Buffy walked into the house talking to her sister on her cell phone. "No, it's beautiful here. I can't wait for you to come visit."
"Well, as soon as I get done with these exams, I'm coming down." Dawn said. She was studying psychiatry at NYU. "And I'm really glad you're enjoying your retirement."
"Yeah. Well, retirement seems like such a permanent word now…."
"You've got to take it easy down there, Buffy. I don't want you getting hurt."
"Trust me. Stefan's sort of taken me on as a sister. And he's very protective."
"That's awesome. I can't wait to meet him."
"He's excited about meeting you too. And I know you'll have a lot to talk about with Elena." Buffy heard a groan coming from the sitting room. "Listen, Dawn. I'll call you later, ok?"
"I'll let you know." Buffy hung up and walked into the sitting room to find Damon holding his face and sitting on the floor. "Damon?"
"Buffy…." He tried to look up at her, but his eyes were milky and blood stained his skin around them.
She rushed over to him and kneeled down next to him. "Oh my god! What happened?"
"Anna's mother she took from the tomb?" Damon nodded. "Why?"
"She wants me to be her errand boy. I said no and she jabbed my eyes out with her thumbs."
"You mean I can't take that stroll in the gardens?"
Buffy rolled her eyes and got up. She went to the kitchen and grabbed a bag of blood out of the refrigerator, then headed upstairs and retrieved a washcloth and ran warm water over it. Heading back into the sitting room, she sat back down. "Hold still." Gently, she cleaned the blood off around his eyes and down his cheeks as he drank from the blood bag.
"Yeah, you're welcome."
"Ouch. I feel like you just clawed me."
"I feel like maybe I should."
"What you did to Alaric ring any bells?"
"He attacked me."
"Doesn't make it right that you killed him."
"Oh, he's fine."
"It doesn't matter. You didn't know about that ring." Buffy finished cleaning Damon's face. "Your eyes look a little better."
"They still feel like there's a fire in my skull."
"So, you pissed off a vampire who's three times your age? Smart."
"I'm nobody's errand boy." Damon sighed. "Who were you talking to?"
"My sister. She's planning to come for a visit."
"Oh, two Summers women under one roof? My roof? I like it."
"You are going to stay away from Dawn."
"And what about you?" He reached out to touch her hair, but she pulled away. "Hmm…. Curious."
"Damon, the other night…." Buffy stood up. "Listen…. I've done that whole using someone for sex thing and it doesn't sit well with me. It's not who I am. The other night was…. Explosive to say the least…. But it won't happen again."
"Well, that's disappointing. You were amazing."
"Thank you. But I'm serious, Damon. Despite what you did to Lexi…. And Alaric…. I consider you somewhat of a friend. I don't want to kick the legs out from under that."
Damon sighed. "Fine. Friends it is. Will you help me upstairs? Maybe if I can sleep, I can ignore how bad my eyes feel right now."
"This is much better than watching Damon visit cougar town." Buffy heard Caroline say downstairs. "No offence."
"Don't remind me." Matt said. "Man I've always wanted to see what it looks like in this place."
"Yeah, it's uh…. a little bit much." Stefan said.
"Yeah, my entire house could fit in it like twice."
"Hey." Buffy said, walking downstairs.
"Buffy!" Caroline said. "Hey!" She walked up and hugged the Slayer. "It's so good to see you."
"Yeah. Thanks, Caroline. Matt. Elena."
"Hey." Matt said.
"What are you up to tonight?" Stefan asked.
"Oh, just relaxing. What are you guys up to?"
"Double date." Elena said.
"Wow. You know, I have never done that. But I do know when I'm a fifth wheel, so I'm going to head back upstairs."
"Oh, no! You don't have to." Caroline said. "Stay."
"We were going to watch a movie or something." Elena said. "Watch it with us."
"Are you sure?" Buffy asked.
"Please." Stefan said. "Stay. The ladies have spoken."
"Whoa! These are great!" Matt said, going towards Stefan's miniature cars collection.
"This is uh…. a little hobby of mine." Stefan said.
"I did the entire Mustang series when I was 9."
"You like cars?"
"It's an understatement."
"Come with me."
Caroline and Elena looked at Buffy expectantly as the boys headed out. Buffy shrugged and gestured for them to follow. Stefan led everyone out to the garage. He opened the door and walked in. "Prepare yourself my friend." He removed a tarp from a beautiful old red sports car.
"Wait, how do you have this?" Matt gaped.
"She was passed down through the family."
"Why don't you…. I mean…. Why don't you drive it?"
"Well, it doesn't run. I mean, it's something I could figure out."
"Why would you keep a car that doesn't run?" Caroline asked.
"Be more of a girl right now." Matt countered.
"Hey, want to come take a look at this for me?" Stefan asked Matt.
"Elena, remember the old Camaro your dad used to have?"
"Of course." Elena said.
"I built and rebuilt that engine 20 times."
"Wow." Stefan said.
"I don't like sports cars." Caroline said. "They're too hard to make out in."
"It wasn't that bad." Matt said, looking at Elena. The tension suddenly shot up like a rocket leaving Buffy and Stefan a little uncomfortable. Caroline left the garage and Elena went after her.
