessa. She's dancing with Silas."

"I know. I need your help finding something."

"What are we looking for?"

"Whatever Tessa is here for. Do you think you can find it?"

"What is it?"

"I don't know. It's got to be mystical, though. Why else would she be after it?"

"You want me to find a mystical thingy, but you don't know what the thingy is?"

"Yeah. Can you do it?"

Willow shrugged. "Probably." The two of them headed into the exhibit room. There were velvet ropes marking these particular exhibits closed, but that didn't stop them. They stepped over and walked in. "Ok, something mystical a witch would be after."

Willow held her hands out to her sides, palms up, and closed her eyes. She mumbled something under her breath and opened her eyes. They were completely white. Buffy watched as she dropped one hand and the other extended out in front of her. She followed Willow across the floor towards what looked like an open display of old jewelry. Willow's hand floated over the display and her eyes faded from white back to dark green. She plucked up one of the necklaces that was a plain, square, wooden pendant on a leather string.

"That's it?" Buffy asked, eyeing the unassuming necklace.

"It's radiating magic." Willow held it up to eye level.

"Doesn't look like much."

"It's got to be what Tessa wants. She probably used this to channel her power through to boost her power for spells." The red head smiled and put the necklace in her pocket. "Mine now."

Buffy smiled as they headed back for the party. "I'm such a bad influence on you."

"I blame Faith. She made you steal."

"I stole things before that. Makeup, mostly."

Willow chuckled. "So are we done with Tessa and Silas?"

"Not by a long shot. We've still got to cure Silas, have him do that spell to bring Bonnie back, and destroy the Other Side so he can be with his lady love for all eternity."

"Isn't the cure in Katherine?"

Buffy smiled. "That's the best part. He has to kill Katherine to get the cure."

"I never thought I'd be happy about you actually killing a human, but I'm actually kinda giddy about that part of the plan."

"I was going to make Katherine suffer for a while…. A really long while…. Before I actually killed her, but now…. She's human and though it does take away torturing her for a few hundred years, I don't think I could make her as miserable as she is as a human. Now I can't wait to feed her to Silas." Buffy walked back into the room where she'd left Damon with Stefan, but Stefan was gone and Damon was lying unconscious on the floor with a broken neck. "Damon!" She dropped to her knees and bit into her wrist, feeding Damon her blood. His neck let out an audible pop as it healed and he gasped. "What happened?"

Damon groaned. "Stefan happened. He wasn't too happy about me snapping his neck like I did."

"Where did he go?" Willow asked.

"I don't know. I was a bit dead at the time." He sat up with Buffy's help. "Did you guys find what Tessa was looking for?"

"I think so." Willow held up the necklace from her pocket.

"That's it?" Damon asked incredulously.

"That's it. I'll keep it with me. You guys go find and deal with Silas." Willow put the necklace back in her pocket. "I'll see you later."

"Thanks for helping." Buffy called after her.

"She's mad." Damon said.

"She's right to be." Buffy said as she helped her husband to his feet. "We shouldn't be helping Silas and we should definitely not be taking this risk with Jeremy."

"It's his choice."

"I know it is, but it doesn't mean I have to like it."

Damon sighed. "Let's go find Silas and get this over with."

Buffy and Elena sat on one couch while a desiccated Silas laid on the other. They'd found him like that in the room where Buffy and Willow had stolen the necklace Tessa had been after. She was obviously pissed about her necklace and that Silas had tricked her. Damon was pouring some drinks for himself and Buffy across the room.

"So, Professor Blondie knows about vampires?" Buffy asked.

"He said that if I don't drop out of school, the wrong people are gonna start asking the right questions." Elena said.

"I should have a talk with him about encouraging my kid to drop out of school. What are you gonna do?"

"I don't know, but all I do know is that finding out the truth about Megan isn't gonna bring Bonnie back."

"Well, neither is a desiccated Silas in our living room." Damon said, walking over and handing Buffy her drink.

"So, the only way for Silas to trade in his life for Bonnie's is if he's a witch, but the only way to become a witch is to have the cure."

"Yep."

Someone knocked on the door and Elena looked in that direction, then at Damon. "What?"

"Now, who could that be?" Damon smiled brightly and put his drink down, heading for the door.

Buffy stood up with a blank look on her face as she watched Damon open the door for Katherine. "What's so urgent? I'm on the run." She walked inside. "Don't exactly have time for a pit stop." She spotted Silas on the couch. "Or maybe I do. Maybe I have all the time in the world. Katherine Pierce eludes death yet again! Ha, ha! And you people finally did something right for once. How does it feel?"

"Thrilling." Buffy said.

Katherine heard the threat in Buffy's voice and turned around to see it on her face. "Buffy, no."

Buffy used her incredibly fast speed to grab Katherine by the back of her head, knotting the hair between her fingers. "He needs the cure to become a witch." She let her fangs drop and her eyes change and she yanked Katherine's head to the side. She bit into her neck and tore into it, making the wound bleed profusely.

Katherine screamed as Buffy dragged her over to Silas. She looked over at Damon and Elena watching impassively. "No! No. No. No, Buffy. No, no, please! He needs all of my blood. It'll kill me, Buffy. Buffy, please, I don't want to die. I don't want to die, Buffy. I don't want to die. Please."

"Yeah? And what did you think Jeremy wanted when you did this to him? Good bye, Katherine." Buffy shoved Katherine's severed neck into Silas mouth, just like Katherine had done to Jeremy. She held her head there as Silas gulped down her blood, gaining the strength to hold her himself. Katherine struggled right up until the end. They watched Silas let go of her and she fell to the floor.

Buffy stared at Katherine with a satisfied look on her face, but it melted into that of shock when she heard a heartbeat coming from the supposed-to-be-dead Katherine. "Do you hear that?" Damon asked.

"You've got to be kidding me." Buffy groaned.

"Takes a licking, keeps on ticking."

Katherine opened her eyes and started breathing again. She looked at Buffy, Damon, and Elena. "Am I in hell?"

"Not yet, but I can arrange it." Buffy growled. Katherine obviously didn't have the strength to move, but she managed to find it when she realized Buffy was completely serious about killing her. She struggled to her feet and ran out as fast as she could.

Silas opened his eyes with a smile. "You, Mrs. Salvatore, are terrifying."

"And you're human again."

He got to his feet. "Why, yes I am." Buffy, Elena, and Damon watched Silas strut out of the house.

"Where's he going?" Elena asked.

"To be human, I guess." Damon said. He turned to Buffy. "Well, I guess tomorrow is the day we bring Bonnie back."

"Guess so." Buffy said.

"What's say tonight we head upstairs and you make good on that promise you made me earlier?" He held his hand out to her and she smiled slightly, taking it.

"What do I do?" Elena asked.

"Get some sleep." Damon called over his shoulder as he and Buffy left the room.

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