"I'm sorry." Matt said, looking at Stefan.
"No, no, no." Stefan said. "Don't worry about it. You and Elena, you guys have a history and ignoring it doesn't do anybody any good."
"She's good with you. You know I wasn't sure but she's happy and I'm glad."
Buffy headed out to check on the girls while Stefan and Matt bonded over the car. Caroline brushed past Buffy on her walk away from Elena. "You all right?" Buffy asked.
"If it's not vampires, it's girlfriends." Elena said.
"It never changes."
"Trust me. There will always be girlfriend drama…. And vampire drama. I'll take the vampire drama over the girlfriend drama any day, though."
"It's easier. You can't kill your girlfriends, but you can kill the vampires. Unless they're good and you're involved with them. Or you have a vampire girlfriend…. Wow, that just got complicated."
Elena laughed and spotted Stefan walking up to them. "Where's Matt?"
"I gave him the keys so he and Caroline could have some privacy." Stefan said.
Elena hugged him tightly. "That was sweet of you."
"What were you two talking about?"
"The everyday drama in a girls' life."
"Oh…. I'm not going to ask any more questions. That is an area I steer clear of."
"Smart man." Buffy said.
"Did you talk to your sister?"
"Yes. This afternoon, actually. She's got to finish up her exams and then she's coming down for a long weekend."
"Oh wow." Elena asked. "Your sister's coming?"
"That's so exciting!"
"Yeah. I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen her in a long time. She's at college up in New York. While I was busy with my Slayers, she decided she wanted to go to school and get her PhD in psychiatry. My Watcher is helping pay for that." Buffy paused. "I should probably call Giles and let him know I'm not dead. He worries about that."
"Every Watcher does." Stefan said.
"Hey, did you know Lucy Hanover? She was the Slayer during the last half of the Civil War. Until me, she was the longest living Slayer."
"I'd heard of her, but I never met her. Why?"
"Oh, just curious. I was reading her Watcher's journal and I just remembered that you were alive when she was."
"Why were you reading the Watcher's journal?"
Buffy shrugged. "I do that sometimes. Since Lucy lived a long time, I just wondered if she and her Watcher noticed the whole 'no aging' thing."
"Does it bother you?" Elena asked.
"I'm not sure. I mean, yeah…. It's weird…. But after everything I've seen and done and been through…. It's not really that much of a surprise." Buffy shrugged again. "Maybe it'll bother me when I notice my friends aging and I'm not. Right now…. We're all pretty much the same as we have been." She paused. "Except Willow. Willow seems to be younger like me. I'll have to ask her that."
"When do we get to meet Willow? I'm sure Bonnie would love to pick her brain." Elena paused and then looked sad. "That's if Bonnie ever decides to come home."
"There's Matt and Caroline." Stefan said, pointing at the headlights.
"Dude, thank you so much!" Matt said as they got out of the car. "The car is amazing."
"Caroline." Buffy pointed to her chin and Caroline blushed, rubbing the lipstick that had smeared on her chin. They all headed back inside.
"Mom?" Matt cried. Against the stair banister, Damon had a woman wrapped around him and they were making out.
"Damon?" Buffy said.
"Oh my god Matt! Oh my god!" The woman said. She grabbed her things and rushed out.
"I've got to…." Matt started.
"It's fine. Just go." Caroline said.
"I'll take her home." Elena said to Matt.
Matt gave the car key to Stefan. "Thanks man." He turned and left. Caroline, Elena, Buffy, and Stefan all looked at Damon as he took a long drink.
Buffy stood in the library staring at the fire as she waited for Stefan to say his goodnights to Caroline and Elena. Damon sat behind her on the chair, still nursing his bourbon. "What do you want me to say?" He said after a long stretch of tension filled silence.
"I don't want you to say anything." Buffy said.
"Look, you made your feelings perfectly clear. I'm to keep my distance. We're just friends."
"Did I say anything to suggest I felt otherwise?"
"It's the way you're acting right now."
Stefan walked in and they both clamped down on their conversation. "Don't look at me like that." Damon said.
"Are you crazy?" Stefan asked.
"Save the lecture. Look…."
Just then, a vampire burst through the window and jump onto Stefan. Stefan screamed when the vampire shoved a piece of glass in his torso. Buffy and Damon arrived at the same time and surrounded the vampire.
"I got him." Damon said. "Check on Stefan."
Buffy nodded and went over to help Stefan remove the piece of glass. A female vampire arrived and tackled Buffy away. Buffy rolled with it and threw the vampire across the room. They exchanged a few blows, but Buffy was stronger, faster, and a much better fighter. The female vampire was on the floor in seconds, a stake in her heart. Damon sent his vampire across the room. He landed close to Buffy and panicked when he saw the dead female and Buffy holding a stake at the ready.
"Slayer!" He hissed and flew back out the window he came in from before Buffy could charge.
"My reputation precedes me." Buffy said.
"I remember them from 1864." Stefan said. "They were in the tomb."
"Yeah…. About that…." Damon said. Buffy and Stefan both turned to look at him incredulously.
A/N If you guys promise to review, I promise that next time I will upload TWO chapters!